Had a Wife but Couldn’t Keep Her

Peter_Peter_PumpkinThe subject of the last line is, of course, Peter Pumpkin Eater.  Pumpkin is not on the short list of things that make me enthusiastic about anything, but according to the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, it’s the combination of pumpkin and   lavender that does it for men.




Uh huh.

You can forget your Shalimar, never mind the Mitsouko, detonate your Flowerbomb without him because it’s pumpkin and lavender that men love and respond to (the smell of cinnamon buns come in second by the way).So, strictly in the interests of science I went and got my sample of Like This (you know the Etat Libre d’Orange perfume featuring pumpkin, spritzed it on a card and wafted it under the hub’s nose?

“Whadaya think?”

(Furrows brow.)  “What is that?”

“You like it?”

“No. Actually, would you please get rid of it?”

So I deep sixed my sample, and informed him it was supposed to be alluring, sexy, provocative.  The Hub looked kind of irritated.

“Well, I can tell you right now, it wasn’t working.”

And that was that.  Was it the lavender? Did that make all the difference?  Should I have drenched the thing in a couple of sprays of Pour un Homme or Blue Grass?

Somehow I doubted that it would have improved matters.  The Hub knows what he likes, and whatever the scientists from Chicago may think, my Hub’s top pick is still Tabac Blond with kudos to Krigler for Established Cognac, and the occasional white floral.

All of which makes me pretty skeptical about other men and their favorite choices.  I am doubtful that many guys find Like This terminally sexy. I even wonder about classic Guerlains, but know some guys at least do go for Carons.  My older brother, a classicist, always likes a woman in Chanel No 5. And my father loved anything with vanilla in it (hence the Arpege which contains a smidgen) my father-in-law upheld the Chicagoans’ findings by enjoying lavender – or so he told me.  My mother-in-law though was a floral aldehydic lady.

So, what does that leave us with? No.5 after all?  Vanilla Fields?  Spiritueuse Double Vanille?  Tabac Blond?

For the record, on the subject of man magnet perfumes, and over the years, here is my list of those that garnered the best comments:

Guerlain’s Nahema
Annick Goutal’s Passion
Van Cleef et Arpels Gardenia Petale
Jean Patou’s Divine Folie
Caron’s Tabac Blond
YSL’s Paris
Parfumerie Generale’s Cadjmere
Serge Luten’s Sarrasins
Rochas’ Femme
Molinard Habanita
Chanel No 5 or Gardenia
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz- Rose Vert

What has worked for you? (Or what not, for that matter.)


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14 thoughts on “Had a Wife but Couldn’t Keep Her

    1. Which just goes to show that there is no accounting for tastes because some people really complain about Opium. I can take your point though, Opium can be pretty hot stuff!

      How about Muscs Kublai Khan? Too much musk? My Hub thinks it’s over the top.

      1. Yeah, I guess it depends on one’s point of view. One could possibly say the same about Angel, yet it is a modern classic. There’s just something about Opium that I liked.

        Re musk, MKK is one of my all time favourites. Not sure I’d class it as sexy though, but I’ve never smelt it on a female’s skin, so don’t know for sure. I think something like Mona di Orio’s musc could be sexy and Kiehls would be a good middle ground?

  1. You’re right the Kiehl’s is an old reliable, and the MKK is more elegant than swishy-if you know what I mean. Also, it’s perfectely transferable between women and men.

    1. A favorite of Denise Beaulieu’s over at Grain de Musc, isn’t it? I’ve heard that Habanita’s a real charmer, and noticed in checking out Denise’s site that Gardenia Petale was on her list too.

      The men folks do like some powder, some musk, and white flowers. But no pumpkin or lavender recommendations yet!

    2. Once when I wore Habanita to work, within 90 minutes I received 2 compliments on how good I smelled (1 man, 1 woman). So far that’s the record for me.

  2. I so rarely get compliments on my perfume, and I’ve never gotten the “oh that’s so sexy” type of compliment from any man. My husband wouldn’t dream of seeing fragrance as sexy. I do know that at least one man I dated now thinks of me whenever he smells a certain fragrance though, and that gives me a bit of satisfaction. 🙂

    1. It’s sort of charming that an ex remembers you by a fragrance!

      Also, I’m surprised the husband doesn’t think of scents as sexy- I think most men do a little. I mean Muscs Kublai Khan has to remind them of something…lessee now, what was that?

  3. Like This seems to have gotten a bemused reaction from many reviewers and testers. They admire Tilda Swinton, and appreciate that her fragrance is not just another celebrity mall juice. But in the end, their reaction is “meh”; it was interesting to smell, but not something they’d wear. Even though it’s not too sweet or what I perceive as gourmand, it smelled more like something I’d like to eat (pumpkin mousse?). P.S. I remember reading about that pumpkin/lavender study years ago. Sounds like we can save money on perfume and sexy lingerie – if you want to turn on the significant other, dust yourself with English Lavender talc and serve him a pumpkin pie!

    1. The study I cited here is indeed an old one, I read about it in a book on perfume, Stamelman’s Perfume, I think, and remembered it too. What a weird notion that pumpkin pie would increase blood flow to a certain part of the male anatomy.

      Like This makes me wonder if the folk at ELD’O had run across the same research findings-they do seem to have an impish sense of humor over there-and simply built a scent around it?

      And on the subject of the ELD’O s generally, they seem just a little too cheaply made to me. The ideas are good, like Jasmine et Cigarette, or Vraie Blonde, but they simply degenerate on my skin to stuff that smells well, inexpensive. What do you think?

      1. I’ve found most don’t work for me, but I do like the LOV of Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby…, and also liked Vierges et Toreros on a recent spritzing. Will have to check their lasting power with another test.

          1. Have a sample of Rien, somewhere and will scare it up-that may be one of the more expensivo efforts from them.
            Their ideas are different, but just wish they’d spring for the occasional high end jasmine or rose.

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