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  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

    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 sa source

  4. #4
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    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
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    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.

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  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

    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 02:28 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
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    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

    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 04:12 PM.

  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
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    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 08:46 PM.

  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 08:58 PM.
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  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
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    Default Re: "Old Lady" Perfume (not what you might think.)

    boo!!!
    Last edited by kumquat; 7th July 2009 at 10:26 PM.

  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 10:54 PM.
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  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

    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"!
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  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

    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

    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 01:56 PM.
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  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
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    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)

  31. #31

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

    Brava!

    Yes, I must say, as a 30 year old woman, the infantilization is not just in scent! I have a terrible time finding clothing that feels age appropriate. I don't want to look like a high schooler, I really don't. Gossip Girl what?

    (And to extend this cult of youth further, why are we bombarded with so many skin cream ads these days? Since when is a wrinkle a terrible fate?)

    I love the discussion this thread has sparked.

  32. #32

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

    Quote Originally Posted by annachristine View Post
    (And to extend this cult of youth further, why are we bombarded with so many skin cream ads these days? Since when is a wrinkle a terrible fate?)
    How true! To the point nowadays that our local branch of The Body Shop is dominated to a staggering degree with body lotions, creams, milks, scrubs, washes, butters, oils, exfoliants and other unguents of a general smoothing and buffing ilk.

    And then they went and discontinued my favourite lipstick!
    "So many scents, so little skin"...

    http://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/

  33. #33

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

    Mileposts. That's what is lacking in popular imagination these days. You're supposed to dwell in a perpetual facsimile of what was/is "youthful" and you're never allowed to move on, grow up, or god forbid, get OLDER.

    One of my first personal fragrance mileposts was the day I started wearing Miss Dior, sometime around year 23 or so. My threshold drug of choice was Casaque at age 14 - spent my hard-earned babysitting money on it. Wore a lot of the great and good ones for the next ten years, liked Miss D but it was like a pair of heels that I knew I'd fall over in. Then one day I craved it, not just liked or wanted but loved and craved the hit that only she could deliver. It was like acquiring an olfactory tatoo in a totally subjective, personal initiation rite. Life marked me, and I celebrated the way stations with perfume.
    Last edited by Jardanel; 8th July 2009 at 09:37 PM.

  34. #34

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

    Great thread!
    Personally, I avoid to categorize perfumes based on these attributes: old/ young. I prefer describing them using suggestive words as - pink bubble gum cotton candy pompons. The "other" perfumes - as sophisticated, sensual, confident, with personality, womanly.
    I was 16 when I used some Poison for a few days and a 40 years old lady told me that is too old for me. And I received from her a bottle of Anais-Anais by Cacharel (???)

    Now I love Shalimar, L'Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Miss Dior ... Chypre, leather, oakmoss ...
    I avoid to use the label "old lady perfumes". A great fragrance doesn't have an age, it's atemporal in its beauty. A person doesn't need to be a certain age to wear it because the fragrance reflects first of all a trait of the person's inner self. Wearing a so called here "old perfume" is like speaking about yourself without using any words. Confidence, beauty, sensuality, womanhood, teasing by suggesting, revealing and hiding, mystery. The scent of a woman is NOT pink bubble gum cotton candy pompons.
    Last edited by anais; 8th July 2009 at 10:54 PM.
    ~ Anais ~

  35. #35

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

    Quote Originally Posted by senZuality View Post
    Great thread!
    Confidence, beauty, sensuality, womanhood, teasing by suggesting, revealing and hiding, mystery. The scent of a woman is NOT pink bubble gum cotton candy pompons.
    Well stated.

    Young women reveal everything in their clothing and leave no imagination to the scent they wear. They forget the *power* of a man's imagnation and just how sensual that can be! It creates a sense of intrigue.

    In the 19th century, the most sensual temptress was an amazone (equestrienne) on horseback in her top hat, wearing the tightest of riding habits. To catch a glimpse of her ankle--wearing an ankle-strap trouser under a voluminous riding skirt--was a breath-taking thrill for a man. (Courtesans--the society's most desirable women--paraded themselves in public parks, such as Hyde Park in London or the Bois de Boulogne in Paris.)

    Add to that, a trailing green veil over the top hat, which was probably perfumed--and you get the picture. The curve of a corsetted waist over a side-saddle...the arch of a back...

    Candy scents--I called them lollypop--are not sophisticated nor sensual. My husband adores Shalimar.
    Last edited by Primrose; 8th July 2009 at 11:43 PM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  36. #36

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

    I'm sorry if I offend by my post, but here in this thread are many, many ideas which I wish would be left alone.

    What perfume any of us chose to wear in our grade/high school age doesn't, and shouldn't, have any bearing on our level of sophistication among our peers. Nor should it still. What I chose to wear versus what my schoolmates chose to wear is simply a matter of personal preference. I happened to be then, and continue to be, more into perfume than most, or any, of my friends or acquaintances. It's my thing, so of course I'm going to enjoy a different, wider variety. I'm seriously sick of all this "I wore Shalimar in high school" nonsense. I would not put myself in a position to think that anything I wore made me a better person than anyone else. You wore Shalimar. Someone else wore Love's or something. Please get over yourselves, because we are all individuals and all this is, was, and ever will (should) be is a hobby, and like many other things in life, if you don't want to get it, you aren't going to. No one should be penalized (not exactly the word, but I think you know what I mean) for not sharing the interest.

    As far as the sugary, candy thing goes, we are the ones claiming "little girl." We don't understand why anyone would want to smell like sugar, so we put this ridiculous label on it and become huffy that real people do like it. I'm sure no self-respecting non-perfumista ever put on Pink Sugar because she wanted to smell like a "little girl." I'm sure the marketing execs behind the sweet ones do not mean any of us 25-and-olders any disrespect when they put out stuff that we don't like. It's not our market. We don't need to have anything to do with it. Should I be upset because of all the teenage-bent clothing stores that pop up in the local malls? I don't get it, it's not for me, and it's okay, end of story. I don't need to ascribe silly labels to it and put people down who shop there. And perfume is far less "discriminatory," if you can call it that, than clothing. I guess what I'm trying to say is that sugary scents do not equal "little girl" because we say it does, and is just as preposterous as VIntage X equaling "old lady." When did it cease to simply be a matter of preference? Perfume should be fun, man! If you're put off by something not marketed for you, maybe you should rethink things a bit?

    I turned 30 this year, younger than a lot of you and older than a few. From this vantage I'm seriously irritated, like Veuve, about the lack of respect and creedence given to the younger generation. At what age, exactly, do you become credible? This is overused and is going to sound really trite, but respect should be based on the person, not the demographic, right?

    I do get the marketing angle of clothing trends, anti-age creams, etc. May I postulate that clothing trends have always leaned toward younger generations, and as we get older, the more apparent it becomes? And that the creams are advancements in science? And that there is a demand? I'm cool with getting older, but I also want to take care of myself and always look my best.

    Love life, enjoy your perfume, don't trouble yourself with stuff that doesn't make you happy, and let the market do its thing and try not to take it personally.

  37. #37

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

    I'll just repeat what I said in an earlier post.

    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.
    It has nothing to do with being "better" than anyone, it has to do with the way products are marketed to women. And, I do care about how EVERYTHING is marketed to women. ESPECIALLY when young girls are the target demographic. Is it "none of my business" because I'm too old? Does it become my business when I add that I have THREE young daughters?

    It's also my concern merely as a lover of perfume. As was pointed out earlier, a lot of bright young women are avoiding scent altogether...not a few because they wouldn't in a million years want to buy a bottle of sugar water sold in the name of some dizzy tart who is best known for flashing her un-pantied nethers at the paparazzi. If the fragrance industry continues to alienate many serious-minded young women, they are closing the door on future consumers of fine scent, which is bad for our nosies.

  38. #38

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

    Hear, hear 'Mo!

    While I would love to "love life" and "enjoy my perfume", I fear that current marketing trends will be the end of perfume as we have known it unless we make our opinions and buying power heard. Additionally, the generation I came of age in bloody well DID trouble itself with "stuff" that didn't make us happy. We spoke up. We didn't just accept and buy in. We're still speaking up.
    Last edited by Jardanel; 8th July 2009 at 10:41 PM.

  39. #39

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

    Quote Originally Posted by YouCanCallMeMo View Post
    I'll just repeat what I said in an earlier post.



    It has nothing to do with being "better" than anyone, it has to do with the way products are marketed to women. And, I do care about how EVERYTHING is marketed to women. ESPECIALLY when young girls are the target demographic. Is it "none of my business" because I'm too old? Does it become my business when I add that I have THREE young daughters?

    It's also my concern merely as a lover of perfume. As was pointed out earlier, a lot of bright young women are avoiding scent altogether...not a few because they wouldn't in a million years want to buy a bottle of sugar water sold in the name of some dizzy tart who is best known for flashing her un-pantied nethers at the paparazzi. If the fragrance industry continues to alienate many serious-minded young women, they are closing the door on future consumers of fine scent, which is bad for our nosies.
    The "better than" aspect comes into play when people talk of what they wore in high school, or the insipidness (insipidity?) of anything new and mainstream. There isn't anything wrong with being a woman who likes what's available now. There is an undeniable attitude of superiority among us, from time to time; I'm guilty of it myself. I just wanted to address how silly it is while we're examining another sweeping generalization. When you say "...ESPECIALLY when young girls are the target demographic" combined with "...dizzy tart who is best known for flashing her un-pantied nethers at the paparazzi," this makes perfect sense to take issue with, and to be angry about, most certainly when you have daughters!

    Do you think it's the trend, right now, due to this horrid celebrity culture? Maybe it'll pass in a few years or less?

  40. #40

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardanel View Post
    Hear, hear 'Mo!

    While I would love to "love life" and "enjoy my perfume", I fear that current marketing trends will be the end of perfume as we have known it unless we make our opinions and buying power heard. Additionally, the generation I came of age in bloody well DID trouble itself with "stuff" that didn't make us happy. We spoke up. We didn't just accept and buy in. We're still speaking up.
    I guess I don't see marketing trends as something to trouble oneself with. There are more important things to worry about, no?

  41. #41

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

    Hello all, for a word of truth that will set one thing straight...AGE DOES COUNT!

    Yes I said it, after working in the business fro many, many years I can tell you that age demographic is who the big boys market to.
    You see; the core market, ages 14-28, is a very trendy and fickle market, and these companies know that. They will buy many different brands/scents/styles but not stick with any. They found the loyalty of this demographic to be around 3,4 weeks at most. This is why we were always told to sell "newness".
    These "customers" also were very specific in their tastes. Sweet, fruity, fresh, airy, soft, and not too out of the ordinary. Oh, and nothing that their parents would wear, or that would appeal to them.
    Now on the other hand, everyone is probably now hollering "what about women ages 30 and older?", well you fall in line also. Because focus groups have found that in the good ole USA, no matter how old a woman is the majority still want to retain a semblance of youthfulness. Yes, they are all not only trying to turn back the clock, but want to be hip like their daughters and/or grand-daughters. Woman here are not like their European, Asian, African, nor South American counterparts. Overall, aging is not looked at as a wonderful thing here, nor are women as proud of the whole "wisdom and age" thing. Sorry to say.
    Now all these wonderful companies know this, that is what focus groups and marketing are for, so they prey on the insecurities of our gender. Personally I never understood this, but then again I am a Bretonne from France, aging is better than the other option
    So as much as people will poo poo all talk of categories and age, they are what direct the market and what we have available to us in the marketplace.
    If all of a sudden, all young women were on a rampage to buy My Sin from Lanvin, I can guarantee you Lanvin would find a way to buy back the license to it and have it well stocked in every store across the country, not to mention 100 new scents smelling just like it would appear out of the woodwork.
    I also hate to break the news to many of you, but I sold most of my bottle of Aquolina-Pink Sugar to woman way over the ages 14-28. They used to exclaim, like a schoolgirl, "Oh, this smells so light and sweet, fresh and young...I have to have it." There it is in a nutshell. Same with Chance, Coco Mlle., Miss Dior Cherie, etc.. Trying to show a woman Opium one day, she smelled the strip and recoiled as if I had tried to douse her in bug spray. But goodness, did she ever fall in love with Vera Wang Princess, she was more along the lines of Dowager Empress, rather than Princess.
    Only the well traveled, mature woman, one who had enjoyed the golden days of scent would be interested in; No 5, L'air du Temps, Joy, Arpege, Fracas, Bandit, or any of the other treasures.
    This is the sad reality, we live in a country where youth is not just adored, it is worshiped like a cult. Where most women feel that the best years of their lives ended by the time they finished college, or at the least left their 20's behind.
    Last edited by Brielle87; 8th July 2009 at 11:00 PM.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser sa source

  42. #42

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

    Oh and could we all just refrain from this eternal fear everyone has of not being PC all the time. It is eternally wearying. Not to mention it is a grand facade at times also.
    Last edited by Brielle87; 8th July 2009 at 10:57 PM.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser sa source

  43. #43

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

    Oh, and to really drive the point home. Yes I had felt superior to my peers when I was in that age group. I never understood these fads, nor trends, nor wearing scents that were just strange. I also never felt the need to follow the pack, nor to take my cues in life from any celebrities. I have always been my own person and used to say (almost daily) to friends and other peers; "If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you just blindly follow?" and "If (insert celebrity name here) decided to wear a garbage bag and smear their body with sh*t, would you do it also?".
    So yes I always felt better or superior, simply because from an early age I was and still am, my own person. My mother even told me as a 2 year old, if I did not like an outfit she bought (I guess I hated pink) there was no way it was going on me.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser sa source

  44. #44

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnyfunny View Post
    I turned 30 this year, younger than a lot of you and older than a few. From this vantage I'm seriously irritated, like Veuve, about the lack of respect and creedence given to the younger generation. At what age, exactly, do you become credible? This is overused and is going to sound really trite, but respect should be based on the person, not the demographic, right?
    To me, a young woman (regardless of age) becomes a credible person worthy of my attention when she has enough confidence to know herself well and set herself apart from the "skimpy-top-wearing Britney/JLo-scented" pack.
    ===========
    While not related, as a male Smeller I would take note of how a woman smells if I'm on a date with her and I do form part of my value judgment on that - and I'm not apologizing for doing that. I'm quite tolerant of a range of scents, but a woman wearing pure patchouli oil/hippy headshop/aromatherapy-smelling scent would be automatically disqualified.
    Q: How do you make a feminine fragrance masculine?
    A: Add 'Pour Homme' to the bottle
    - Pierre Bourdon

  45. #45

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    Oh, and to really drive the point home. Yes I had felt superior to my peers when I was in that age group. I never understood these fads, nor trends, nor wearing scents that were just strange. I also never felt the need to follow the pack, nor to take my cues in life from any celebrities. I have always been my own person and used to say (almost daily) to friends and other peers; "If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you just blindly follow?" and "If (insert celebrity name here) decided to wear a garbage bag and smear their body with sh*t, would you do it also?".
    So yes I always felt better or superior, simply because from an early age I was and still am, my own person. My mother even told me as a 2 year old, if I did not like an outfit she bought (I guess I hated pink) there was no way it was going on me.
    I'm not sure what point you're attempting to drive home by by stating your unabashed superiority complex. I simply don't agree with it and don't like to see it in myself or others.

  46. #46

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

    Age does count only when you/we want to. If we want to and in certain situations. Some want to hide it behind a scent, some want to reveal its beauty. Some just want to enjoy a good classic perfume avoiding the prejugement old/young. Since when "classic" means old, outdated and expired? (just a rhetoric thought). It's all about choices and tastes, I believe.
    ~ Anais ~

  47. #47

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

    My point is, not a superiority complex, but a confidence in ones self and choices. I see very little of this these days, far less than when I was younger. Girls/young women these days try to walk the same paths as their friends, wear similar clothes and similar scents. They rarely make choices in stores without consulting their friends. Once in a great while I would see a girl who's friends made fun of a cosmetic she would be in love with and she would still feel confident in her choices. I would smile at her and commend her on her good taste, One time this girl, guess she felt superior also, said "they are so immature, I just don't get them sometimes" This I thought, will be the free thinker, the one who travels her own path.
    I am so sorry you may deplore this trait in yourself, I just am aware of who I am. At the same time, I am the one person out of the group who would sit down on the sidewalk with a homeless person a really ask them how their life is going and how this all came about. But again, this discussion is about having ones own fragrant identity.
    So you really don't know "me" and you really do not understand the point I was making. I hope you will learn to love all traits you may posses and not lash out at others who are not trying to eradicate them.
    Last edited by Brielle87; 8th July 2009 at 11:33 PM.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser sa source

  48. #48

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnyfunny View Post
    I guess I don't see marketing trends as something to trouble oneself with. There are more important things to worry about, no?
    Actually, Sunfun, it's the end of perfume as we have known it that is the important thing to worry about - to those who care, which includes the many on these forums. And the point I was making is that complacency sucks.

  49. #49

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

    Merci, Brielle87!

    The attitude of desirability for older women is much more European. Youth is nice, but not everything. (Recall that Prince Charles had a mistress almost his same age and eventually married her, while his wife, a beautiful glamour icon, was much younger.)

    Ninon de Lenclos was a highly desriable woman in the 17th century and took much younger lovers. Ditto for George Sand of the 19th century.

    Mirielle Guiliano, the author of the well-known diet book, is French and was interviewed for her book. She called attention to a slender, chic 50-something woman in Paris, then remarked on the younger men's heads who turned to look at her in desire.

    I was given a bottle of Wang Princess by my husband because of the shape of the bottle. (He always buys me things in the shape of hearts: jewellery, esp.) I rarely wear this because it smells too sweet.

    The bottom line is confidence in yourself.

    "To me, a young woman (regardless of age) becomes a credible person worthy of my attention when she has enough confidence to know herself well and set herself apart from the "skimpy-top-wearing Britney/JLo-scented" pack."

    IMHO, a man does not come into his "own" until he is in his 30s.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  50. #50

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    My point is, not a superiority complex, but a confidence in ones self and choices. I see very little of this these days, far less than when I was younger. Girls/young women these days try to walk the same paths as their friends, wear similar clothes and similar scents. They rarely make choices in stores without consulting their friends. Once in a great while I would see a girl who's friends made fun of a cosmetic she would be in love with and she would still feel confident in her choices. I would smile at her and commend her on her good taste, One time this girl, guess she felt superior also, said "they are so immature, I just don't get them sometimes" This I thought, will be the free thinker, the one who travels her own path.
    I am so sorry you may deplore this trait in yourself, I just am aware of who I am. At the same time, I am the one person out of the group who would sit down on the sidewalk with a homeless person a really ask them how their life is going and how this all came about. But again, this discussion is about having ones own fragrant identity.
    So you really don't know "me" and you really do not understand the point I was making. I hope you will learn to love all traits you may posses and not lash out at others who are not trying to eradicate them.
    I could say the same of you, Brielle. There is a big diference between confidence and feelings of superiority. Confidence doesn't have to assert itself, nor does it need to put others down. There is humility in confidence, also. It appears that is what you meant. In that case, we are on the same page.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardanel View Post
    Actually, Sunfun, it's the end of perfume as we have known it that is the important thing to worry about - to those who care, which includes the many on these forums. And the point I was making is that complacency sucks.
    Complacency does suck. There are quite a few folks on this forum who take perfume much more seriously that I do. There are many important things in this world to, as you said, speak up for, and for me those do not include IFRA regulations and marketing trends. As far as the latter is concerned, where I shop and how I spend my money are the biggest statements I'll make. My sentiments are clearly in the minority here on BN.
    Last edited by Sunnyfunny; 9th July 2009 at 12:45 AM. Reason: another thought

  51. #51

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

    Probs should not be answering this at all, but guys, some responses are *really* pissing me off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    Young women reveal everything in their clothing and leave no imagination to the scent they wear. They forget the *power* of a man's imagnation and just how sensual that can be! It creates a sense of intrigue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jardanel View Post
    Additionally, the generation I came of age in bloody well DID trouble itself with "stuff" that didn't make us happy. We spoke up. We didn't just accept and buy in.
    Quote Originally Posted by GourmandHomme View Post
    To me, a young woman (regardless of age) becomes a credible person worthy of my attention when she has enough confidence to know herself well and set herself apart from the "skimpy-top-wearing Britney/JLo-scented" pack.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    My point is, not a superiority complex, but a confidence in ones self and choices. I see very little of this these days, far less than when I was younger. Girls/young women these days try to walk the same paths as their friends, wear similar clothes and similar scents. They rarely make choices in stores without consulting their friends.
    I mean, c'mon. Please tell me those things were explicitly written to get my blood boiling, as I see no other justification for them. You see, I *could* write stereotype-ridden antagonistic bull about how complacent, salonfhig middle-aged women do this or that and how we all suffer for it yadayada, but that really isn't all that productive, is it? A) it's demonstrably untrue and B) what does it accomplish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    Oh and could we all just refrain from this eternal fear everyone has of not being PC all the time. It is eternally wearying. Not to mention it is a grand facade at times also.
    Screw the obsession with condemning PC as a dirty word. Where it is (mis)used as a silencing tool, I hear ya. But in general, nothing wrong with it.

    I'm going to bow out of this thread now before I seriously tread on some toes.
    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

  52. #52

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

    Okay ppl, I used the search, and couldn't find what PC stands for, except for 'personal computer'. Anyone?
    Wanted: a cap of Bvlgari Th Vert

    Wanted: L' Artisan Timbuktu or Fragonard Concerto

    Feel free to visit Polderposh - a young up & coming Dutch fragrance blog!

  53. #53

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

    This is such a great thread! I love everyone's opinions, and, frankly, you all had such fabulous taste when you were young- but the best part is that you all had the confidence to be true to yourselves.

    My 1st perfume was Evening In Paris in grade 3- imagine! Then I think it was L'Air du Temps in middle school, then Opium by high school. I'm going to go out on a limb here though and say we who wore "women's" perfumes when we were girls (I'm 43) had nowhere near the amazing selection of perfumes that a young girl today does. And, if we did, would we have been seduced by the clever marketing they employ? Hard to say, for me anyways.

    My older daughter (21) loves L'Artisan Premier Figuier, Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Osmanthus Interdite, Eau de Merveilles but she started with Hypnotic Poison in grade 9! Then Angel. Is it bad to be grateful she has moved on from those? LOL. While my younger daughter (13) could care less about perfume at all (where did I go wrong!!) but she knows her little friends love Pink Sugar, and, that if she wear perfume, it would not be one of her sister's perfumes, as they smell like, well, her sister. My daughters have no problem telling me if they like or dislike what I may be wearing, but old lady or teenager perfume is a critique we just don't use. Ah, the Fumerie Turque days- "Mum! You smell like an ashtray!" lol

    So part of me thinks- you either love perfume or you don't, and if you really love it, like "we" do, then you really want to sniff something substantial. We crave it, we need it and our taste evolves like a sommalier with wine. Imagine if we had all hung out when were teenagers and smelling so sophisticated! Ah....kindred spirits. That said, I simply do not consider ANY perfume to be "old lady-ish". I either like it or I don't. I hope I have shown my girls that one should wear (in perfume, clothes etc) what they like, and what is appropriate for the situation.

    And Brielle, I bet you would share your perfume with that homeless person
    beauty guru & perfume whisperer
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  54. #54

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    Okay ppl, I used the search, and couldn't find what PC stands for, except for 'personal computer'. Anyone?
    "PC" means "politically correct." This means using terms that will not offend anyone.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  55. #55

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    "PC" means "politically correct." This means using terms that will not offend anyone.
    Aaah. Thanks, cheers.

    I think Brielle just prefers the original old stuff, from back then. Mostly heavier orientals or florals. Just like many girlies now prefer nondescript fruity florals designer scents.

    Also, consider that in (sub)tropical climates such as South East Asia, heavy orientals are probably not preferred to me-too aquatics for the mainstream market. You can't blame people for that.
    Wanted: a cap of Bvlgari Th Vert

    Wanted: L' Artisan Timbuktu or Fragonard Concerto

    Feel free to visit Polderposh - a young up & coming Dutch fragrance blog!

  56. #56

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    Aaah. Thanks, cheers.

    I think Brielle just prefers the original old stuff, from back then. Mostly heavier orientals or florals. Just like many girlies now prefer nondescript fruity florals designer scents.
    How old do you think I am
    I actually used to wear a lot of lighter things also; Fidji, Eau Fraiche de Dior, Fleurs d'Orlane, lots of Fragonard scents, oh and I absolutely loved Eau de Fleurs by Nina Ricci. Oh and as far as fruity, I think one of the few on the market that was called a fruity scent was Quartz by Molyneux, another one of my faves. Ah, another favorit, which was my sweet scent, well the two were Le temps d'aimer by Alain Delon (celebuscent, but not marketed as such) and Sweet Courreges, both of which I still adore today, oh yes and Pavlova by Payot.
    I just always went with what I enjoyed, I never had to fit the mold, nor did I really pay much mind to marketing (still don't).
    I just feel there were far more choices when I was growing up, whereas now I think woman are confined in their choices, especially in the mainstream markets. I don't think marketing people are allowing women of any age to really go out and explore. I had choices from the 19th century up until the 80's in mainstream stores; Printemps, Gall. Lafayette and Bon Marche in France and Jordan Marsh, Saks, Filene's and Bonwit Teller here in the states. That is not taking into account the parfumeries in France or here, thank heavens for Colonial Drug in Cambridge MA.
    I just feel we need to have better choices for young girls, young women and mature women, that do not have to be niche. That is what my whole tirade started out as against marketing and focus groups. Plus I taught briefly in a high-school and saw just how narrow these girls made their own universes, what was in vs unacceptable. What was alright to wear etc... I feel bad so few wanted to be left of center. They all just accepted and embraced their fruity-floral destiny. One girl even said she hated Issey Miyake, but since all her friends wore it she had to
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser sa source

  57. #57

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    How old do you think I am
    Old enough not to be in puberty anymore right now

    I just feel there were far more choices when I was growing up, whereas now I think woman are confined in their choices, especially in the mainstream markets.
    But young girls do have their choices in style nowadays, Brielle! You can be emo, ska, punk, goth, anything you want. Or a crossover and just be you. I think there are plenty of choices.

    But mainstream taste changes organically. For men: '60s and '70s chypres, '80s powerhouses, '90s aquatics and the current Iso E Super masculines all match their respective timeframes.
    Last edited by Stereotomy; 9th July 2009 at 02:54 AM.

  58. #58

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    Old enough not to be in puberty anymore right now



    But young girls do have their choices in style nowadays, Brielle! You can be emo, ska, punk, goth, anything you want. Or a crossover. I think there are plenty of choices.

    But mainstream taste changes organically. For men: '60s and '70s chypres, '80s powerhouses, '90s aquatics and the current Iso E Super masculines all match their respective timeframes.

    But they are still choosing a framework to fit into. Some days I dressed like little bo-peep, other days like a goth queen from hell, sometimes punk (loved my Doc Martins), then others kind of like a Madonna(ish) hybrid, others as a total preppy, not to mention I went to a catholic girls school and wore a uniform all the time. I never chose a style, I chose a mood, I could never be pigeon-holed, still can't. Nor did I associate with just one group of people, I had friends with very different personalities and divergent tastes, not to mention very different socioeconomic backgrounds.
    You said it yourself, they have choices in style, but they don't choose to have fun with all styles. They feel the need to go in a direction and stick with it and I feel this transposes to fragrance choices also.
    But I am just stating what I see and how I interpret it. I am planning on doing a Masters in Socio-cultural anthropology, so I am forever interested in group dynamics, sub group dynamics and the interactions between different groups and their value systems/hierarchy. I just find fewer people stray from the flock than in the past, even rebels hang out with a "group" of other so-called rebels. It is just different.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser sa source

  59. #59

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

    Quote Originally Posted by senZuality View Post
    It's all about choices and tastes, I believe.
    ... and styles, skin, character, temperament, background, group influences, geography, seasons, marketing, concepts (old / young) ... Psychology and Anthropology (yes, Brielle).
    More I read what everybody wrote here, more I believe that everything is relative. Everybody is right, actually.
    Basically, we wear what we like. And we're back again to "choices". And like a wheel, the choices are related to tastes, styles, skin, character ... ... ...
    ~ Anais ~

  60. #60

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


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