A Report by Basenotes Member Ghandajala
Thursday the 19th April saw the Perfume Lovers London Meetup convene once again for an evening of what hostess Katie Puckrik likes to refer to as ‘scentertainment’. For many Brits, Katie is perhaps best recognised for her presenting roles on Channel 4 in the mid-90s. In recent years however, she has forged a successful career as a perfume reviewer, maintaining a hugely popular blog and YouTube channel ‘Katie Puckrik Smells’.
With such a visible profile, it is hardly surprising that Katie should receive a plethora of requests for perfume recommendations. These range from the ubiquitous frat-boy inquiries after ‘panty-droppers’ to the plain bizarre: A scent that brings to mind the smell of a man’s taint, anyone? Keen to discuss some of the more off-beat smells sought by her readers (though thankfully avoiding any further talk of “perineal perfumes”), Katie shared with us some gems from the ‘viewers’ mail’ bag:
1. “I want to smell like my dog’s paws”
For ‘Mike’ (a man several TV producers are apparently keen to trace), the smell of his dog’s paws are a source of comfort. Whilst few in the audience were willing to admit sniffing their pooch’s pads, on Katie’s authority we are given to understand they have a somewhat salty, corn-like, baked-goods odour. Which perfumes could possibly remind someone of their four-legged friend’s feet? Katie suggested the yeasty Bois Farine by L’Artisan Parfumeur’s (J.C.Ellena, 2003), as well as Etat Libre d’Orange’s Like This (Mathilde Bijaoui, 2010) whose ginger, pumpkin and immortelle notes bring to mind culinary creations.
2. “I want to smell like Chinese air pollution”
Moving to another country, one inevitably ends up missing certain things that speak of home. But how many Chinese expats feel the pangs of nostalgia for their nation’s air pollution? At least one, apparently, who desired a perfume that would recall the mix of industrial smoke, incense and tea that commingle in the streets. Unsurprisingly, a fragrance directory search for Pollution Atmosphérique Pour Homme yields no results. Katie therefore recommended Etat Libre d’Orange: Jasmin et Cigarette (Antoine Maisondieu, 2006), with its bottom-of-the ashtray vibe. It was her other suggestion, the resinous incense and tea of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Dzongkha (Bertrand Duchaufour, 2006) however, which eventually soothed this homesick soul.
3. “I want to smell like a skunk”
The malodorous spray from a skunk’s anal gland is often compared to burnt rubber (amongst other things). Fitting at least this quality then, was Katie’s proposal of Black Afgano by Nasomatto (Alessandro Gualtieri, 2009) - a dark, smokey, and tarry oud affair.
4. “Help me fake a sex life”
Not everybody would empathise with someone searching for a perfume that could convince their ex they are now enjoying a swinging sex-life. Entering into the spirit of the question however, Katie suggested the musky, animalic florals of Serge Lutens’ Muscs Koublaï Khän (Christopher Sheldrake, 1998) and Etat Libre d’Orange’s Putain des Palaces (Nathalie Feisthauer, 2006) might well give others pause to wonder just what one has been getting up to behind closed doors. Equally appropriate seems the sweetly skanky L’Air de Rien by Miller Harris (Lyn Harris, 2006). More subtly, the milkiness of Penhaligon’s Amaranthine (Bertrand Duchaufour, 2009) might also hint at carnal activities, as perhaps Vivienne Westwood’s Boudoir (Martin Gras, 1998) or Serge Lutens’ Féminité du Bois (Christopher Sheldrake, 1992).
5. “Femme Fatale fragrances for men”
So, you see yourself as a male Mata Hari, but have no clue which perfume to wear ? Katie imagines you rocking Tom Ford’s cloying Black Orchid (2006) or Nasomatto’s Nuda (Allesandro Gualtieri, 2010), a huge, indolic jasmine that’s already on the turn. For the slightly more restrained Femme Fatale, there’s always the classic Mitsouko by Guerlain (Jacques Guerlain, 1919).
6. “I want to smell like Katie Puckrik”
Lastly, if you’ve ever wanted to channel Ms. Puckrik herself, Katie’s current faves include the recently released Mon Numéro 8 by L’Artisan Parfumeur (Bertrand Duchaufour, 2011), a powdery, musky iris/ narcissus / osmanthus creation, and Bruno Acampora’s retro, fungidelic Musc Oil (1975).
A huge thanks to Katie, for taking part and a massive thanks to Ghandajala for yet again being our court reporter!
Help me fake a sex life
I want to smell like my dog’s paws
I want to smell like a skunk
I want to smell like Chinese air pollution
‘Femme fatale’ fragrances for men