A Celebrity’s Scent: Frida Kahlo & Dana Emir

Frida

When I visited Mexico City for the first time, the place I wanted to see more than any other was Frida Kahlo’s house in Coyoacán — the Casa Azul. Since that trip, Casa Azul (Museo Frida Kahlo) has been spruced up, and hidden wonders within its walls discovered: many of Kahlo’s fantastic clothes and other personal belongings — hairbrushes, decorated (and bloodied) orthopedic corsets she used after her many spinal surgeries, Kahlo’s prosthetic leg, sunglasses, lipstick, nail polish (Revlon’s vibrant red “Orchids to You”)…and perfume.

Over the years, I’ve noticed friends sometimes keep empty perfume bottles for years. Often, the perfume was an overseas purchase and couldn’t be easily replaced. Sometimes, the fragrance was extinct or a particular bottle rekindled memories of a certain someone or some place that gave happiness. I was intrigued when I found out Kahlo kept an empty bottle of Dana Emir…

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Guerlain Vague Souvenir ~ fragrance review

Guerlain Vague Souvenir + peach blossoms

My love of fragrance did not begin by smelling the contents of fancy bottles. I learned to love perfume in the garden. If you’ve read my reviews for any length of time, you may have noticed I often use botanical illustrations to “decorate” my posts; that’s because any perfume that gives me a realistic representation of a beloved natural scent has captured my attention and has a chance at capturing my heart, too.

I grew up in the countryside, and big parts of my childhood were spent outdoors: in flower beds, vegetable gardens, orchards, woods. The bounty of those places found their way into the kitchen, where another facet of my scent education took place (all those fruits, vegetables, spices, vanilla, chocolate, liquor!) To list my favorite fragrance notes would be a laughable exercise; I’ve been smelling everything that crossed my path my entire life…the list would be extensive. Still, the scent of stone fruits would be high on my list…

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Rochas Audace ~ fragrance review

Rochas Audace advert, 1970s

Last Friday I was leaving Powell’s when a street fashion photographer asked to take my photo. Now, I’m not a particularly fashionable dresser. That afternoon, I was wearing a variety of clashing plaids — a Pendleton skirt and a jacket from a Western wear store in Oklahoma among them, both culled from Goodwill — and a 1940s floral silk scarf. (I will point out that my boots were pretty great, though.) “Me?” I asked the photographer. “This?

“I like the crazy mix,” she said. “It works.”

That’s how I feel about Rochas Audace. On paper, it reads like a strident jumble of notes. On skin, it works…

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Lazy weekend poll ~ Day of the Dead 2014

marigold-garland

It’s the Day of The Dead, or All Saint’s Day, or Samhain, or just November 1st…we are celebrating in any case by remembering our dearly departed perfumes.

Do tell us about a favorite discontinued fragrance, or a favorite that has been reformulated past recognition, or a precious perfume that you lost or broke or spilled, or that spoiled before you could use it up…

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Friday scent of the day 9/19

Fendi Spring 2014 fashion campaign

Welcome to Friday! Our Friday community project this week: wear something discontinued. What did you pick?

As always, do chime in with your scent of the day even if you aren’t participating in the community project.

I’m wearing Fendi Theorema. My bottle is old, but Theorema has a good shelf life — it seems to smell better every year. Theorema is probably what I should have picked for the signature scent challenge

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