Day 126. No Thanks

Quite a while back I wrote about my adventures, and misadventures, with perfume.  I’m on the hunt again, as it turns out.  The store where I found my last, great Sfragrance is now out of business; and it’s not available anywhere else in Toronto.  Woe is me.

This being the season when men buy perfume for women (and vice versa), yesterday’s Toronto Globe & Mail had a special section on fragrance.  Perfect timing for me.  Before I get too far along in this story, I’ll just mention I’ve written about fragrance in my careers as both a copywriter and publicist.  But never, ever, have I written, or read, a description like the one I’m about to share.

The fragrance is “Black Saffron”.  It has been created by Byredo Parfums, a Stockholm-based fragrance house, founded in 2006.  What you’re about to read is verbatim.  It is exactly what was said in the newspaper.  I mean it:

“Always expect the unexpected from this Sweden-based niche label with Canadian DNA (founder Ben Gorham grew up in Oakville, Ont.).  Black Saffron gives off spice and leather and if you inhale deep enough, you might even smell rubber tires.  Finishing with a delicate veil of violet.  It proposes a striking variation on sexy.”

Rubber tires?  A striking variation on sexy?  No kidding.  Yours, by the way, for a mere $235 for 100 ml (3.381 US fluid ounces). For the record, I went and gave it a sniff yesterday.  It smelled exactly like tires.  Insane.  Gross.

Forget the price for a minute.  What woman wants to smell like a BF Goodrich all-season radial?  And what man wants his Continue reading

Day 72. Sniff Sniff

“Two things make the woman unforgettable, their tears and their perfume.”  Sacha Guitry

No, I’m not crying.  And I don’t have a cold.  But thanks for asking.  It’s much worse, actually.  I’m afraid I’m about to have to search for a new perfume, again.  Which can be very traumatic, especially if you’re trying to replace a ‘signature’ fragrance, like I am.

My love affair with perfume began long ago when, as a very little girl, I’d spray myself with my mother’s.  All of them at the same time, usually. Liberally.  Too liberally.  So liberally, it would take more than several scrubbings before I stopped reeking.  At sixteen I discovered Miss Dior.  Its light, citrus, floral scent was perfect for a young woman.

At eighteen I fell in love with Caleche, by Hermes.  Although it had many of the same qualities as Miss Dior it was more sophisticated, more womanly, more worldy.  It was the first fragrance that I considered ‘mine’, and I wore it for years.

It was so important to me, that when my purse was stolen while I was visiting a friend in New York one weekend, the only thing I replaced was the bottle of perfume that had been in it.  Never mind about the cash and the credit cards and even the make-up.  Or my I.D., which I needed to get back across the border to Canada.  Or the handbag, itself, for that matter.  All I wanted was my ‘parfum‘.

That’s what made ‘me‘, feel like ‘me‘.  Even to myself, let alone to others.

I remained loyal until many years later, when a fashion designer I worked with, Leo Chevalier, created a fragrance.  I still remember the day I Continue reading