Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sniff sniff, ahhh

Remember the study that showed that gay men respond to odors the way heterosexual women do? Well, the same has now proven true for lesbians.


Blogger Palladian said...

This is interesting to me because I am both gay and studying perfumery. I'm quite opposed to the idea of incorporating "pheromones" in fragrances because A) it removes perfumery from the realm of aesthetics and places it in some weird no-man's land between pharmacy and rubber novelty items, and B) because I don't believe current evidence supports the idea that humans can detect pheromones. Our vomeronasal organ, which is the thing that should pick up pheromones, isn't wired up. If it was, people would be rutting in the streets (more than they are now).

Anyway, from an aesthetic point of view, if you like man smell, try The Different Company's perfume "Rose Poivree". And if you want to smell like a (beautiful) animal in general, wear Serge Lutens "Muscs Koublai Khan".

10:56 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Sorry to hijack your thread Chris.

Palladian: Is rose a common note in men's fragrances? Rose pepper, huh? I'm intrigued.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Palladian said...


Rose certainly used to be a common note in men's perfume, and still plays a minor part as a note among many in a few today. Back before perfume sexually segregated itself into "women's" and "men's" fragrances (which gradually became enforced as rigidly as sexual segregation in public restrooms), perfume was just perfume. Rose was considered an alpha fragrance, whatever gender is wearing it. In much of the Middle East today, men still use rose fragrance and rose-scented products. The "Fougère" type of perfume (named after a groundbreaking 1882 perfume called "Fougère Royale") has firmly established itself as the predominant masculine type- this includes everything from Skin Bracer to Brut to Drakkar Noir, Azzaro, and Cool Water (and about a zillion more).

The great thing about the "niche" perfume houses like The Different Company, Frederic Malle and Serge Lutens is that they're bringing back the old no-gender-specified idea of perfume. Rose Poivree is one such scent.

Of course one could do what I do and just ignore the designations. I wear Diorella, Mitsouko, and Chanel No 5 as well as Caron Pour Un Homme, Habit Rouge, or Azzaro.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hey, thanks for the lesson. That's fascinating.

My husband is probably into the Fougère type. At least, I would imagine Monsieur de Givenchy would fall into that category.

I was interested in the Rose Poivree for me. Glad to hear the company isn't discriminating! :) The packaging looks quite masculine though.

I used to wear a scent in high school called Escada by Margeretha Ley that I could have sworn had a pepper note. But apparently it doesn't. An actual pepper note is quite intriguing to me.

If you can wear Chanel No 5, more power to you. I can't pull that off no matter how much I might like to.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Palladian said...

Monsieur Givenchy isn't a fougère (which usually consists of lavender, oakmoss, geranium and coumarin, which is a synthetic material first used in large amounts in the original Fougère Royale), but a "chypre", another very important classification of perfumes that originated with Coty's "Chypre" in 1917. Chypres often consist of notes of bergamot, oakmoss (as in the fougères) and labdanum. Some masculine chypres are Aramis, Polo and Eau Sauvage (all very different). Feminine chypres include Mitsouko, Miss Dior (the old one, not the current one), Bandit, White Diamonds, etc.

Sorry for stinking up your comments with all the perfumes, Mr Althouse!

10:51 PM  
Blogger Christopher Althouse said...

That's alright, palladian. I'm glad to have people commenting!

10:57 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Ah, well if you don't mind, kind host...

Palladian: Ok, that actually makes sense. Because frankly I can't stand Brut, Drakkar Noir or Cool Water. And, I really like his Monsieur de Givenchy.

A spanish company (with a rather unfortunate name - La Barfumeria) is planning to open a branch in NYC. Their store is intended to be a meeting place for amateurs of fragrance. Well, I probably don't have to tell you about them. Anyhow, it sounds like a grand place. Wish there was one here.

Is it a general rule of thumb that if you like and wear well one scent in a class of fragrances, that you will like many of the others in the same class?

8:49 AM  

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