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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Perfumes for Imaginary Encounters

Mr. Colombina came up with a little game, in which he randomly names famous people and I name a perfume that I would wear if I were to meet them. Fun for me, most probably boring for him, but he undoubtedly does it to earn brownie points. He often has great suggestions, but as he doesn't know any many actual perfumes, his suggestions are of general -and not seldom politically incorrect- character. So here is what we've got so far...

Queen Elizabeth II. Mr Colombina thinks that the perfume should be conservative, more regal than royal [the line I am totally stealing], and should smell of exotic things from the colonies and... the corgis. I think that the perfume should be exceptionally refined, ladylike and comforting for me, because let's face it, if I were to meet the Queen, I would be a nervous wreck. Therefore my perfume would be Chanel No 22, the one perfume that combines astounding elegance with an unexpected comforting feel, probably due to the presence of incense.

Dalai Lama. One of my favorite quotes of his (along with "the philosophy is kindness") is this: "I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy.(...) Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace." If there is one thing that I am in need of, it is inner peace. To meet Dalai Lama I would wear a perfume that gives me that feeling of calm and harmony, Christian Dior Eau Noire.

Gianni Versace. We both agree that the scent should be sexy and a little vulgar, impressive because of its name more so than of its quality. I am not a fan of Versace Blonde, but it does fulfill all the criteria, and that is what I'd wear.

Catherine the Great. Mr Colombina's suggestion: "Something French, powder-based, with equine overtones..." I, however, think that the choice is obvious - Parfum d'Empire Ambre Russe with its notes of excess: leather, vodka, tea, champagne, tobacco, incense, amber...could it BE any more perfect?

Hugh Hefner. Mr Colombina's suggestions are not fit to be published on a family blog. I think I'd opt for a perfume that, whenever I wear it, magically inflates my bosom, gives me luxurious hair extensions and a perfect pout, in other words, Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose, the ultimate pinup scent.

Van Gogh. For Mr Colombina, "it would be something you'd wear behind your ear. Sunflowers. Cannabis." I am going to disregard that and honor the vivid works of the painter by wearing Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, a scent that, in the best traditions of expressionism, "distorts reality for an emotional effect" by infusing the scents with the killer dose of tuberose.

Marlene Dietrich. Mr Colombina had great suggestions in this case, and I for once would follow them: "Something slightly masculine, with an air of unattainability, a hint of tobacco and freshly oiled jackboots". And that could only means one fragrance - Caron Tabac Blond.

Lady Godiva. Mr Colombina says: "A perfume you can buy in New York on a tax free day. Chocolate." I say, Bliss Blass Nude. 'Nuff said.

Adam. The perfume should have "an air of utopia", says Mr Colombina. "A hint of temptation, novelty. It should be a perfumer's ultimate creation [good one!]". To that I would add that the scent should be extremely sensuous, so as to make the process of seducing the first male easier. And that brings us to - what else!- Frederic Malle Muss Ravageur.

Mary Magdalene. The perfume can only be Caron Parfum Sacre. Roses and myrrh, sacred feminine...

Jean Paul Sartre. "Something frequently mispronounced. Gauloises. Slightly nauseating". His description makes me think of Etat Libre d'Orange Jasmin et Cigarette. I, on the other hand, want to focus on a beautiful quote from Nausea, "I exist. It's sweet, so sweet, so slow..." and go with Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger.

Rosie O'Donnell. "Brash and no longer in the view", quips Mr Colombina. As for me... Rosie intimidates me. She is one scary person. So to meet her I would wear something that would make me feel strong and in control, Robert Piguet Bandit.

Caligula. Mr Colombina: "Musk, something with rich oils, olive, an orgy of essences". He also once said that Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan smells like Caligula's sofa, so we'll go with Khan.

Genghis Khan. Mr Colombina wanted to go the obvious route: "Something that says, pillage me! Something barbarian." But to meet Genghis's Khan, I don't necessarily want to smell like him. I would want to smell like nothing else he has ever experienced, I want an ethereal, soft, subtly-dazzling scent of a kind of angelic beauty that he has never before encountered...a scent that would make him place his kingdom at my feet...Antica Farmacista Casablanca.

Casanova. "Potent" is Mr Colombina's requirement for the scent. My line of thinking goes in a different direction...aren't we, perfume lovers, in a sense, Casanovas? We love a perfume, we possess it, we move on to the next object of desire...And so to honor Casanova, I'd wear a scent that I am madly in love with at the moment, Christian Dior Diorama. How long will I love it? Only time will tell.

What would you wear to meet these people? Any more additions to the list? Do share!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea!..will post my additions a little later, but just *had* to pop in and commend Mr. Columbina for comming up with this game...*grin*
... and you...for your very interesting choices

10:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Juvy Santos said...


This is why I love your blog so much--it's so dog-gone FUN. :)

Like Lavanya, I think I shall defer. it's 11:20 pm here so I think I shall sleep on it for a bit and tell you in the morning. But still! this is pretty neet...

11:21 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would it be a strange/odd or uncomfortable encounter if you wore Creed's Angelique Encens, the personal scent of Marlene Dietrich, if you were to meet her? Otherwise, would your chosen Caron TB mesh beautifully with hers?

11:25 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting game! However, my left brain will only allow me to contemplate meeting the living people on your list. I hope not to end up in the same place as Caligula, for example.

Queen Elizabeth: Chanel No. 19 because it's elegant and bright green, and she loves the outdoors, reportedly. (We just watched the film The Queen this weekend and enjoyed it enormously. That scene with the queen blowing her nose with a Hermes scarf nearly gave me a heart attack though.);-)

The Dalai Lama: He's the person I'd be all nervous about meeting. I'd need to wear something beautifully incensy and uplifting. I'd wear Tauer Reverie au Jardin. I love Avignon too, but it's very RC and perhaps not the best for the occasion.

Rosie O'Donnell: Chanel Cuir de Russie to show her what class is.

Hugh Hefner: I wouldn't choose to meet the man, but if it were unavoidable and I had a chance to choose a fragrance beforehand, I'd pick something gentle enough for so elderly a person. Perhaps Crazylibellule Lilas Spiritual.

Clint Eastwood: Diorling. Or Bandit, if heaven forbid, I'd run out. Clint calls out for a leather chypre. :-)

1:31 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an amazing thread, you earned 100 brownie points - and another 100 extra brownie points for mentioning HH the Dalai Lama !

Now, dear Marina, what would you wear when meeting Georgia O'Keeffe ? (I'd probably took Blue Agave & Cacao from Jo Malone, layered with her Nectarine Blossom...)
I think, I'd wear Dzongkha, when meeting HH DL...

4:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

What would you wear to meet Bush Jr.?

6:08 AM EDT  
Blogger rosarita said...

Oh, I do love this blog! Mr. Columbina's ideas for poor Mr. Van Gogh will have me giggling all morning. The cast of characters the two of you came up with is very entertaining in and of itself.

7:39 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fun post!!! I enjoyed it immensely! I find all of your choices appropriate, especially Chanel No.22 for meeting the Queen. To meet the Dalai Lama, I would wear Parfum Sacre (I know you already chose it for Mary Magdalene) because it is comforting and introspective and makes me feel at ease.

What would you wear if you were to meet Shakespeare? I think I would wear something with beauty, class, depth, but is also quite playful and daring and a little animalic. The problem is, I can't think of such a scent this early in the morning. Any ideas?

7:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! I am looking forward to reading about your choices!

7:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, you are very kind! :-)

7:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

See, I was thinkning about AE or Fracas or Bandit, but it sort of weird to wear something she allegedly wore to meet her. On the other hand, she might have worn Tabac Blond too, who know. It seems like "her" kind of scent. And I don't it would clash with her scent and I think she'd love Tabac Blond :-)

7:58 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shakespeare - Rose de Nuit

William Blake - Un Lys

Noah - Bethy Terry Mare

K Hepburn - Habit Rouge

Winston Churchill - Vintage Tabarome

Marina Colombina blogmeistress extraordinaire - Bel Ami (aw shucks)

7:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I loved that movie and the part with the Hermes scarf...yeah...great stuff :-) No 19 is such a great choice!

"Rosie O'Donnell: Chanel Cuir de Russie to show her what class is." Nyah hahaha

7:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh, Georgia O'Keefe! I'd wear a Big Flower :-) Une Fleur de Cassie or Une Rose or Lys Meditteranee :-)

8:00 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

What a wonderful post! I don't think I could match your choices, but here are mine.

Queen E: Chanel Cuir de Russie--to make me feel subtle, classy, and in control. And after all, she does horses, doesn't she? (Well, not like Catherine; you know what I mean):)
Marlene Dietrich: Kolnisch Juchten--I'll see your leather and raise you some.
the Dalai Lama: Maharadjah, one of my most peaceful scents
Sartre--Querelle. Would he mind Genet's scent? I don't know.
Shakespeare--Juliette Has a Gun, Lady Vengeance. Modernizing the bard a bit, both with the scent (an updated rose) and of course the name. Also, I'm really liking this lately:)

8:03 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

PS Marlene WAS reputed to have worn Tabac Blond, as well as the others.

8:05 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Oh, fun! Brilliant list and choices. I can't even imagine any other scent for Greta Garbo than Tabac Blond. Have a complete crush on Nicholas Ghesquiere and if I ever met him I'd wear Orris Noir because it just seems like something he'd like. No, wouldn't go for one of the obvious Balenciagas.
I'd *love* to have met Virginia Woolf and I think she'd have appreciated Iris Silver Mist or Black March (what I imagine Vita would have smelled like much of the time). Oscar Wilde also is on my list of people I'd like to go back in time and meet. For him I'd have worn Tubereuse Criminelle. And, since I obviously have a thing for dead people, I'll also include MK Fisher, who I think would have appreciated a light handed application of Arabie.
Oh, and would like to meet Roja Dove and wear Diorama just to remind him to keep it in stock. Grumble, grumble...

8:05 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Good question. Well, regardless of what I might think of their politics, if I were to meet any president, I'd probably be a nervous wreck, so I'd opt for something soothing. Maybe Eau Noire again.

8:06 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh, don't encourage him! What kind of predictable, stereotypical suggestion is "cannabis"! :-D

8:06 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so glad you enjoyed it! Shakespeare...A-ha! Juliette Has a Gun, he he he :-)

8:07 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...


Aw shucks! :-)
Great choices all of them! I love the idea of a lily scent for Blake. And Mare for Noah :-) Would you believe I have not tried Bel Ami yet. What a shame.

8:09 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Interesting how 4 of us so far opted for a Chanel scent to meet the Queen. (Catherine and horses! :-) You and Mr C are mean, mean! )
Great idea about Kolnisch Juchten for Marlene! I think Querelle is very fit for meeting Sartre. Now I wish I thought of that :-) And we had the same idea for Shakespeare!

8:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

PS. I did not know that, I swear, but I thought that it would indeed fit her very well.

8:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think the old Balenciagas (and even Cristobal) would be totally out of place re: the contemporary spirit of the house. Great choices for Virginia Woolf!
I'd wear Dior-Dior to meet Dove...and try to lobby him to lobby the Dior people to bring the wonderful scent back, ugh.

8:16 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

EXCELLENT choices! Fun for me to read and ponder too (although I'd be suspicious what Mr. Colombina wants to trade his "brownie points" in for...)

Genghis Khan your choice is perfect. I was thinking Yatagan, but your choice is way better.

I dunno about QEII. Don't you think you ought to wear a Penhaligons?

Sartre's is genius.

Can't believe you're not going to trot out your MosBuddhaJewThing for the Dalai Lama ;-)

8:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It's the oldest trade on earth, heh :-)
With QEII I was thinking more about what would make me comfortable. I'd be stressing so much whether I'd be able to pronounce "ma'am" in the right way.
I will let the MoslWhateverThing pass...*shakes finger at march*

8:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Elle, what a pleasure that somebody shares my love to V.W. and V.S.-W. ! (to meet Virginia I'd wear something ethereal, like Nectarine Blossom from Jo Malone, the lightest scent I've ever experienced, lasts approx. 5 min. on me..., or Mecheri's "Hanae" - then for Vita, something big and strange, like Un Fleur de Cassie from F. Malle).
And I'd love to have met Peggy Guggenheim - I'd need to wear something utterly peculiar, like Poivre Piquant or Piment Brulant from L'Artisan.

9:10 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love how you described Cassie- "big and strange"...

9:15 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tabac Blond always makes me think of Marlene. I have a little sample of the EDT, still can't decide if it's *me* or not. Every now & then it smells ... I hesitate to say ... sporty? No. Hmm. Something. Like I should have a sun bonnet & a crisp linen shirt. But other than that, always Marlene.

9:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

A sun bonnet for Tabac Blond? Interesting! I wonder what note it comes from...Linen shirt? I am intrigued!

9:45 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...

Well done Colombina. You give me too much credit. This post was brilliant. I might say one of your best but that would be an injustice to all you review-posts which I know others hang on every word … but as a perfume-ignorant man-person, the review posts are (for me) a bit like cough syrup – sweet, easier to ingest in small doses and may cause drowsiness.

I began to think. The easiest way for you to meet all those people would be for us to host a sophisticated dinner party … you know ... with a candle and everything.

So now … what scent would you adorn your sexy body with if ALL those people were dropping by our place?

Whilst you begin you panic-driven sniffing, trying, deciding, I’ll chill the wine, start cooking my seafood jambalaya … and consider the seating arrangements.

At first, I thought I’d go boy-girl-boy-girl … but Rosie O’Donnell clouds the issue a little … and that is so cliché’ anyway.

OK. You are at one end of the table. I am at the other. That’s the easy part. Starting from your right, we shall seat the 3 main male sex predators (Hef, Casanova and Caligula) with two women in between them. Let them fight it out for the ladies’ attention.

So it goes … Hef, Marlene D., Genghis, Magdalene, Caligula. (“Cal” to his friends).

Then nearer me, I want to listen in on the conversation derived from seating The Lama next to Sartre …

“Yo Lama … pass the butter. And by the way … Inner peace? How can you find inner peace when life begins on the other side of despair?”

(turning to me) … “Excellent dish Mr. Colombina. I must have the recipe. After all …. Shellfish precedes and rules jambalaya!”

Then ‘round the other side of the table, I’d have to seat the Queen next to Versace just for the ‘Diana’ conversations.

On the other side of the Queen we shall sit Catherine the Great as a sort of ‘royal ladies’ group to set the example of elegant table manners.

Then next to Cathy we could sit Rosie and Genghis. One would hope Ms. O'Donnell could pick up some table manners from the royal ladies. Though I suspect if she picked up some examples from Genghis, it would be an improvement.

And finally next to you, shall sit Van Gogh. I hope I placed Vinnie with his good (only) ear towards you or you shall have to shout to get him to pass the corn muffins.

10:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Mr C,
10 brownie points deducted for comparing my reviews to cough syrup. 100 points deducted for not sitting ME next to Sartre. I sit next to Jean-Paul or no dinner party at all! :-)
Seriously though, very funny! "Shellfish precedes and rules jambalaya!" Very true. :-)
Can we have such a party please, pretty please?
I would wear Chanel No 22 to calm the nerves.

10:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Columbina, I know! In btwn the leathertobaccospice(gumdrop, it goes spice gumdrop every so often)amber there's a floral which feels somehow breezier & dare I say, more innocent? or at least, less mysterious? more reserved? like someone who might just starch & iron her ensemble, even though underneath she's wearing a (beige, not black) leather bra. maybe it's the carnation? linden flower? reminds me vaguely of something I smelled in Chasse aux Papillons so maybe it's linden.

oh yes, and Chanel 22 is rather calming. but my friend W also said it smelled of "summer sex" to her. go figure. in any event I adore it, and want to immerse myself in it all summer long.

10:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Maybe it IS linden. I will have to "look" for it next time I wear TB.
I adore No 22 so much too!

10:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

What a great idea an game. I definately have to think mine over. So far for meeting with Elizabeth II I'm thinking Stella Rose Absolut ( a british rose scent, that definately goes in the grand tradition of English soliflores).

11:06 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a pleasurable concept for today's blog.
I might post more later, but for now, I have the ultimate scenario.
What would you wear if you knew you were going to meet the love of your life?
The scent that will be forever engraved beneath their nose as the first aroma they knew you as....
Somethng comfortable and that accents one's individual D&G Light Blue?
Or something wise, almost fateful, Mitsuoko?
Or something over-the-top and happy like Nuit de Jasmine?

11:30 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Oh. My. God. LMAO over Mr. C's comment. Brilliant!

12:14 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Lady Jane,
Brilliant choices for Virginia and Vita! I think Un Fleur de Cassie is almost custom made for Vita.
And how about some Aftelier Cacao for Mary? :-)

12:17 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

what a fun post!

QEII- Eau Sauvage. I want to smell clean and fresh and not too in-your-face.

Dalai Lama- Ensence et Lavande. I want to smell like I'm on a higher plane than I am

Versace- Versace Homme I guess. Just to be polite. I've never smelled it, so I am taking a chance here.

Catherine the Great- you picked the best one.

Hugh Hefner- CB Musk. I want something that reads slyly perverse

Van Gogh- Colony. Pineapple and skank.

Marlene- Did someone already pick Kolnisch Juchten?

Lady Godiva- would Borneo be too obvious?

Adam- MKK. We'll redefine original sin...

Mary Magdalene- AG eau de Camille. So she will forgive me for Adam

Sartre- Joy. Just for the heck of it.

Rosie- Rahat Loukoum. She'd be enthralled by the cherries

Caligula- That horrible puddy tat secretions. I'd bathe in it and tell him this is what he'll smell like if he doesn't straighten up

Genghis Kahn- Yatagan. I'd need something that smells "don't f@#k with me"

Casanova- I think Human Existence so there is no way that he'd want to linger..

12:44 PM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Casanova wrote in his memoirs that he loved strong cheese, sticky macaroni and all the smells of the women he loved... So I'd say go for the skank with Giacomo: MKK, Amoureuse, Nuit Noire... Bring on the indoles and civet!

12:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That is a great choice!!

1:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I like the idea of something fateful...something deep and dramatic. I am thinking Le Maroc Pour Elle.

1:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love your choices! But you are as bad as Mr C. Rosie and Rahat Loukoum! :-)
I am ashamed to say I can't figure out the connection between Lady Godiva and it the chocolate? *hangs head in shame*

1:23 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I just love that guy :-) Well, Diorama has some skank, so I am sticking to my first choice, but MKK would be great too!

1:24 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Great game, great choices! This should be a regular feature :-)

1:27 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! Really? I will have to bug Mr C to come up with lots of interesting famous people then :-)

1:28 PM EDT  

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