Code of Conduct
Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 229
  1. #1

    Default "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    I have read many of the old threads here that discuss "old lady" scents: what makes a fragrance "old lady," isn't it ageist to use the term "old lady" as an insult, and on and on. I can't seem to let go of the ideas here...and the more I venture forth into the wild, wonderful world of vintage and niche fragrance, the more I turn the thoughts over in my mind....So, here's the thing. I get the idea of "old lady" clothes...frumpy, sexless items that forget the pleasures of the senses....but "Old Lady Perfume?" The mere act of applying scent should be an acknowledgement of the sensual....a defiance of any concept of "too old/experienced/worldly." And so, I obsess on the issue.

    In the 1980's, we got the last blast of what are now called "old lady" scents. I was a teenager back then, and I well remember that buying "department store perfume" (as opposed to drugstore stuff) was a right of passage, a moment when a teenage girl asserted her "grown up-ness" by buying a serious fragrance. Now, I can understand that, what with the MEGA LOUD trend that 80's perfumery followed, the 90s were bound to take a turn...but that was the birth of "unisex" fragrance, which, to be frank, usually smelled like a men's aftershave with a name that allowed a woman some leeway.

    So, then, someone decided to "bring back femininity." Everything in the stores is pink. Fragrances are sweet, sickly concoctions. "Feminine" is back! And, "feminine" means GIRLISH!!!! Pink leopard print, marabou-trimmed carriers for wee widdle doggies! Floofy, pink and purple bedazzled shiny sweet FEMININE.

    or, you're a boy. There is really no other option...it's "Feminine: read GIRLY" or "Masculine/Androgynous." Well, OK, sort of.... One meaning of "Feminine" is "Girlish." But, there is another.

    Let's try "womanly," shall we?



    Some of us think "heiress" and think "Katharine Hepburn as Tracy Lord in Philiadelphia Story" and not "Paris Hilton in a deliberately leaked homemade porno!" Some of us want to feel like Myrna Loy in The Thin Man, with scads of money, a razor sharp wit, and a permanently attached cocktail. This is the image that fine fragrance sought to embody for most of the 20th century....and this is the image that so-called "young, modern" scent ignores.

    Ironically, so many of the scents associated with "Old Lady Perfume" are the most sensual, the most passionate. Musk and Leather, Wood and Spice...the notes of an "Old Lady Perfume" are audaciously out there to seduce, but of course -- the mere act of using a scent is a bold sensual move. Some day, looking back, it is the so-called soapy "clean, young" scents of today that will be seen as sexless and frumpy, and rightly so , and they are so devoid of the visceral scent of the body and the earth.


    What is my point here? Well, I'm throwing down the (kid, custom moulded) gantlet, here and now.


    "Old Lady" perfume? It rules. It has nothing but contempt for candy coatings and insipid sweet soap. "Old Lady Perfume" would kick your ass, but "Old Lady Perfume" is far too elegant to be so vulgar.

    This is my declaration: I AM AN OLD LADY...AT HEART IF NOT IN AGE! I LOVE OLD LADY PERFUME AND I WANT TO WRAP MYSELF IN MORE! I WANT MY FRAGRANCE TO CELEBRATE SOPHISTICATION AND SENSUALITY AND A KNOWING AND INTELLIGENT KIND OF WIT THAT CAN ONLY BE GAINED THROUGH A LIFE WELL LIVED!

    Ahem. This is what happens when you soak a woman in Cuir de Russie and a nice glass of wine. She tends to get a little uppity. Do have the good breeding not to stare.....

  2. #2

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Hi Mo! I love this post and agree completely.

    I've noticed how the popular culture infantilizes women in some ways, but I never thought about that problem in reference to fragrance. There is nothing wrong with being a mature, or "old" woman. Grown women are not girls. They don't need to look or smell like girls. I'm 22, Mo, and your post has inspired me to wear mature fragrances with pride and not to worry that my peers might think I smell "old." And if I did smell older then why should that be a fault? A fragrance doesn't have to be stereotyped as either young or old, modern or old fashioned. It just smells one way-or another. You like it, or you don't. On yourself, or someone else. That's my two scents. I hope that was relevant enough.

    Thanks again for sharing this. It's very insightful.

  3. #3
    Brielle87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,927

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Mo darling, you are my scent soul-mate. You have echoed my sentiments exactly. I have been preaching this since I was a very young girl wearing Youth Dew, Shalimar, No 5 and Arpege.
    I never wanted to smell like a "girl" even when I was a girl, I always wanted to smell womanly. Flora Danica was quite a heavy hitter for me also.
    We must do lunch one day, hopefully you are in the northeast, we must chat and nosh.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

  4. #4
    Basenotes Institution
    Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Exactly Where I Should Be
    Posts
    16,470

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    I'm joining the club. I have been an old lady since I was a very young woman! My sister says I am older than my years - partly due to the fact that I wore Mitsouko resolutely when I was in my twenties. I love the so called 'old lady' scents. Such a terrible phrase -' old lady' - for gorgeous perfumes with character ,depth and history.
    If people think I am old....bring it on !
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  5. #5

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    There are many pretty young 20-something girls and for the most part they're unremarkable and of little interest to me. But a 20-something girl who wears a sophisticated mature perfume and looks the part too will set her apart from the rest of the herd, in a good way! (Take this from an eligible early-30s bachelor )
    Q: How do you make a feminine fragrance masculine?
    A: Add 'Pour Homme' to the bottle
    - Pierre Bourdon

  6. #6
    Basenotes Institution
    Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Exactly Where I Should Be
    Posts
    16,470

    Smile Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Quote Originally Posted by GourmandHomme View Post
    There are many pretty young 20-something girls and for the most part they're unremarkable and of little interest to me. But a 20-something girl who wears a sophisticated mature perfume and looks the part too will set her apart from the rest of the herd, in a good way! (Take this from an eligible early-30s bachelor )
    Ah ! A man with good taste !
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  7. #7

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Mo - excellent post

    I agree wholeheartedly with you. Feminine comes from female - with everything that implies
    I don't mind being girlish just as I don't mind being a competent businesswoman or a wanton woman but I don't want to be any of those (or the variety of other things I am or could be )
    exclusively.

    In the same way that I don't mind being girlish, I don't mind smelling of fruit or drinking lemonade - occasionally!

    Two of my earliest scents were 'Joy' and 'Jicky' (which is still my 'favourite' if I have such a thing), and I love the journey a good fragrance can provide. I love the layers, contrasts and nuances. If that's 'old lady' bring it on!

  8. #8

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    I'm all for reclaiming "old lady" just so long as we can agree not to do so at the expense of putting down those who don't ascribe to that description, viz:
    Quote Originally Posted by GourmandHomme View Post
    There are many pretty young 20-something girls and for the most part they're unremarkable and of little interest to me.
    I really hate the inherent value judgment that comes with both camps.

    /cranky mode.
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

    Douglas Adams

  9. #9

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    I love it when people validate my crazy. Hee! And, just to clarify, there is nothing wrong with being young....I actually think the glut of sugary celebuscents is insulting to women of any age. Heck, even my tween daughters are interesting, complex people who deserve better than a purse dog and a bedazzled pair of flip flops.

    I'm just flummoxed by the upside-down way scents are currently percieved. I mean, I get the difference in fashion: at 40, my clothing choices are less overtly sexualized than they were at 20. Not only are more modest clothes more flattering at my age (short skirts just show off the veins of a woman who's had 3 kids, for example) but franky, as a married woman I'm not looking to appear "sexy" to a wide audience anymore! So, fine....but I can't translate that into fragrance. Coco Mademoiselle, supposedly the "young" version of a 1980's scent, is actually LESS SEXY than the original Coco. (Or, perhaps that's just my association. In my mind, florals, citrus, and soapy "clean" scents are rather sexless compared to spicy notes, or musks and leathers)

    I do enjoy many of the innovative new scents coming out of the niche houses. I'm not enthralled with much of anything in the mainstream market right now...and, considering the massive number of bottles on the counters, that's kind of pathetic.

  10. #10
    Asha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    5,425

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    I suppose we could also ask the question--why would a woman want to smell like a man (in the case of wearing fragrances marketed to men). The answer to questions of why a person wears "young" or "old" or "men's" fragrances is this: I am a woman, so I am part of the large group that defines what a woman is. The group does not define me.

    And besides, sexy is in the eye of the beholder.
    Last edited by Asha; 7th July 2009 at 01:28 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    I view those negative attitudes about "old lady" fragrances as further evidence of arrested development and general dumbing down of our culture (cranky old lady here). On MUA yesterday somebody (a troll, possibly, can't be sure) asked for non-old lady fragrance recs, and of course the expected brou-haha ensued. Then she was whining on another board that all she wanted was a fragrance rec that didn't make her smell like an old bingo broad! It struck me as quite hilarious. It's all so ridiculous. Where's Monty Python when you need them?

  12. #12
    Basenotes Institution
    Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Exactly Where I Should Be
    Posts
    16,470

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Each age group has their own allure ,IMHO. Young girls /women have a fresh dewy innocence that is delightful .
    Mature woman - not old ladies- I don't believe in 'old ladies per se - have character depth ,understanding, maturity ,life experience that shows through their eyes ,faces and their bodies which I think is immensely attractive, beautiful - same for men too.
    As has been said in a post above , these new celeb type scents with just pure money making behind their launches aimed at certain age groups are insulting to women of all ages. We are smarter than those fragrances want to catergorise us.

    I really don't know why the grand established perfumes are called 'old lady' . Basically ignorance, I think .
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  13. #13

    Therese's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    2,270

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Great diatribe, Mo! We have entered a time when feminism itself is considered an old-lady concern, no longer relevant to flippant postmodernist girls. "Old-lady" fragrances, those with depth, nuance, and character, are relagated to an ageist trashheap.

    I join the the rebel forces! I wore Bal a Versailles as a teenager. I will continue to wear orientals, ambers with delight.

    (Having said all of this, I do want to mention my personal association to old-lady scents. I had a great-Aunt Betty who used Ambush and Tabu to cover significant body odor. Back in the day, no one bathed daily. It wasn't considered good for your skin. My Aunt Betty bathed even more rarely. Once a week would've been special. So for me, there is such a thing as the smell of old lady.)

  14. #14

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    For me the smell I associate with "old lady" or "old man" for that matter is the scent of moth balls. My late MIL used to favor this aroma in the winter as she would keep all her woolen coats and sweaters packed away with these odious things and the smell never went away. In the summer, she smelled much better, 4711 was her only scent.

    As a 52 year old, I remember when the loud 80s florals came out and sort of consider them part of my youth (not old lady) and they were marketed as self-assuredly and powerfully feminine. Young women wore Giorgio, grandmas wore Miss Dior, Memoire Cherie, LHB, Arpege and Youth Dew...lots of Youth Dew! I suppose I associate YD more closely with my mother's generation than my grandmothers and not in any sort of a bad way. I wore plenty of older scents back then and thought these brash young fragrances were over the top. So I guess it's a matter of perspective.

    Through it all, I never went with the unisex trend in scents when that meant watery and weak. I am happy so many men and women cross marketing lines to enjoy a great variety.
    Last edited by Zibeline; 7th July 2009 at 03:12 PM.
    Currently wearing: Bluebell by Penhaligon's

  15. #15

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Mo, I completely agree. You and I are in the same age demographic. I, too, have a hard time with the candy- bubble gum sweet scents that lack depth. Have you noticed they don't even seem to develop as you wear them? For me, the best part about "mature" fragrances is that they have depth and layers. But then, by now, don't we have dimension as well? I want scents to tell a story.

    Also, the nice part about wearing scents with some personality (really struggling not to use old lady here!) is that you can truly develop a wardrobe. Similar to our "grown up" clothing wardrobes which have a variety of pieces for different moods and occasions, so do our fragrance wardrobes. I like owning Mitsouko, Chanel no 22, et al. It makes me feel confident and womanly to wear a fragrance that enhances my mood and my style.

    So sign me up for the old lady club! Wrap me up in luxury, warmth and class.

  16. #16
    kumquat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Posts
    10,104
    Blog Entries
    100

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    I think the lack of development is due to the current sales technique (or lack thereof). Squirt, poke nose in squirt area, vote yeah or nay. Buy some now or hit the trail. It's no wonder there's no development. If there is, it's usually a big (unwelcome) surprise. This is why I have come to dislike just about all mainstream frags sold in most dept stores. Not good high-end dept stores, but for instance, the good Diors, are not offered in small demographic areas. The good Guerlains, not here, only in Paris or New York. Why is that? keep your 'Insolence', I say, we would like to know about, sample some 'Parure', some 'Bois des Iles', some 'Mitsouko', 'Miss Dior', 'Dioressence', etc. But instead we get flankers; Miss Dior Cherie & Tender Poison. Uber sweet, teenage juice.

    Old lady? How about just a good perfume with some legs instead of cotton candy 20 different ways. And, no I don't mean the "Grande Dame Bosomy Florals" of the 80's (Giorgio is the classic example, IMO). I don't want to bomb the area with heady, anything. That includes incense & linalool.
    Last edited by kumquat; 7th July 2009 at 07:46 PM.
    Currently wearing: Truth or Dare by Madonna

  17. #17

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    What a great post and discussion! Hear, hear!

    So sign me up for the old lady club! Wrap me up in luxury, warmth and class.

    As an (ahem!) mature woman whose work is around many young women (late teens and early 20s) and my husband's daughter who is 20, I see many young women oblivious to the power of attraction in perfume, esp. when worn with the right attitude. My mother (and father) taught me the importance of grooming--in pleasing oneself, in pleasing one's partner, and in attracting others. These young women all tend to wear "lollypop" scents pimped by the latest celebrity or thin "splashes" of alcohol/scent with no sillage. I noticed one young woman who seemed to have more beaux--and she seemed to be the the one most aware of her attractiveness..and she wears Chanel Allure.

    Worse...they wear no scent at all...

    (I went from Avon's Sweet Honesty as a pre-teen to wearing Mum's Norell and Chanel No. 5 by my teens. I still wear Shalimar, Arome Trois and Chanel No. 5. My sister wore Youth Dew.)

    Sensuality does not belong to the young. History's great seductresses were often older women. Advice for "older" women : please see the movie "Cheri," in which an older woman ensnares the heart of a much younger man--with startling results!! (The film is about a grande horizontale of the Belle Epoque who embarks on an affair with the son of a colleague.)

    Shalimar and Chanel No. 5 are both being relaunched by young spokesmodels, Natalia Vodianova and Audrey Tatou, respectively.

    To say scent of any kind belongs to one age group is like saying perfume and scent only belong to women. (I adore it when a man wears scent, esp. just for me. It is like a peacock spreading his tail and saying, "I'm male, I'm sexy and I am very much aware of it--and I want you to be aware of it." Just like Comte d'Orsay's eau de jasmin gloves.
    Last edited by Primrose; 7th July 2009 at 07:58 PM.
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

  18. #18

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    I don't know... I don't think polarisation of any sort - whether "old lady", niche or mainstream is necessarily a good thing. Everything that we regard as a classic will have done its time as just another new scent on the counter with everything else, fighting for sales. Who knows what is launching today, tomorrow or this year that will have the same hallowed "old lady" status in years to come? Some of the more mature women on here have absolutely fantastic wardrobes that are as likely to feature Tommy Girl and Kingdom as Shalimar and Bois des Isles, so they certainly aren't limiting themselves to scents of any particular period. I don't intend to either, who knows there may be a pink fluffy scent out there that's perfect for me, in the same way as there could be a green that doesn't scare me ever so slightly.

  19. #19
    kumquat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Posts
    10,104
    Blog Entries
    100

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    boo!!!
    Last edited by kumquat; 7th July 2009 at 09:26 PM.
    Currently wearing: Truth or Dare by Madonna

  20. #20

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Quote Originally Posted by YouCanCallMeMo View Post
    And, just to clarify, there is nothing wrong with being young....I actually think the glut of sugary celebuscents is insulting to women of any age.
    [...]
    I do enjoy many of the innovative new scents coming out of the niche houses. I'm not enthralled with much of anything in the mainstream market right now...and, considering the massive number of bottles on the counters, that's kind of pathetic.
    Oh, agree on both counts! I didn't for a moment think you were putting us young 'uns down, but the subject of relative merit of "old lady scents" just seems to be one that attracts those kinds of sentiments. It gets to me when I'm already cranky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Therese View Post
    Great diatribe, Mo! We have entered a time when feminism itself is considered an old-lady concern, no longer relevant to flippant postmodernist girls.
    Eh, I take exception to that. It's rather disheartening to see the great achievements and initiatives of young feminists ignored or patronized. Let's please refrain from the "today's youth" schtick, lest I need my soapbox.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    The answer to questions of why a person wears "young" or "old" or "men's" fragrances is this: I am a woman, so I am part of the large group that defines what a woman is. The group does not define me.
    Excellently put. I need to write that one down somewhere.
    Last edited by Morgaine; 7th July 2009 at 09:54 PM.
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

    Douglas Adams

  21. #21

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Eh, I take exception to that. It's rather disheartening to see the great achievements and initiatives of young feminists ignored or patronized. Let's please refrain from the "today's youth" schtick, lest I need my soapbox.
    What amazes me is the profound disconnect I see in the young women who get all the media attention (Paris/Britney/Lindsay or any dim bulb whoring herself out on the Bachelor etc, etc....) and the actual young women I encounter in everyday life, who are almost always exciting and vibrant and more confident and independent that even my peers were, back when we thought being a Riot Grrl in a babydoll and combat boots was the latest thing in feminist radicalism.

    I'm not complaining about women of any age, be it 18 or 80. I'm complaining about the culture that expects us all to have an IQ of 8.

    (And, I get what you mean about the us-against-them stuff. I'm quite thin, and I find the whole "REAL women have big boobs and hips" thing to be insulting. It's like some stupid 1950's "Mancatcher" movie, where women can only achieve success through viciously cutting down other women. Blech.)

  22. #22

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    1,608

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Quote Originally Posted by veuve amiot View Post
    Oh, agree on both counts! I didn't for a moment think you were putting us young 'uns down, but the subject of relative merit of "old lady scents" just seems to be one that attracts those kinds of sentiments. It gets to me when I'm already cranky.
    Yes, it infuriates me when I see someone get grumpy about "old lady" and then later describe something as "teen girl" - happens on MUA quite often. So I'm really glad you cleared that up Mo, thanks!

  23. #23

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    I definately lean towards "old lady" scents because they smell sexy to me! Like you all have said above: leather, musk, heady/powdery florals, ambers, honey, dark vanillas, incense notes often smell like SEX, as in "I am a WOMAN"! They combine beautifully with my chemistry and smell like me but better...amplified, really. Now, I do love me some Angel, don't get me wrong, (I assure you it is deep and daring on me, and a little tongue-in-cheek!) but the majority of scents out there smell so citrusy, "clean", or child-like in their sweetness that they are asaultive to the nose and seem to deny that there is a human living under there that they must co-exist with! I just want my scent to be an aura of myself, and I like to think of myself as moody, mysterious, self-assured, bohemian, and enigmatic. I'll smack my gum if I'm chewing some, but not that is not often in public! LOL!

    Sign me up for the "old lady luvas club"!
    ~Grenouille knew for certain that unless he possesed this scent, his life would have no meaning.~
    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

  24. #24

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Quote Originally Posted by veuve amiot View Post
    I really hate the inherent value judgment that comes with both camps.

    /cranky mode.
    Veuve, you hit the nail on the head.

    Well the judgment goes the other way too, a lot of pretty 20-something girls also make value judgment in that I am of no-interest to them because I'm too old. And the fact that I like perfumes certainly does not endear me to them, especially in Australia where that would be considered very eccentric.
    Q: How do you make a feminine fragrance masculine?
    A: Add 'Pour Homme' to the bottle
    - Pierre Bourdon

  25. #25
    reine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    I am rapidly approaching 'Old Lady' status myself and have not changed my perfumes one bit except to try more niche! I have worn Youth Dew for 45 years now as well as L;Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Arpege. Tweed, Vent Vert, on and on...........

    I think the term old lady perfume is really about lack of experience except for today's watery pink offerings - the young often just follow the newest coolest hippest trend, even in their personal statement of their fragrance choices - and as for the 'celebrity' scents, bah! Who in their right mind would WANT to smell like Paris Hilton????? Coco Chanel for me, s'il vous plait!

    Lady of a 'certain age' and perfume addict since childhood, 1st 'real' perfume was Youth Dew followed by Diorissimo!

    Earned it!

    Reine

  26. #26
    Wordbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Me, I'll give anything a shot, especially now I've learned to love oakmoss. That was the thing that held me back from enjoying a lot of the classics (Note to self: retry Rochas' Femme). And yup, I'm probably an 'old lady', I'm fer sure a 'Middle-aged Lady' and actually, I might not be a lady at all. (Can you imagine that last line in a Mae West voice, please? )

    I'm about to send my goddaughter a parcel to congratulate her on passing her 2nd year exams for her degree. This is a kid I am just so proud of, she's fantastic. And yet I've never sent per perfume because I've always thought "she won't like this stuff, it's not young and trendy". I am probably underestimating her and also neglecting her education. So I'll be tucking a few little decants of "Old Ladies" in with the care package.

    Any suggestions on what I should send her - just a few things to start her off.
    Last edited by Wordbird; 8th July 2009 at 12:56 PM.
    "A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." Coco Chanel

    I'm streamlining my collection http://community.basenotes.net/showt...29#post1219729

  27. #27

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    Oooh, what to start her off! She's what, around 20? That's not too young for anything!

    When I was a teenager, the upper-crusty girls I knew were given Chanel's Cristalle for their 16th birthday, as a "fresh, appropriate" first Chanel. The Upper-middle crusty girls were given White Linen in a similar spirit. Those are nice, "clean" fragrances that are more complex than many current offerings, and yet have notes in common with what she may be familiar with.

    Then, dose her up with some classics. I know you LURRRRRRRVE Jicky, maybe a wee bit of that. At the very least she will be pleased to have a bit of the scent that undoubtedly reminds her of her awesome Godmother!

    Then, perhaps a little Chanel No 5, for a classic, and something warm and sexy, because what girl that age doesn't want to feel sophisticated and sexy? That's part of what is so baffling about these cotton candy scents...the LAST thing I wanted at 20 was to feel like a little girl! I wanted to feel mature and womanly and for people to take me seriously!

  28. #28

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    HI Wordbird,
    I looked at your wardrobe (all I can say is wow!) and I think you have a ton of options to send her. Definitely No 22 (one of my personal favs and it is a good entry level "old lady"), L'Heure Bleue or Jicky, Narcisse Noir or Tabac Blond ( to get a Caron), Shalimar, and maybe Habanita. I could go on and on! Also, whichever ones you pick, give her a little description so she can know a little bit about what she is smelling.
    What a nice godmother you are!

  29. #29
    Olfacta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    a large city in the Southeastern U.S.
    Posts
    286

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    I see quite a few young women on the bohemian side, as I was until recently involved with an alternative art gallery. They seem to wear patchouli oil (hello, 1972!) or no scent at all. Some of them seem afraid of trying to be attractive, wearing shapeless clothes and army-style boots, no makeup, no hairstyle.

    I don't understand this! Even in the early Seventies when I was in my teens, I was very hip but always wore some kind of fragrance. Even in college. Always. I wasn't a scent fanatic, but did have my three or four favorites and didn't consider myself fully dressed without one.

    Anyway, there are so many choices here, for womanly (let's drop the "old lady" forever IMHO) perfumes. Chanel 22, any vintage Dior, Miss Balmain (still a good leathery floral), Bal a Versailles for knocking 'em dead (or Malle's "Carnal Flower,") Shalimar -- men still seem to love it. Rochas makes classic scents like "Eau" and "Madame," a dry floral chypre you can wear to work, at reasonable prices. Just about any old Chanel (not the "Miss" or "Cherie" type, they're following the sugar trend.)
    Olfacta
    also at http://olfactarama.blogspot.com
    Musings and random thoughts about the genie in the bottle

  30. #30

    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    PB101: I'm going to guess that the young ladies you are talking about wear patchouli because they like the idea of fragrance, but the only ones on the general market they are aware of are the Eau de Tabloid Tart variety, sparkly obnoxious bottles full of Jolly Rancher juice. This is an underserved market in the fragrance world...although, I'd wager that if these young ladies had an opportunity to get a whiff of some Comme des Garcons Series fragrances, or some interesting offerings from Ava Luxe, they might expand their horizons a bit.

    I went through an anti-primp phase in my early 20s, too (as I mentioned above, it was the early 1990s, and all the young hip ladies were stomping around in big boots, listening to grunge and refusing to shave our legs on the grounds that the Patriarchy wanted to deny our adulthood. We all wore fragrance, though....but we had more options! Most of us wore the Body Shop Fragrance oils, which, in the early 1990's, were a really great bargin! Every Body Shop had a massive scent bar with 15-20 different oils with a wide range of notes, so you could be poor, socially conscious, and still smell nice. (Gives dirty look to Body Shop for discontinuing all but a few oils and hiding them in weird places of the store)

Similar Threads

  1. Primer on How to Make Perfume (Version 1.0)
    By ItalianStallion in forum Fragrance DIY
    Replies: 183
    Last Post: 4th August 2015, 09:43 AM
  2. A Man's Chest: The Best Place to Apply a Perfume
    By LuciusVorenus in forum Just Starting Out
    Replies: 100
    Last Post: 20th June 2015, 09:54 PM
  3. The Perfume House, Portland, Oregon
    By adamgottschalk in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 23rd January 2014, 06:37 AM
  4. Best of Basenotes
    By Grant in forum Announcements Archive
    Replies: 66
    Last Post: 10th January 2012, 11:04 AM
  5. I Hate CB's I Hate Perfume
    By DutchSmell in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 13th May 2008, 05:08 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  



Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000