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Monday, October 29, 2007

In Which I Am Feeling Goth

It happens once in a while - and it happens especially often in autumn, when the weather finally turns chilly and weepy, and it becomes blindingly obvious that summer is indeed over despite irrational hopes to the contrary - that I turn the proverbial street corner and the feeling of absurdity strikes me in the face. Or, to use plain language, that out of nowhere, for no particularly rational reason, I feel dispirited, desolate, alone in the world... When it does seem quite true that "every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance" (Sartre) and that "life is dark, life is sad, all is not well, and most people you meet will try to hurt you." (Voltaire) I call times like that my Goth days. The allegedly dramatic Russian blood might be to blame here, but on days like that I do tend to wallow in my misery. On an aggressively melancholy day like today, a typical comfort scent just wouldn't do. The very idea of wearing a comfy fluffernutter like White Aoud or Barbara Bui or Stoned or a smugly tranquil aroma like Miyako or Bois d'Argent or Eau Noire seems offensive. I feel tragic and I will not be comforted, darn it! On moments like these, I need a scent that doesn't attempt to hearten or soothe me but which will mirror my mood and be as somber and sulky as I am. The following are my Goth Perfumes.

The one fragrance to which I most often turn during the dark times of the soul is my Goth Perfume Extraordinaire, Messe de Minuit. To use one of my favorite Douglas Adams quotations, Messe de Minuit's capacity for happiness, "you could fit into a matchbox without taking out the matches first"... and I love that.

Bvlgari Black is always up for a bit of wallowing. Fluffy as it as (and as I said, fluffy is a no-no during Goth Days), its rubbery leather has the dark moodiness about it that is just perfect when one is feeling low. Wearing it is like being hugged by someone who loves you very much but who won't tell you the clichés about how everything passes and how time heals ...because he too knows that it doesn't.

The Montale line offers a practically limitless choice of scents for Goth mood. White Aoud is a little too snuggly to be a wallowing companion, but most of other aouds suit my tenebrous mood to a t. The stormy depths of Black Oud, the sepulchral incense of Aoud Damascus or the forceful, dark sensuality of the leather note in Royal Oud, which I call Farenheit on Steroids, makes them perfect to wear with an all-black outfit and no smile. As far as non-aouds are concerned, a fellow perfume lover once called Greyland a fragrance Dementors would wear and, by gosh, she was right!

Speaking of Fahrenheit, for reasons not entirely related to the composition itself, this striking leathery-floral blend is my trusted wallowing companion. In general, when I am being moody, I actively crave masculine scents, among them also M7, Gucci Homme, Czech & Speake No 88 and Egoiste. Perhaps they make me feel as if by wearing them I add an extra layer to my armor against the world.

And finally, "dark rose" scents like the wonderfully nocturnal and rich chypres, L'Arte di Gucci and Rose de Nuit, like the impassioned Aoud Roses Petals and Aoud Flowers (see Montale), and, above all, like Malle's austere, gloriously grave Une Rose, satisfy my need for drama and turn Goth into Goth-chic.

Are there any special scents that you tend to wear when you are feeling blue? Please share!

Image source, vogue.de.

48 Comments:

Blogger tmp00 said...

I think that when I am in one of those lethally black moods I reach for the leathers- Bandit is one that's good. It's an olfactory "don't fu$% with me Fellas!"

10:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Oh no! How could I forget Bandit! *sulks*

10:23 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

MdM is truly the perfect Goth day scent. Love your other choices as well. On days like that, I also tend to reach for SIP's Black Rosette, CdG's Avignon, Regina Harris' first scent, Cialenga, Opone, SL Encens et Lavande, Yatagan, Kolnisch Juchten, Scandal, MdO's Nuit Noire and NK Incense, which has such a wonderful "Don't ef w/ me" vibe.

10:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

L,
All such perfect choices!! Except that Avignon, for me, on a day like that, is a little too much "on the side of the angels", so to say :-) Whereas Messe is not :-)

10:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On such days I like Chanel's Cuir de Russie or Serge Lutens Borneo 1834. Nice dark, sturdy scents that don't try to cheer me up. I just tried Serge Luten's Rose de Nuit for the first time this week - its' such a gorgeous, deep rose that it would cheer me up! Great post - as usual you have given me more perfumes to try.
Kim

11:28 PM EDT  
Anonymous Veronica said...

Funny thing is, I don't want to be "cheered up". Oh no, when that black cloud comes over me, I want to get the full effect and enjoy my misery!:) Tabac Blond , En Avion and AT Orris seem to be great companions in such times.
Here's to misery, Marina!

12:40 AM EDT  
Blogger The non-blonde said...

I've been in the same toxic mood all weekend. I blame the weather, the hormones and the upcoming birthday. Made me feel like Little Miss Havisham. I tried to cheer myself up and be more amiable by wearing Louve. Didn't do squat. What I should have worn: Either one of Regina Harris' oils, Zagorsk, Gris Clair or the gothest of them all: The Heart is Deceitful. That one actually sneers.

1:28 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Must be in the planets... I've been in that black mood all week-end too. Tried Ormonde Woman for fluffy, powdery comfort with a dark edge (hey, *hemlock*, surely the world's cheeriest plant!). But Bulgari Black or Cuir de Russie sound like they might afford more protection.

2:34 AM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

Oh! Why not CB I Hate Perfume's Burning Leaves or Wild Hunt? Something stark, bleak, austere, nihilistic?

I tend to smell like Mygrastick when I am in a black mood, so I can't really say that I indulge myself much with anything gorgeously appropriate... but when I am in a foul mood I tend to "gird my loins" with go-getter, no-touchy fragrances I would more properly wear to a business meeting.

Has anyone here tried Crazylibellule and the Poppies' Encens Mystic? I HATE it on my skin (the myrrh hates me) but it smells as much like a funeral as I can imagine anything smelling: the heavy flowers, the sour wood, the incense and tatty carpet. It might be the darkest thing I've ever put on, but I'm not sure that makes it gothic.

4:08 AM EDT  
Anonymous Leopoldo said...

I'm struck by the absurdity of existence on most days: perhaps my soul is really a Russian/French amalgam. Most of the time this can make me laugh (along the lines of, 'If nothing has any meaning, why worry about any of it?', mixed in with a little Dawkins "Weaving the Rainbow"-think - the chances of me even existing are several billion to one. I might as well love the fact that I'm here, a brief moment of light in the darkness...), but I've had proper dark moments of the soul that no perfume has interest in...

So M - spray on some Pink Sugar and get fluffy!

(I'm just kidding in the last part; there's a comfort to despair within parameters...)

4:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Kim,
Thank you!
Borneo is definitely perfect for such mood!

6:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Veronica,
Ah! You understand me! :-)
Tabac Blond- definitely!

6:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Gaia,
I'd love a scent that sneers. I actually have a sample of this somewhere, but, I think, under a different name...

6:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Denyse,
I wonder why that is then...Mercury being retrograde?
Actually, hemlock sounds perfect.

6:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Linda,
It didn't have the same effect on me, when I tried Encens Mystic, but I totally see why you'd smell what you smell there. Now I will too :-)

6:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Lee,
Pink Sugar might actually do the trick..in a perverse, let-me-truly-suffer sort of way :-)

6:45 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I pick most of Elle's list (with the interesting exception of Avignon, I agree with you!) I'd add Mitsouko in the parfum which smells beautiful when I am happy, but if I am angry/blue sends out rays of death all around me. Which cheers me right up. And dark roses are perversely gloomy, aren't they? Nothing like a little Rose Poivree or Rose de Nuit!

6:54 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

March,
Perfume that sends death rays is even better than the one that sneers. Shame that Mitsouko and I don't get along at all.

7:05 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Well, I love your choices (and the other ones here). I was going to add Mitsouko, until I just saw that March did. Lately it's been a lot of Tabac Blond for me. But I have to say that these are the scents I find compforting all the time, regardless of mood--fluffernutters only rarely do it fo me.:)

7:57 AM EDT  
Anonymous Divalano said...

Ah, winter sadness. Right now I have a very sick friend & while I'm not a misery today, I can see myself needing to go there. Today I'm all Tea For Two which we won't speak of, it being cuddly.
I can't wear Messe or Avignon or Greyland, gave them all to a friend with a more austere nose than mine. When I close my eyes & think powerful brooding I think Cuir D'Arabie layered with CB Burning Leaves.

7:59 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

OMG. Divalano's suggestion of Cuir d'Arabie w/ Burning Leaves is sheer genius. I just tried it and am in total swoon mode.

9:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Black Aoud, yes! It's the perfect Goth scent. Great for those days when you have to go out and fight the crowds (even something as mundane as grocery shopping on the weekend, when everyone and their mother is in the store), because wearing it makes you feel like you've got an edge and can clear some space for yourself.

Pascal Morabito Or Black is another Goth scent for me, but more introspective, less b*tchy than Black Aoud.

9:39 AM EDT  
Anonymous Amy M. said...

I've been lurking for ages, but loved this post and had to comment. While most DSH scents are kind of cozy to me,DSH Echo is an excellent goth scent to me. It smells like the autumn woods, but you can catch the hint of decay from the dead trees under that sharp, woody chypre.

10:25 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

When I'm feeling blue, Ormonde Jayne Frangipani or Osmanthus. Or if I want to wallow in it, Black Aoud is the perfect choice.

11:42 AM EDT  
Anonymous dinazad said...

Black Cashmere has that "noir" quality for me. Black Aoud (if I had more than a sample of it) and Tabac Blond would do as well. And the dark cep-and-orange of La Myrrhe. But Messe de Minuit? Really? I find that a friendly, sunny, uplifting scent, rather like cool little churches amid the sweltering fragrant heat (think myrtle, lavender and wild thyme) of Southern Europe in August...... I must have a really weird chemistry....

12:20 PM EDT  
Anonymous Existentialist said...

For the existential moment... L'heure bleu.

1:32 PM EDT  
Anonymous Andy said...

Loved the Sartre citation and have to read his "Les mouches" again...Yes, these days are more less now. I am with you there. I do not wear anything when the days are dark-grey, I rather go around black...

1:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous evilpeony said...

my black mood shields: magie noire (don't p$%^& with me, sister or i'll engulf you with feral sillage) fleur de cassie, jicky parfum (for that extra civet punch), narcisse noir parfum, en avion parfum

3:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous sweetlife said...

Well, there is stalking through the city and wishing for(if not actually smoking)a cigarette misery and then there is sitting at home in the corner staring out the window misery.

For the stalking sort, yes, yes, yes to the Montale Oud's. For a particularly lethal combination (happened on by, um, accident, after drinking alone) try Black Cashmere + Oud Queen Rose. That'll clear 'em for twenty paces.

For the sitting-and-staring sort I need incense. I regret to say I have no Etro MdM yet, but I do have a tiny bottle of Untitled #3 by Sara Horowitz (a Luckyscent commission)which, while just the teensiest bit uplifting (bergamot and coriander in the opening) demands absolutely nothing from me and makes my sulks feel like the price paid for nascent genius...

*Love* the line "wearing black and no smile" by the way.

4:17 PM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

Great choices!

When I need to be comforted, Rochas Absolu will do just fine. It's like wearing cashmere - very sexy cashmere.

When I need a shield I bring out my precioussss - Amouage Ubar, which turns me into something fiercer than I really am. Caron Parfum Sacre will do that as well, but it's a little softer.

When I want to give in and just wallow in it, something tender and nostalgic such as Patou Vacances is perfect, especially if I am going to be alone. I don't know what I will do when the last bottle is gone - what will console me then?

4:27 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS - love the colour change on the chair!
Kim

6:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Judith,
But do you have a couple of fluffernutters you sometimes crave? Right now I have a hankering for Flowerbomb, all of a sudden :-)

8:41 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Divalano,
I don't think T42 is cuddly...but neither it is Goth enough :-) The combination of Oud Cuir and Burning Leaves is, as Elle says below, genius!!

8:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

L,
I only wish I had both at my disposal right now!

8:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Suzanne,
Morabito's masculine, gosh, is it Or Noir? ...is also wonderful for such moods.

8:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Amy,
Welcome!
I love the way you describe Echo!!

8:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Robin,
It seems Black Aoud is everyone's Top 1 Wallowing Scent :-)

8:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Dinazad,
friendly, sunny, uplifting...MESSE DE MINUIT? :-) I would love to smell it with your nose, so to say :-)

8:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Existentialist,
Perfect!!

8:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Andy,
There is much I'd love to re-read...so little time :-(

8:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Evilpeony,
Perfect choices, all of them!

8:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

A,
For the sitting-and-staring sort of mood there is just nothing, nothing like Messe de Minuit! You have got to have it! :-)

8:48 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

D,
You know, I haven't thought of it, but yes, Vacances, that heartbreak in a bottle, is, although not at all "Goth", just perfect for a day like that!

8:49 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Kim,
Thank you!

8:49 PM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

I'm right there with Elle on the Avignon, for some reason. To me, it is much more Gothic than MdM. MdM, well, it's embarrassing, but I always think it's a little bit *funny*. I mean, deliberately funny. It's kind of campy in its refusal to cheer up.

9:54 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Erin,
"kind of campy in its refusal to cheer up" sounds just like me :-)

10:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Amarie said...

Wow....I have just spent the last few hours with my mum, it was time for the last hours to be just that for her old dog... I have come home and reached for the last of the single malt in a large glasss and I think ...thank-you for all the great suggestions... Black Aoud....

4:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Amarie,
I am so sorry!

6:29 AM EDT  

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