The Weareverywhere

Some people like to wear flowers from

Some people like to wear flowers from

Going through my perfume cabinet the other day (which I do every spring just as the mole in The Wind in the Willows took up a brush with a sigh and whitewashed) I noticed a gap.  Perfumes come and go with me, so my collection seldom exceeds twenty bottles, and sometimes gaps open up.

Many  of my choices are emphatic perfumes, things which are uncommon for one reason or another.  I suppose this is the pitfall of collectors, they just can’t resist anything out of the ordinary. However that means that I don’t own much which is a no brainer.  The versatile enjoyable scent is notable by its absence on my shelves, which leaves me with a quandary every once in a while.

Chanel as a company understands this concept very well.  They never produce a perfume which is too extreme, too dramatic, or too topical.  The idea is to make classic fragrances easy for consumers to get accustomed to, in fact fragrances that become habitual.

Guy Robert the perfumer who did Amouage Gold and Caleche for Hermes was of the opinion that perfume should be easy to wear.  His work always demonstrated an unobtrusive friendliness to the user, a quality  even celebrated perfumes  didn’t always possess.  As Helene Rochas once observed of Rochas’ most famous perfume, ” Femme is so beautiful, but quite difficult to wear.  It is one of the finest perfumes, like Arpege, but not as commercial.” The company’s response was to release Robert’s ultra skin accommodating Madame Rochas which has never been any more difficult to put on than a satin bathrobe.

You can take any of Guy Robert’s perfumes just about anywhere, and notice, you can also wear them at any time of the year.  We are talking about disparate kinds of scent: green florals (No 19, though Guy’s uncle Henri composed that as in house perfumer at Chanel), aldehydic florals ( Mme. Rochas), and floral chypres (Caleche).  Any family of perfume can give you the weareverywhere scent but most people reference floral aldehydes.  While I agree that they are seasonless, jack of all trade fragrances, I believe that  perfumes from  every other group can fall into this category.  Here is my current list.

Diptyque’s Eau Duelle: Sometimes the juniper-vanilla tug of war here doesn’t suit me but this is a hit with Diptyque and is a very likable perfume that can go anywhere at any season.  Just about perfect. Vanilla oriental .

Some people like wood as an accessory or fragrance... from

Some people like wood as an accessory or fragrance… from

Ormonde Jayne Ta’if: This is the rose that a modern person can wear even if they don’t really like rose, by turns playful and peppery this ends on a woody note that does remind me of Iso E Super but I could be wrong and anyway many folks love that material.  An excellent portable fragrance for the daytime and later. Rose oriental.

Narciso Rodriguez: Narciso Eau Poudree This is one that seems to have made a number of people very happy and is probably the best of the Narciso flankers, but the point here surely is that this can be worn at any time and month without seeming wrong. I think that is not only the sign of an excellent perfume but also  of a signature fragrance. Floral woody musk.

Sylvaine Delacourte Florentina : Mme Delacourte’s perfumes were made with something of the Chanel philosophy of wearability.  They are also good in all sections of the scent, even the flight of each perfume is pretty.  This attention to detail is missing in many main stream fragrances. Florentina lets you wear a L’Heure Bleue inspired  up to date perfume with ease.  It seems like a year round option to me and would be at home in the am and pm.  Simple. Ambery floral/musk.

Parfum d’Empire Osmanthus Interdite: Of all the PdEs I have tried this struck me as being one of the most accommodating and adaptable.  It is wearable anytime from summer (when I wore out my sample) to fall and winter and is fresh enough for spring.  Light enough for work and easy enough to wear out to dinner with that slight reference to food that osmanthus and tobacco have.  This one, of all the recent osmanthus perfumes, deserves a second look.  Fruity Floral.

Chanel thought you should not over do your statement...

Chanel thought you should not over do your statement…

Serge Lutens Arabie:  I have never been such a great fan or Uncle Serge and have found most of his perfumes too opinionated to wear for any length of time.  This one though reminds me of the grandmommy of them all, namely Feminite du Bois, and is similarly something you can wear all the time.  Fruity oriental.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Celadon:  This is a pale green scent that smells pale green and is pleasant without being too  insistent on the leaf notes (which can make greens temperamental) This one is wearable in almost any situation and is just about perfect for the South with- oddly- that textural quality in the scent that made Dawn call it a “velvety green” Green Aromatic.

Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta : The 2011 release that was so popular.  As a leather I really can’t fault it.  This is a formula that many people can grow to love and is very versatile, as leather perfumes often are.  If there is a drawback, it might be that you may smell yourself coming and going in urban environments, but that is a relatively small price to pay for a lovely contemporary perfume.  Leather.

Some extroverts like to wear animalics... from

Some extroverts like to wear animalics… from

Krigler Lovely Patchouli: This is not cheap and is being sold on its association with Jackie Kennedy, one of whose perfumes it was, but the rendition of patchouli/amber here is one of the best and is unisex, very good for cold or heat, and one of those dark woody perfumes one can disappear into.  Sometimes that’s good.  Woody/Oriental

Finally the weareverywhere animalic for me is Kiehls Original Musk  I know, I know but this one does have it down cold and costs less than Uncle Serge’s Musks KK.  I notice by the way that you can buy  their musk as an oil in I/2 oz. bottles for $35.00. I’m not affiliated but that’s a pretty good bargain these days.  This has been worn since the sixties and you know what went on then, Animalic.

So what is your weareverywhere or have you not found one yet?   Let’s share notes.






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10 thoughts on “The Weareverywhere

  1. What a great post. This is a subject I think about quite a bit because I actually don’t have a weareverywhere fragrance – I wish I had. No 5 is probably the closest – I agree that aldehydes have the most versatile characteristics – but No 5 is spoiled for me for the foreseeable future because it was worn by a (now former) colleague with an especially toxic personality.

    But I’d name two, both by Hermes: Kelly Caleche (Bottega Veneta reads too sweet for me) and L’Ambre des Merveilles. I wear them a lot for work because like so many Hermes fragrances they are so good as ‘professional’ fragrances.

    But for weekends? I needs something a bit more relaxing. NR4H EDP comes close but it’s a bit too clean. I might try that Diptyque. I remember it being a bit strong on the vanilla for me, but it’s worth a second shot.

    Great quote about Rochas Femme. I own a bottle; hardly ever wear it.

  2. So sorry about the toxic ex colleague, they can really poison a fragrance, you smell it and the theme from “Jaws” simply resounds in your head.

    L’Ambre des Merveilles is lovely. Funny you should mention the Narciso, because I wear the de Nicolai version- Musc Intense. It is a little TOO musky, I smell like a stevedore wearing it, one day someone will ask if I if I’ve remembered to shower?

    As for Femme wasn’t that a revealing quote? I never caught Femme on the atmosphere, and I think Helene Rochas had the answer.

  3. I have too many perfumes in my collection, so among them there are plenty of those that you describe as “weareverywhere,” though a long time ago I noticed that I tend to buy more perfumes of the other – “special occasion” – type. Though… My special occasion – Ta’if – made your “mundane” list 🙂 Speaking of Ta’if: I’m yet to find OJ’s perfume that doesn’t swim in Iso E Super: not that I mind; I wear even it “neat” from time to time, but, in my opinion, Geza Schone just have to figure out that at some price point it becomes a mauvais ton to keep using it in such quantities.

    The “easiest” perfumes in my collection are most of my Jo Malones: I can wear them any day, for any occasion, with the constant joy.

    1. Ta’if is a beautiful perfume, my choice placed it on the modern and versatile list, and everywhere I wore it people liked it 🙂

      All the Oj do seem to have Iso E Super, but I find so many cliche synths in places I would not expect, a high end startup from Atelier des Ors: Larmes du Desert for instance! 275.00 for what smelled like something that i’d huffed before ( a Bond No 9). A little surprised frankly.

      The Jo Malones are cheerful. My daughter recently went on a Lime Basil and Mandarin ( not your favorite of the line I think) kick and that reminded me of how good the perfume is really. The scent found its way into our dressing room and was truly wonderful. Happy perfume.

  4. This is a great theme for a post and it is interesting to see, as Undina noted, that one person’s ‘weareverywhere’ scent was another’s special occasion perfume. Copy me on Ta’if in that regard, though I agree that Eau Duelle makes the cut. I’d say Prada L’Eau Ambree is its amber inflected companion scent, though I haven’t smelt it in years. Agree with Anne-Marie on Eau des Merveilles. Cuir de Russie might give Bottega Veneta a run as an easy wear leather scent, and I see Cristalle as a wearanywhere ‘pep in your step cologne’ – a bit specific, I know – though I am not sure I have that either.

    1. Cristalle is a very weareverywhere I agree and Eau des Merveilles too. The one I forgot myself is I think Bois des Isles. Actually more wearable than No 5 – don’t you find?

  5. No. 5 Eau Premiere has never managed to be wrong whenever I put it on, and it is a friendlier version of the classic. I love, love Cuir de Lancome – such a friendly floral leather, both pretty and brisk. Mariella Burani, too – an aldehydic musk like Madame Rochas that ends in tonka rather than the vetiver of MR.

    1. I still like Bois des Isles as THE Chanel, but yes Eau Premiere seems to be a hit and deserves to be one.
      Is the Mme Rochas the refo? I did not realize it was so musky, but it has always been super wearable.

      1. I took a shot at a vintage Madame Rochas on ebay. Not the lovely salt-shaker bottle, but it came in that gold “wallpaper” box that seems so very 1970s, and the fragrance seems very 70s as well: an aldehydic vetiver-musk with the florals in the background and a clean soapy feel, a bit like Chanel No. 19 (which I love), a bit like Prince Matchabelli Cachet (which my mother bought me, back in the day, and which I did not really like), even a bit like Ivoire. The musk is very nice, though, clean like warm skin is clean without being laundromatty.

        The problem is essentially that I do not care much for vetiver.

        Yeah, I know. 🙁 Ask me to name my favorite vetiver, and I can’t get any closer to a vetiver-centric thing than No. 19.

        1. Well if you don’t love a note you just don’t. Chamomile is my personal nemesis these days- smells like pee to me!

          I just remember Mme Rochas being as wearable as Arpege, you know very aldehydic, but not so sharp as No 5- or maybe that is my skin.

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