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Favorite perfumes of old Hollywood stars

I found this recently and thought some of you would eat it up.

I'm amazed by how many of these I had never heard of before, like Mary Chess Tuberose (supposedly the favorite of Lana Turner). Mary Pickford's favorite, Crepe de Chine, was hugely popular in the 1920s and then seems to have vanished.

I love that he first one listed for Joan Crawford is Jungle Gardenia. She must have worn it with Jungle Red nail polish. (Oddly, this says Frank Sinatra also wore Jungle Gardenia!)

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by Anonymousreply 135December 4, 2022 1:39 AM

I hear the Judy Garland Museum is selling her favorite perfume as part of the memorabilia for her upcoming 10th birthday.

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by Anonymousreply 1June 7, 2022 2:33 AM


by Anonymousreply 2June 7, 2022 2:45 AM

[quote] *Eva Gabor: had the extravagant habit of scenting the pool with Florence Gunnarson #67

Wouldn't that just dilute the perfume so much you wouldn't be able to smell it? Even if you used buckets of it.

This must be an urban legend.

by Anonymousreply 3June 7, 2022 2:46 AM

I wonder though r3, if it might be based loosely on truth. Were home swimming pools chlorinated during Eva’s working years? I could see a wacky actress pouring a small bottle of extrait into a smaller sized pool, and yes, I believe you would smell that. Extrait is strong.

by Anonymousreply 4June 7, 2022 2:55 AM

Larva was the scent loved by Mrs Monkey

by Anonymousreply 5June 7, 2022 2:57 AM

It's interesting to see how several of these were so popular among movie stars but are no longer even made any more: Jungle Gardenia, Givenchy Le De, Coty Chypre.

by Anonymousreply 6June 7, 2022 3:23 AM


by Anonymousreply 7June 7, 2022 3:27 AM

I collect vintage scents, but those are indeed extremely rare. Only way to smell them is a quality decant. This site is actually how I got into it! And I just finished my decant of Jicky!

by Anonymousreply 8June 7, 2022 3:28 AM

#8 - that is really interesting - what is a decant?

by Anonymousreply 9June 7, 2022 5:31 AM

AND - what does Jicky smell like?

by Anonymousreply 10June 7, 2022 5:32 AM

A decant is just perfume that is extracted from an original source bottle, then placed into a secondary container. It is not sold to you in any of the maker’s original packaging, and you are relying on the expertise, care, and commitment to quality on the part of the owner. There are multiple online shops that fit the bill, but proceed with caution too. When I began buying full bottles of vintage Guerlain, I made the mistake of jumping at an amazing deal in an auction….it was from Russia. Yep — it was fake, very embarrassing story of how I let greed overtake common sense, but I learned the hard way as I could not get a refund for counterfeit.

A DL thread pointed us to The Perfumed Court for quality decabts, it is amazing. It is an expensive habit, and truly the most decadent hobby I’ve ever had! But I loooooove it. There are also maybe two or three shops on Etsy (one always had her perfume bottles in front of crystals in background). These Etsy sellers are quite serious collectors, the crystal perfume seller is in Hawaii — that collection is truly worthy of its own museum. That person MUST be part of the actual Perfume-Underground-Noses who works in the industry. As I’ve gotten older, my sense of smell has (oddly enough) improved. I started my fascination with scents by growing tea roses. I don’t buy perfume often as I’m trying to use up what I have as my collection is too big.

If you want to learn everything possible about most perfumes, spend time on Fragrantica. Really do your research on a scent. I actually had a particular book I followed that was the 100 Greatest Perfumes of All-Time or something (by Luca Turin?). I bought decants of the perfumes that had notes that I love the most. But the biggest thing I learned is that you should not buy most perfumes produced after the late ‘90’s to experience the artistry of the old formulas using rare ingredients that are now outlawed. Sure, I love modern scents too — but they are so much flatter, and do not last! Some of the old ones I can sleep and still smell it’s faded dry down on my wrists the next morning. One of the only (likely the only) perfumery producing perfume with the banned/outlawed ingredients is called Rogue Perfumery, which I highly recommend to understand a chypre. And so you can smell actual oak moss!!

The decant of Jicky I had was the oldest I could find, it was in **fine** condition, though likely some of the top notes had been lost to time. When writers describe Jicky, they always speak of lavender. This is true, but this lavender is not astringent at all, there is the lightest sense of a mentholated effect of the lavender, but it is superbly smooth. It smells like lavender mixed into sugar with a half teaspoon of extract of vanilla plus just a little bit of woodsy moss. It smells like a major music chord, a beautiful, complex, major cord.

Ok, I won’t post again til 2023 lololll. My passion takes over.

by Anonymousreply 11June 7, 2022 6:19 AM

I own Jicky, it’s disgusting and I’ve never worn it out.

by Anonymousreply 12June 7, 2022 6:24 AM

First formulated in 1889, Guerlain's Jicky is the oldest perfume marketed today in continuous existence. You can buy it online if you like from Guerlain or from a perfume discounter like FragranceX.

It was the favorite scent of two James Bonds (Sean Connery and Roger Moore), and was also a favorite of Jackie Kennedy, Brigitte Bardot, and Charlie Chaplin. It is marketed to women but it is famously unisex (and it was named after a man: the perfumer Aimé Guerlain's Uncle Jacques, who went by "Jicky").

The dominant accord is lavender-citrus-vanilla, but it also has rosemary, leather, and other herbs and spices. It also has a touch of civet, which makes it a bit animalic/sexy. It is an acquired taste, but I very much like it.

by Anonymousreply 13June 7, 2022 6:41 AM

It’s disgusting.

I was so excited to get it and I was so disappointed.

It smells exactly like 1889. It smells like it was an oil used to cover up stench in between bathing. When people didn’t bathe too much, it’s like they would use this instead to keep the stink from offending people.

It doesn’t smell like something you’d wear out to party.

by Anonymousreply 14June 7, 2022 6:50 AM

#11 - Whoops - I feel myself selling down the rabbit hole! That is SO interesting! I started jotting down some of the sites and scents that you mentioned. I love things like this - I love old food recipes and ingredients also - I love the history of it. … Again thank you for your thoughtful post - I feel a “hobby coming on!”

by Anonymousreply 15June 7, 2022 6:56 AM

Now I own Mitsouko I love that. It’s a total headache for everyone around you but I don’t care! It’s very old rich bitch with the furs and pearls and the little dog.

That’s Jean Harlow’s favorite perfume.

by Anonymousreply 16June 7, 2022 7:01 AM

Here's my favorite. Oh, gay modern things!

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by Anonymousreply 17June 7, 2022 7:04 AM

I also like Youth Dew for similar reasons to R16 but it’s not rich bitch, it’s just the signature old lady scent to me. When people say “this smells like an old lady” it is Youth Dew! And there’s something I like about that lol.

by Anonymousreply 18June 7, 2022 7:05 AM

Oh and I have to add Swanson and Crawford wore Youth Dew.

by Anonymousreply 19June 7, 2022 7:07 AM

I still have my original bottle of Detchema.

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by Anonymousreply 20June 7, 2022 7:22 AM

[quote]I love that he first one listed for Joan Crawford is Jungle Gardenia. She must have worn it with Jungle Red nail polish.

So she never actually wore Summer Rain?

by Anonymousreply 21June 7, 2022 7:27 AM

Pepper LaBeija along with other trans and drag queens loved Jungle Gardenia.

by Anonymousreply 22June 7, 2022 8:16 AM

Actually Joan Crawford's favourite scent was "Oomph"

by Anonymousreply 23June 7, 2022 8:17 AM

Eau de Cologne Imperiale by Guerlain, in bee bottle, seems to have been popular among the gebtlemen.

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by Anonymousreply 24June 7, 2022 8:29 AM

R3, R4, curiously, it lists the same bit of trivia for Zsa Zsa.

by Anonymousreply 25June 7, 2022 8:30 AM

R11 speaking of old perfumes, what do you think of Ye Olde Perfumes of Arabia? I was given a small vial of musky oil by an appreciative Muslim top. I find it very sexy but maybe it just stirs memories of a great fuck.

by Anonymousreply 26June 7, 2022 8:49 AM

Pouring perfume into the swimming pool sounds more like something Zsa Zsa would do rather than Eva. Eva always struck me as much more sensible than her sister,

by Anonymousreply 27June 8, 2022 2:33 AM

Florence Gunnarson scents are sold as bath/shower oils, not typical perfumes. Just as Youth Dew was originally sold as a bath oil. So there's a certain logic using them to scent a swimming pool. I enjoyed all of them for use in the shower.

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by Anonymousreply 28June 8, 2022 3:04 AM

My friend who went to a girls' boarding school said that when the Mothers arrived dripping in Youth Dew, the girls would side eye each other and whisper in unison, 'here comes THAT SMELL.'

by Anonymousreply 29June 8, 2022 3:16 AM

I always thought "Youth Dew" was a particularly creepy name for a perfume. First of all, no one who was actually young would have ever been caught dead wearing something called "Youth Dew," so owning it was basicalkly an admission you were over-the-hill.

Second of all, it sounds like it was manufactured from the bodies of young virgins.

by Anonymousreply 30June 8, 2022 3:19 AM

Helenesque. The perfume that's also a libation.

by Anonymousreply 31June 8, 2022 3:24 AM

Soir de Paris (Evening in Paris) of course!

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by Anonymousreply 32June 8, 2022 5:53 AM

I want to smell like the captain.

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by Anonymousreply 33June 8, 2022 6:06 AM

Here’s one that I love (for women). I only buy original scents, and I can tell by the color and packaging too.

Jicky smells awful if it’s from the 70’s on up. You have to get 100 year old Jicky that was stored correctly.

On Arabian oils, I will have to dig to find a cool site on this,, but here is what I know. Oils and how they are produced in I’m assuming the Middle East (and into India), so it is literally an entire frontier that I have no experience with.

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by Anonymousreply 34June 8, 2022 6:43 AM

This is bringing me back to Vogue ads in the 60s and my mother's mirrored perfume boudoir tray. A Lalique crystal bottle is essential.

by Anonymousreply 35June 8, 2022 7:24 AM

This may be the site I found many years ago for oils. Once you start researching ouds, it is another world to go to sites for the artisans working with oud.

Mitsouko is amazing and quite unisex.

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by Anonymousreply 36June 8, 2022 3:48 PM

Both Paul Newman and Frank Sinatra used one of my favorites, Creed’s Bois de Portugal. I love the wood essence. It’s one of those scent that lasts until bedtime.

by Anonymousreply 37June 8, 2022 11:16 PM

[quote]I always thought "Youth Dew" was a particularly creepy name for a perfume.

I love Youth Dew. A reference Oriental that inspired Opium and spawned Cinnabar and JHL. A favorite of Joan Crawford, the Duchess of Windsor, and Madonna.

Because nice girls weren't supposed to buy perfume for themselves in the pre-feminist early '50s, Estée Lauder marketed it as a bath oil. It sold like hotcakes because it was a personal-care product, meaning women could buy it without their virtue being suspect. The irony, of course, was that it smelled like an old drag queen.

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by Anonymousreply 38June 20, 2022 1:39 AM

[quote](Oddly, this says Frank Sinatra also wore Jungle Gardenia!)

Yeah, Frankie was butch on the streets, but he was real femme in the sheets...if ya know what I mean

by Anonymousreply 39June 20, 2022 1:44 AM

Hoyt’s Cologne

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by Anonymousreply 40June 20, 2022 1:47 AM

When anticipating a gentleman caller, I always put a little something behind each ear. Namely, my legs.

by Anonymousreply 41June 20, 2022 2:00 AM

Jungle Gardenia is very similar to both Carnal Flower by Frédéric Malle (which is marketed as unisex) and Fracas by Robert Piguet.

Perfume blogger Barbara Herman describes it as a camp icon of scent:

[quote]Billing itself as “the world’s most exotic perfume,” Jungle Gardenia is exotic in the way Hollywood movies set in the South Seas starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope were exotic, with all the signifiers of exotic exaggerated and staged just so. (Big flowers, vines, a pile of sand, one coconut tree, tanned women sporting leis.) And yet, I could see how this perfume — like an actual white gardenia affixed to an ordinary 50s hairdo — could have made your average American housewife feel like Dorothy Lamour.

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by Anonymousreply 42June 21, 2022 7:04 PM

[quote] Yeah, Frankie was butch on the streets, but he was real femme in the sheets...if ya know what I mean

Much like Missy Stanwyck, who also wore it!

by Anonymousreply 43June 21, 2022 7:58 PM

A lot of fame women wore Fracas

by Anonymousreply 44June 22, 2022 7:31 PM

This thread stinks 🤢

by Anonymousreply 45June 22, 2022 8:41 PM

Oops, "famous"

by Anonymousreply 46June 22, 2022 8:51 PM


by Anonymousreply 47June 22, 2022 9:17 PM


by Anonymousreply 48June 22, 2022 9:17 PM

I love Fracas--a friend gave me a bottle...a favorite of Isabella Blow too.

by Anonymousreply 49June 22, 2022 9:23 PM

Blown out asshole fragrance

by Anonymousreply 50June 22, 2022 9:28 PM

R11, as a philistine of fragrance I was hoping you would provide a little more information about fragrance ingredients and the timeline (roughly) of when they were altered bc of legalities. Generalizing, were there universal standards for banning (endangered species? Cruelty? ) Any information would be appreciated.

by Anonymousreply 51June 22, 2022 10:04 PM

Toilet water

by Anonymousreply 52June 22, 2022 10:07 PM

R50 - Miss Lindsey's signature scent!

by Anonymousreply 53June 22, 2022 10:57 PM

Jicky is great and Guerlain keeps it smelling modern. It's not your old Jicky. Regulations have forced so many changes on very old perfume creations.

I have many versions of Jicky. Ancient, vintage, pre-2000s, 2010s, and now. I got a recent Bee Bottle of Jicky EDT, not expecting much, and it smells great and refreshing. I have pure parfum, vintage. My favorite Jicky is from around 2000, eau de parfum. It hits all the sweet spots.

It's been reformulated again and is the bottle with the spot now.

I suspect they retired EDT with the bee bottle.

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by Anonymousreply 54June 22, 2022 11:06 PM

I'd kill for a certain vintage bottles in great condition. Fracas. Joy. Certain Rochas and Gres. I'd like a perfect condition vintage bottle of Charlie. There are some 80s scents I'd love to have in unopened bottles stored well. Antaeus, Kouros, Giorgio, Elizabeth Taylor, Diva, Paloma Picasso, several Calvin Kleins, I'd like a perfect bottle of 70s Halston, Grey Flannel, Pierre Cardin. The list in endless.

by Anonymousreply 55June 22, 2022 11:11 PM

R51 - perfumes were altered starting in 2000 with every couple of years stricter restrictions on "allergen" ingredients. Its all bullshit and very discouraging. Some perfumes were also altered because ingredients became too expensive. But the most damage was due to the IFRA restrictions. It's a complex story of art mixing with commerce. Google and dive in.

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by Anonymousreply 56June 22, 2022 11:14 PM

I like Detchema because Rosemary Woodhouse wore it when she ditched the tannis root. It's a big improvement!

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by Anonymousreply 57June 22, 2022 11:47 PM

[quote] Jean Harlow: Mitsuoko. Her husband was found doused with it when he commited suicide -reputedly due to his impotence.

What a way to go....

by Anonymousreply 58November 20, 2022 6:26 PM

Youth Dew has to be one of the most inaccurately named fragrances ever.

That's what I've read La Crawford wore.

by Anonymousreply 59November 20, 2022 6:28 PM

Tova by Tova Borgnine

by Anonymousreply 60November 20, 2022 6:43 PM


by Anonymousreply 61November 20, 2022 8:27 PM

Did any old starlets wear VC&A Gem? That's one of my rancid grandmother's old favourites.

She also likes Anais Anais, and the relatively younger fragrance Givenchy Ange ou Demon. She's a Gemini, a cold snob and a raging bitch, if those preferences weren't a giveaway.

by Anonymousreply 62November 20, 2022 9:55 PM

Modern versions of the scents the stars of Old Hollywood wore smell nothing like the original fragrances. Not even close.

In the 90's the special snowflakes of this world pushed for tighter regulations on ingredients they deemed to be dangerous and the perfume industry caved.. So unfortunate.

So don't allowed yourself to be swindled.

by Anonymousreply 63November 20, 2022 10:16 PM

Oh, man, here come the Republicans whining about "special snowflakes"

They worship a guy who thinks he won an election that he actually lost by 7 million votes

by Anonymousreply 64November 20, 2022 10:21 PM

VIVIEN LEIGH wore JOY de jean patou, the most expensive perfume in the world, dclared THE perfume of the 20th century

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by Anonymousreply 65November 20, 2022 10:25 PM

Barbara Stanwyck 's fav also was Jungle Gardenia. She offered a bottle to young Natalie Wood when they did a movie together, and it became Natalie's signature scent

by Anonymousreply 66November 20, 2022 10:27 PM

R66 perfume given as a gift between people who aren't lovers has always seemed a bit muggy to me. Like saying, "you ought to smell better."

by Anonymousreply 67November 20, 2022 10:39 PM

Natalie was a little girl,I think it was sweet

by Anonymousreply 68November 20, 2022 10:49 PM


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by Anonymousreply 69November 20, 2022 10:54 PM

I love this thread, OP!

by Anonymousreply 70November 20, 2022 10:54 PM

This one should have remained private. Givenchy was a cunt to put it on the market

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by Anonymousreply 71November 20, 2022 10:58 PM

Joy smells blah to me

by Anonymousreply 72November 20, 2022 11:50 PM

when did you try ? it's been discontinued for a very long time, then there was an ersatz on the market for a while.

by Anonymousreply 73November 20, 2022 11:52 PM

[quote] Youth Dew has to be one of the most inaccurately named fragrances ever. That's what I've read La Crawford wore.

You have to realize that when it was released it smelled young and contemporary. but with a name like that 9which was brilliant for the short term), it of course would be worn mostly by middle-aged and elderly women. in time, every one came to associate the fragrance with age.

One of the problems with all fragrances is that if they become wildly popular they inevitably smell dated, because they come to remind younger people of their parents and grandparents who keep wearing the stuff as they age.

by Anonymousreply 74November 20, 2022 11:54 PM

R73, tried a vintage version that I bought online

by Anonymousreply 75November 20, 2022 11:56 PM

Barbara Stanwyck loved Tabu.

by Anonymousreply 76November 20, 2022 11:56 PM

R75 was probably stale

by Anonymousreply 77November 20, 2022 11:57 PM

An older one I like is Magie by Lancome

by Anonymousreply 78November 20, 2022 11:59 PM

[quote] [R51] - perfumes were altered starting in 2000 with every couple of years stricter restrictions on "allergen" ingredients.

Not all perfumes were. Complying with IFRA regulations is completely voluntary, and a few (not many) companies do not alter their recipes, although they mostly keep quiet about that. And, in recent years, some houses have pointedly and openly refused to follow IFRA guidelines (such as Rogue Perfumery).

by Anonymousreply 79November 21, 2022 12:00 AM

^^would be interested to hear of other brands & houses giving IFRA the finger. I am furiously taking notes for my next round of samples (probably for the Springtime).

by Anonymousreply 80November 21, 2022 12:06 AM

Avon Sweet Honesty

by Anonymousreply 81November 21, 2022 12:12 AM

Avon Odyssey

by Anonymousreply 82November 21, 2022 12:15 AM

Avon Candid

by Anonymousreply 83November 21, 2022 12:15 AM

I only know of Rogue.

by Anonymousreply 84November 21, 2022 12:16 AM

Avon Night Magic

by Anonymousreply 85November 21, 2022 12:16 AM

Avon Sweet Snatch

by Anonymousreply 86November 21, 2022 1:03 AM

R79, thank you. I didn't realize compliance was voluntary. Which perfume houses have stuck to their old formulas, quietly or otherwise? Any of the big, famous ones mentioned in this thread?

by Anonymousreply 87November 21, 2022 1:33 AM

This is a fun list - especially how they refer to dead people in the present tense. Fracas seems to be still the most popular of the old perfumes, and rightly so.

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by Anonymousreply 88November 21, 2022 2:10 AM

R88 great list. It's interesting to realise how many celebrities wear cheapies, drugstore scents or no-brand oils--Rihanna likes Escada, Liv Tyler likes C.O. Bigelow, ScarJo & Nicole Kidman make and use basic DIY perfume oils, Sharon Stone & Parker Posey rate an Aveda, Tyra & RuPaul wear Demeters, Michelle Pfeiffer wears Aroma M, Zoe Saldana favours Avons etc.

by Anonymousreply 89November 21, 2022 2:57 AM

R89 and all the quasi -lesbians are Caswell and Massey fans, did you notice that?

I also remember one of those A list type gossip sites saying how Sally field wore “way too much perfume,” so out of all people I looked for her but alas.

And gotta love the certain “socialites” whose PR paid to be in such a stupid list - Jessica “I once fucked Jamie Johnson” Joffe and Celerie “i once tried to matter back in 2003” Kemble? Haha.

by Anonymousreply 90November 21, 2022 3:09 AM

There’s a scent that I remember from my childhood, that someone in the family must have worn. Don’t know what it is or was, but I loved it then. I once thought I smelled it on a woman in the supermarket, and I followed her for a little bit, but then ended up not asking. that’s the trouble with scent, you can’t really describe it. There’s only one way to know it and that’s to smell it. I wish someone would come up with a way to send fragrance through the Internet. Maybe when they figure out teleporting.

by Anonymousreply 91November 21, 2022 3:22 AM

Buying your own perfume made you some sort of whore?

by Anonymousreply 92November 21, 2022 3:23 AM

R87, none of them that I am aware of. I read the book about Sarah Jessica Parker’s perfume release (Lovely was the name I believe). I learned a lot about the industry, but I am pretty sure that even the big players who are in the US such as Coty, that they too abide by the rules. Now you’ve got me curious so I’ll dig on this.

For those interested in this topic, do indeed get the Luca Turin book of the greatest scents, I think he covers 100. I have many of them, though as I learned what I like, I narrowed my purchase selections from the book so as to not waste my money. For example, I learned that I despise tuberose, I can’t do it. I also learned that I do love chypre the most. I’ve learned that modern scents usually don’t last long enough (though of course there are exceptions such as Ormonde Jayne; Tolu). I dislike white florals. Gourmands are almost silly but I can’t resist a good citrus scent, or even a sweet powdery scent. I love unisex scents because it feels so freeing and open that way. I’m a woman, but my hip son collects colognes too, so I smell them all. I also learned how much I loooooove musks, and I went on a musk binge for almost six months. The best house is absolutely Guerlain, they are in an entirely different league — go look at a list of their entire line from beginning to end, and there you will see how prolific

Black Jade by Lubin is the most beautiful modern scent in the world to me (it’s the cardamom) but it fast oh too fast!!!

Ouds are indeed another world, and I did start learning about them but didn’t start buying again because I spent so much already on parfum. I had just scratched the surface when I realized it was going to take at least a year.

by Anonymousreply 93November 21, 2022 5:00 AM

R93 please expand on Black Jade! Have always been interested in Marie Antoinette and have always wanted to try it...

by Anonymousreply 94November 21, 2022 2:56 PM

Recently watched Diana Rigg interview on YouTube. When she was working on stage with Laurence Olivier, she noticed that he had an enormous bottle of Mitsouko in his dressing room.

by Anonymousreply 95November 21, 2022 3:57 PM

How do I describe it??? It is super lovely, very unique, I recommend it even without the staying power that I crave. It is light, sweet, sexy, I believe it’s technically a chypre. At some point I will get another bottle and then force myself to not wear it as much. It opens with cardamom, and like a heroin junkie, I have been chasing that opening note every since lolol. It is my very favorite opening on a perfume. The dry down is incredible as well!!! Alas, it is tooooooo short!!!!

Honestly, it is a fail for the longevity, but in every other way, it is a work of art, so it still deserves to be in your collection. R94, you need to go buy it. Momma says so.

by Anonymousreply 96November 21, 2022 4:36 PM

Spray Avon Firefox onto your pubic hair and wait for magic to ensue

by Anonymousreply 97November 21, 2022 5:09 PM

FOXFIRE, you fat whore!

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by Anonymousreply 98November 21, 2022 7:02 PM

R98 my saffick heart....

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by Anonymousreply 99November 21, 2022 8:35 PM

R98 calm your tits

by Anonymousreply 100November 21, 2022 10:51 PM

More on Black Jade….

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by Anonymousreply 101November 21, 2022 11:36 PM

R101 per the reivews does BJ really resemble Lagerfeld Classic? And cherry coke? Am not looking to smell like Vince Neil c.1987 lol

by Anonymousreply 102November 22, 2022 3:25 PM

Looking for a festive perfume to wear when the rellys come over. What was Sandra Dee wearing when she got slapped into the trimmed tree?

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by Anonymousreply 103November 22, 2022 4:01 PM

I’m not sure because I don’t have a sample of the Lagerfeld. BJ is like a Michaelangelo that is incomplete. Worth smelling for sure, but the longevity issues are soooo disappointing.

by Anonymousreply 104November 22, 2022 4:56 PM

I like “Fat Whore” worn by Kirstie Alley. It smells of fried chicken, biscuits and lard.

by Anonymousreply 105November 22, 2022 5:50 PM

^ I like Fat Whore For Men by Donald Trump

by Anonymousreply 106November 22, 2022 7:06 PM

Interesting thread, OP.

I worked in the quality lab for a large company that manufactures perfumes (not a perfumer- just a lab rat running the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer to make sure the chemistry was right on the raw materials - each separate ingredient that goes into making the fragrance).

The reason stuff today doesn’t smell like it did is because money. That’s the bottom line. The perfume houses realized they could use “fillers” in the oils that did not have a scent but yet made the original oil stretch farther, thus saving you $.

Rose oil is by far the most expensive (back when I was in the lab) because it takes almost a literal to if petals to make a kilo of oil. Now, if you could take that kilo and make it into THREE kilos for a minimal price adding no more rose petals, you’d do it and that’s what the suppliers did.

Also, whenever there’s a market change, the suppliers have to make adjustments. Many years ago, it was hard to get patchouli because of flooding in Pakistan. If weather/war/disasters hit certain areas, it can wipe out that year’s crop but the whores still want their perfumes! So you source elsewhere or find a substitute.

If the substitute is cheaper and not enough people bitch, the supplier won’t go back to the original.

Now, especially, many scents can be duplicated with “manufactured” chemicals. But a good nose can always smell the difference.

Sorry to go on. I really enjoyed working in that lab. So fascinating

by Anonymousreply 107November 22, 2022 7:43 PM


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by Anonymousreply 108November 22, 2022 7:46 PM

Omg, r107, where have you been all my life? I always suspected something like that as well as the other reasons already stated, but I did not have enough insider knowledge to confirm anything. So, with your expertise, are you familiar with any houses that have higher standards of quality control? Personally, I believe *all* the brands that we see in Neiman, Saks, Ulta, Sephora, they are all doing what you described, using watered down, synthetic oils.

I believe the only places who are committed to the art of parfum are the small, indie houses, such as Rogue. Blackbird is another. There are quite a few on Etsy. I know there is a famous shop somewhere in Colorado where the owner (a woman) is a purist too.

I am not a purist in the sense that if I enjoy it, I don’t care how it’s made. But the only newer house that has impressed me is Frederic Malle. There is also a company in France, I think it’s called Nose, they have high standards too.

by Anonymousreply 109November 22, 2022 9:47 PM

The elegant aroma of White Shoulders would mingle with my broiled sirloin at The Brown Derby.

by Anonymousreply 110November 22, 2022 10:25 PM

You are absolutely right r109. Most of the big perfume houses buy from the same suppliers. It’s a very incestuous business with sometimes thin margins. There are only so many patchouli suppliers in the world that can grow and harvest enough for large amounts of oils.

Since I wasn’t very familiar with who our finished blends were sold TO, I honestly can’t say who uses what. I just knew who the good suppliers are/were for the raw ingredients. Those got blended with other materials to make scents.

Some of the small boutique shops seem to have decent fragrances, but they can cost. Most good things do.

Of course, you can make your OWN oil if you grow enough of whatever scent you want and distill it (distillation is legal for us as long as it’s scents and not alcohol). I tried it once using a makeshift stovetop set up once of the perfumers told me to try. I got nothing but a mess.

Also, FYI, many “flavor” ingredients are used in perfumes as well. The flavor “perfumers” never taste the actual concentrated flavor as it would fry their buds. They just smell it to make sure it’s up to grade.

If you’re interested in how to make your own scents, I can tell you how I’ve done it in the past once I get home from work. One of my favorite “not recent” perfumes is Chloe.

by Anonymousreply 111November 23, 2022 2:06 AM

There's not much Penhaligon's on OP's list. Given the house was a favourite of her late Majesty QEII, you'd think more stars might have followed suit.

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by Anonymousreply 112November 23, 2022 8:46 PM

Not really "old Hollywood" but Kate Moss and Princess Diana both liked Penhaligon's Bluebell

by Anonymousreply 113November 23, 2022 9:52 PM

To make your own scent infusions you will need rape seed oil (yes, that’s what it’s called) or extra light TASTING olive oil and the flower/petal/leaf/rind of the scent you want.

I make my own lavender and lily lotions that I gift out at the holidays. Two separate scents.

You will need at least two new or very clean pint mason jars with lids, a strainer/screen or cheesecloth to strain out the oil from the dreck, rape seed oil or extra light TASTING olive oil and some vitamin E gelcaps. Lastly, you will need the petal, leaf, flower, bark or seed of whatever scent you’re trying to infuse into the oil.

Be aware that the more delicate the scent, the greater quantity of the “thing” you will need to get the infusion. The quantity of lavender you need to get a nice scent is astronomically less the amount of rose petals you need for a rose scent (and it depends on the rose variety as well).

Take the (for example) lavender and bruise it using a mortar and pestle or a hammer. This will help release the lavender oils and scent. Put the bruised lavender in a new or very clean glass mason jar. Add just enough oil to cover the lavender. Every day for 5 days shake it up and then let it sit.

After 5 days, open the jar and smell it. Is it strong enough for you? If no, strain the oil out using the screen/strainer or multi layered cheesecloth into the other clean mason jar and throw away that used lavender.

Now crush or bruise more lavender and put it back in that same oil. Repeat the shake/sit until the scent is strong enough for you.

If the scent is too strong, add a bit more oil, remove the lavender and let that jar sit for a day or two.

Once you have the scent strength you want, you need to preserve it with the vitamin E. Pierce two of the gel caps using a pin and squeeze the gel into your infusion. Shake it up and use it within 6 months.

Now you CAN add any oils you’ve purchased to your infusion to mix a scent you like. Or make multiple infusions and mix them. Just remember that you’re working with natural, unpreserved ingredients so don’t let them lie around or they will mold.

I’ve used mainly dried lavender and herbs except for the lily and rose infusions I’ve attempted. Those were fresh petals.

Oh, I should say that the flower smell comes from the petals of the flowers. You don’t want any of the pollen center in your infusion. Same goes for lavender. Just the buds or flowers. None of the green.

If you’re going to try citrus scents, don’t get any of the white stuff in your oil. Use the rind ONLY (grate it) and make sure the rind is clean.

If you want to make a lotion from your scent (or any scent, really), you will need some beeswax. Not a lot. It has to be beeswax as paraffin wax doesn’t have the same properties.

Get a crappy pan (you’re going to melt wax in it so none of your good ones), a crappy spatula and a small glass jar that you can easily get your fingers in (Mason/Ball/Kerr has these cute little wide mouth jelly jars that are perfect for this).

You’re going to blend your oil and wax together in the pan. You can use a double boiler if you want but it’s not necessary. Keep the heat just high enough to gently melt the wax.

The ratio is a little tricky here. Too much wax and it’s hard to get out of the jar easily. Not enough and the stuff won’t set.

Melt about 1/4 as much wax as you have oil in the pan. Add your oil. Once they get blended, set the pan aside to cool for an hour or so. See if your lotion is starting to set. This is more of an art than science. If the lotion isn’t setting, put it back on the heat and add more wax, a little at a time. Repeat until your lotion sets at the consistency you want.

Once it gets to that point, melt it enough to pour out of the pan and into your jars.

You can other ingredients to this wax/oil as well such as shea butter or aloe if you’d like but it will affect the amount of wax you’ll need to get the lotion to set.

Sorry so long. I love messing around creating these things. I’m also a brewer/vintner so I do quite a bit of experimenting with scents and flavors.

by Anonymousreply 114November 24, 2022 6:56 AM

Cow Flop

by Anonymousreply 115November 24, 2022 10:18 PM

I have a question.

My favorite fragrance from back in the day was RED by Geoffery Beene.

Are the scent replica sites worth it? Are there good ones?

I don't mind spending the money but I don't want a $100 dud.

by Anonymousreply 116November 24, 2022 11:26 PM

Mine too R116, and for years haven't been able to find any vintage bottles.

by Anonymousreply 117November 26, 2022 4:30 PM

R107/R111/R114 never be sorry for being interesting! Your thoughts, insights and knowledge are fantastic, and we are all hungry for more!

by Anonymousreply 118November 26, 2022 4:39 PM

Snaaaatch! It’s for the thoroughly modern bitch.

by Anonymousreply 119November 26, 2022 11:49 PM

This is a great thread! One perfume I'm wondering about is Murasaki by Shiseido. I loved it back in the '80s. Then it was d/c'd and at some point turned up again on Amazon. I bought a bottle, but I don't think it smells quite the same and it has absolutely no duration at all.

Shiseido is still very much around, of course, so did they sell the name? Revive an inferior version? I would love to find the real thing again.

by Anonymousreply 120November 27, 2022 1:22 AM

Shit I shouldn’t have thrown out that sealed box of Coco EDP from the late 80’s. My evil dead stepmother used to love Joy, L’Air du Temps, Anais Anais, and Rive Gauche.

by Anonymousreply 121November 27, 2022 4:10 PM

I know very little about perfume. So the good stuff doesn’t “go off”? I know the modern ones lose their smell over time because I’ve thrown some out due to the degradation in smell.

by Anonymousreply 122November 27, 2022 4:26 PM


by Anonymousreply 123November 27, 2022 4:30 PM

R121 what was it about that bracket of women and Anaïs? It’s foul juice, but so many ladies either recently passed or now in their 70s and 80s still stand by it. Baffling.

by Anonymousreply 124November 27, 2022 5:12 PM

Yes, r122, they do since many of them are chemical replications of natural elements. Sadly.

I’m not sure of the quality but Vermont Country Store offers some older fragrances this time of year. Evening in Paris, Joy and a few others I can’t remember. Also men’s fragrances like English Leather and Bay Rum.

by Anonymousreply 125November 27, 2022 8:25 PM

R122, people speculate about why some scents last and others don’t, but I don’t think much is really known. One thing to remember is that you physically change over time—your body chemistry changes, as does your ability to discern different scents. Nothing is ever as great as it was thirty years . . .

by Anonymousreply 126November 27, 2022 9:04 PM

R122, all scents degrade over time. One thing you can do to delay this process is to keep the bottles in a dry cool place away from sunlight. I keep my scents inside a cabinet in my closet in their original boxes. A bathroom countertop or a dressing table is not optimal as this exposes the bottles to light, heat, and humidity.

by Anonymousreply 127November 28, 2022 10:41 AM

[quote][R121] what was it about that bracket of women and Anaïs? It’s foul juice, but so many ladies either recently passed or now in their 70s and 80s still stand by it. Baffling.

I love vintages but I've never smelled AA. The bottle is tacky and cheap-looking, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's a scrubber.

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by Anonymousreply 128November 28, 2022 10:58 AM

Not old Hollywood; however, certain political ladies dabbed on the finest scents. Tabu the ‘Forbidden’ perfume has long been G Lady’s favorite.

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by Anonymousreply 129November 28, 2022 3:41 PM

[quote]Mary Pickford's favorite, Crepe de Chine, was hugely popular in the 1920s and then seems to have vanished.

Crepe de Chine, by François Millot, was in production from 1925 until around 1980. It's a beautiful classic chypre that smells similar to Coty Chypre (the OG of the genre). It was created by Millot's grandson, Jean Desprez (of Bal à Versailles fame). It's easy to find on eBay and not ridiculously expensive.

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by Anonymousreply 130November 28, 2022 4:45 PM

Is there a vintage clove that doesn’t smell...well, vintage?

Am a cloveoholic, but when I use oils or perfumes or products with the note, people around complain of mustiness or ‘old lady’ (and I’m not nearly an old lady yet, so it’s definitely not my natural odour).

Clove isn’t a common leading note in new modern perfumes, though, especially for women, and most of the time it’s only included as a festive, gothic or storybook/costume note. It feels like a youthful sexy wearable one for our times doesn’t exist...

by Anonymousreply 131December 1, 2022 1:45 PM


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by Anonymousreply 132December 2, 2022 1:50 PM

Because of this thread, I purchased the sampler assortment from Rogue, and I have to say, they're all really lovely fragrances- I can see wearing all of them (I'm a woman). I also purchased the sampler from Blackbird, which is yet to be received.

by Anonymousreply 133December 3, 2022 8:43 PM

r133, I own several Rogue fragrances, including Flora & Fauna (my favorite, but discontinued--thank God I bought two bottles), Chypre-Siam (wonderful, but best to wear outdoors or only in your own house because other people find it overpowering), and Tabac Vert. I would love to buy a bottle of Vetifleur, too.

by Anonymousreply 134December 3, 2022 9:00 PM

Some of you know your perfumes very well.

by Anonymousreply 135December 4, 2022 1:39 AM
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