Model Johanna Jonsson for Secret de Rochas Rose Intense.
Ready to wade into skanky waters but want a little hand holding? You’ve come to the right place. “Skank”1 usually refers to a hint — and sometimes more — of body odor in a fragrance, occasionally with overtones of halitosis and rotting flesh. (I hope you aren’t eating lunch right now.) Artfully administered, skank can throw a perfume’s beauty into relief. It can feel intimate and sexy. But when you’re not in the mood for it, skank could be just plain disgusting. Skank tolerance is personal. Some perfumistas wear their skank as a badge of honor, like chile lovers brag about downing Scotch Bonnets, but others won’t tolerate a noticeable drop of civet or funky musk.
Here is a skank sampler. Please comment if other skanky perfumes come to mind. I’ve rated them on a Skank Scale of one to ten. One approximates “post-tennis glow,” and ten is “zombie apocalypse…”
If you’re in the northern hemisphere, there’s a decent chance you’ve already entered that part of summer known as the dog days. The hot, humid weather was traditionally expected to last around 40 days, but where I live, we’ve surely already had 40 days of sticky, and we could easily have 40 more before it’s over.
I’m not complaining, or at least, I’m not complaining as much as I’d be complaining if it was cold out. I’ll always take hot over cold. But this is just the sort of weather that calls for a classic Eau de Cologne: a little concoction of citrus and flowers, perhaps a few spices, perhaps some oakmoss or amber. It won’t last long, but it will lift up your spirits while it does, and you can always reapply later or move onto something else. Here are five choices, although I’ve (of course) expanded the definition of a classic Eau de Cologne a wee tad…
This month marks nine years — !! — that I’ve been reviewing fragrance for Now Smell This. At, say, 50 reviews a year, that’s a whopping 400 fragrances I’ve written about. After all those perfumes and reviews, I thought it was time to talk about the fragrances that have stuck around in my perfume cabinet, those whose decants I drain and bottles I turn to again and again.
Chanel Cuir de Russie: At least three times a week, I wear Cuir de Russie. I started with a 10 ml decant, and when it was finished I thought I’d be fine relying on one of my many other leather scents. Not. Cuir de Russie stands alone…