5 perfumes: iris fragrances for spring

Iris sanguinea

Spring is still tentative where I live — we’ve had a few lovely days here and there, but plenty of days where there’s still a decent chill in the air. If you’re like me, you’ll do your best to pretend it’s sunny and 70 degrees even when it’s not, so it’s time to put away your darker, richer iris perfumes and reach for lighter, happier variations on the theme. Below are my five favorites for spring, and if you missed them, do see my list of iris picks for summer, iris picks for fall and iris picks for winter. Next up: a year of vetiver.

Do add your own picks in the comments…

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5 Perfumes: Dressing Table Fragrances

Carole Lombard at her dressing table

Sometimes I want a glamorous perfume. I don’t mean a blatantly sexy fragrance, but one that oozes retro allure. Imagine Carole Lombard, swathed in silk charmeuse, warm from the bath, with bowls of roses in every room. That kind of perfume. I think of these fragrances as “dressing table” perfumes. They’re resolutely feminine and are usually dosed with rose, violet, iris, and powder. The best of them carry an animalic purr. They’d be right at home perched on a vintage dressing table with a postcard from a lover in Paris clipped to the mirror.

Here are five of my favorite dressing table perfumes. With each perfume, I add a dressing table accessory that suits it. In the comments, please share your favorite dressing table perfumes…

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I dutifully doused myself in the stuff

I dutifully doused myself in the stuff, triggering an immediate assault on my own sensitive nasal passages. I hated it, but it was too late. Upon my return to the dinner table, my dad told me that I smelled like his mother, who’s 80, terrifyingly bitter, and smokes two packs of Virginia Slims a day. Not the best look.

— Rachel Krause writes about her changing attitude towards Chanel No. 5 in An Unironic Ode to ‘Old Lady’ Perfumes—and Why They’re Worth a Try at StyleCaster.