What We Love Versus What We Wear
Ever had insomnia?? Of course you have. And what do you do when you’ve tossed and turned and counted two trillion fuzzy whatevers and it’s no good at all? Well, at 3am yesterday, wracked by insomnia and bored with creeping about the house, I calculated how many millileters of each of my 30+ perfumes I’d used up per month and per year. Confessions of a Perfume Geek, but that’s what I did. I found to my surprise that some of my “great loves” were not on my top 5 usage list. Here’s my Current Top 5:
1. Hanae Mori Magical Moon: 6.7 ml/mo or 80ml/yr
2. Caron Aimez Moi: 6 ml/mo or 72ml/yr
3. YSL Nu: 5ml/mo or 60ml/yr
4. Hermes Eau de Merveilles: 3ml/mo or 36ml/yr
5. L’Artisan Dzongkha: 2.5ml/mo or 30 ml/yr (tied with Niki de St. Phalle and Barbara Bui EdP…)
OK, so incense, spice, anise, iris, and ambergris win hands down. But some of the ones I admire the most, like vintage L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, and Chergui, where are they? Way down the list! I suppose that for the first two, the reason is that I can’t buy any more, their formulations have changed and I don’t particularly like the new ones. As for Chergui, it’s just not suitable most days, though I adore it completely. A more simple composition like Rousse can be worn anytime, though I think Chergui is a more finely realized artistic tour de force. It’s complicated. Kenzo’s Jungles (Tiger and Elephant, I own both) are yummy and just plain weird, but they can be, how can I put it, offensive in tight quarters. And though my DH’s fave is Samsara, I’m only in the mood for it occasionally, because it is intensely floral and has beaucoup sillage. So what does it take to become a Big Usage Monster in my house??
1. Affordability- anything over the price of an SL is just not in my collection except as a decant.
2. Notes I love—if it hasn’t got incense, anise, galbanum, or spice, no way no how….
3. Doesn’t kill the sensitive- this excludes some real masterpieces, but hey, we all work for a living, and it’s usually in close proximity to other humans.
4. It’s not extinct. I’m going to start crying if I go further into this one. If any perfume house honchos ever read this, please don’t mangle a beautiful formula! It’s like spray-painting graffiti on the Mona Lisa and saying, “Hey, it’s more modern this way, isn’t it??” If you must change the formula, at least publish the old one so DIYers like myself can recreate our favorites. And if you must discontinue a beautiful perfume, again, please publish the formula so others can enjoy it. Perfume is an art form.
So for my fellow insomniac perfumistas, I hope my little sojourn into perfume statistics helps you find your way back to Morpheus and sweet dreams!