The Comfortable

This is the last in a series about the remark of Olivier Creed that every woman needs a perfume to make her fell brave, to make her feel beautiful, and to make her feel comfortable.  Today’s topic is the comfort perfume.

This is absolutely a matter of instinct.  Only you know what lowers your blood pressure.  It may smell of anything.  You may find the scent of tuna fish salad relaxing.  Whatever it is, if it works for you go ahead and buy it and use it.  There are no rights and wrongs here.  This is a case in which the opinion of scent critics is as pointless as anything can possibly be so if Luca or Tanya hated it – who cares?  It simply has to make you comfortable.  No one else even needs to smell it and if they do – so what?  An individual’s comfort perfume is their castle.

Myself, I like a number of perfumes that might normally be outlawed here.


Spiritueuse Double Vanille – Sexy vanilla
Shalimar Parfum  Initial – Dior Homme and Shalimar had a baby – this is it
Les Nereides Opoponax – Powder heaven
Jean Patou Normandie  – Ultra plush amber (if you can find it)
Caron Pour un Homme – Lavender and vanilla
Lubin Idole- Rum and wood,  like a good Tikki bar
Parfumerie Generale Cadjmere – A fuzzy sweater of vanilla and wood
Private Collection Amber Ylang – Heavy and somnolent on the amber
Solange Azagury Partridge Stoned – Vanilla patchouli party
Parfums de Nicolai Maharajah- Heavy lavender then heavenly amber cinnamon


Houbigant’s Quelques Fleurs – One easygoing floral
Farmaccia SSA nnuziata Fiore di Riso – Rice and white flowers
Parfums de Nicolai Cologne Sologne – A sleepy orange blossom
Ineke Ruhland Balmy Days and Sundays – Green grassy floral
Kenzo Le Parfum – A vanilla poppy flower
Revlon Le Jardin – Old bottles are still flowery and pretty
Lanvin Arpege – This is less starchy than No5
Berdoues Violettes de Toulouse – Violets, pure and simple
Caron Fleur de Rocaille – Notice I wrote “fleur” in the singular; “fleurs” is different Fleur without an s is a sort of caramellic bouquet


Etat Libre d’Orange  Like This – Pumpkin Pie
Coeur de Vanille, DSH – Cinnamon buns on Sunday morning
Que Sais Je? Jean Patou- Apricot over nut pralines and unexpectedly… leather
Oriental Brulant Guerlain- Yeah yeah it’s an oriental, but really it’s another Guerlain Vanilla
Love Coco, Honore des Pres- Thai take out over vanilla
Hermes Elixir des Merveilles- Orange Milano cookies
Farmacia SS Annunziata Chia- Every form of sucrose from caramel to rum
Hilde Soliani CioccoSpezzissimo- Chocolate panforte over incense
Hanae Mori original- Vanilla and berries
Libellule and the Poppies Poule de Luxe Lemon Pie Crazy- Lemon meringue pie

Please note I’m not recommending chypres or citrus scents because I’m guessing that these smell too efficient for the average person in search of relaxation.  Still, if you’ve managed to re-purpose one of them, then good for you!

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10 Responses to The Comfortable

  1. Mals86 says:

    Vanilla is way up there for comfort, isn’t it? And gourmands. I like Hanae Mori myself, and even more do I like that mall cheapie almost-twin, Bath & Body Works Dark Kiss. Shalimar Light and vintage Emeraude (*only* the vintage, please). I also really love Smell Bent One – old books and spices, yum!

    And soft florals, too. Petite Cherie, PdR Rose d’Ete, any of the YSL Paris Printemps editions (I have a bottle of Pont des Amours). DSH La Fete Nouvelle, which is a summer-meadow thing, all green/lavender/hay underscored with a sweet musk.

    Speaking of musk, I also find Jovan Musk for Her very relaxing, but I suspect that’s mostly due to personal associations: my mother has worn it for years. Last time I wore it I was surprised to find such a pretty, unscreechy lily of the valley in the mix.

    • Blacknall Allen says:

      Easing self into a warm vanilla bath, oh yeah! Well thumbs up on the Hanae Mori for sure, I wear that in summer, and also double thumbs up on vintage Emeraude. That stuff is so good, and I agree that it’s better than Shalimar.
      Florals are a tricky business on my skin, I used to sour every one, literally like milk gone off, and so wore chypres, now I do better with florals, having my daughter changed my chemistry somehow. Did you notice that after your children were born? Anyway now for relaxation I do gardenia or rose florals. I should have mentioned Serge’s Rose de Nuit, very chill.

      • Mals86 says:

        I don’t know that I’d have noticed a change in body chemistry before/after pregnancy… I always liked perfume, always at least two on my dresser from the time I was maybe (oh gosh) six years old? Avon Sweet Honesty, of course, a gift from my Avon-obsessed grandmother, which I stopped wearing when someone else (either one of my aunts or my other grandmother, can’t remember who) gave me KL Chloe as a 12th birthday present. My mother bought me a bottle of Prince Matchabelli Cachet the following year. Seems like I’ve always liked white florals and floral chypres and soft/floral orientals like Emeraude, have always really despised the big balsamy orientals – to this day, Obsession makes my gorge rise. Nothing’s really changed in that regard, but due to a period of newlywed/new-parent penuriousness, I spent about a decade not wearing perfume so I don’t know if my skin really changed or not. Long story here, obviously, too long to tell in comments.

        • Blacknall Allen says:

          The fallow decade with no perfume due to newly married status happened to me as well. No perfume for several years, although I (of course) managed to read about it as much as I could, and there wasn’t much written about perfume before about 2000 or so.
          Then I bought and wore Chant d’Aromes for a long time, years and years, a floral chypre really, similar to Ma Griffe if you’ve ever smelled that, and then along came my daughter and wham! chypres smelled like BO on ME.
          I must say I envy your consistency in perfume families. At least you know what suits you. Me, I experiment and in the end always come back to something with some lemon in it.

  2. Dionne says:

    I’m another person who has difficulty wearing florals due to sourness/screechiness, and having a whole passel of kids didn’t seem to change that, unfortunately. On the other hand, my skin chemistry rocks the spices and woods, so it all evens out in the end. My comfortable fragrances are Coromandel, Ambre Fétiche, and Tibetan Mountain Temple.

    • Blacknall Allen says:

      Well thank goodness someone else has the same problem with florals that I did. I was Miss Floral Curdler for ages, and it was tragic. So I wore chypres and finally after my daughter was born, I could (thank heavens) wear florals. Even now though, like you, I do better with spices and woods. Love Coromandel, like AF, and have only tried TMT once. What luck do you have with spicy aldehydes like Baghari?

      • Dionne says:

        I haven’t tried Baghari yet, or very many aldehydes, but Chanel No.22 did fine on me, and I really like Champagne de Bois by Sonoma Scent Studio, which I suppose could be characterized as a spicy aldehyde.

        • Blacknall Allen says:

          Champagne de Bois is kind of similar to Baghari, but Baghari is like oranges and what…cinnamon or cardamom maybe, underlined with the aldehyde /floral thing those Chanels customarily have going on. Does that make sense?

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