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March 04, 2012



*The first perfume I wore was when I was about six. It was from a tiny Hello Kitty vial, which I still have. I loved that perfume so much that I diluted it with water all the time. You can barely smell it now.

*My grandmother wore anything freesia. I think she also had Madame Rochas. I used to smell all of her perfume bottles every time I visited her.

*When I was a kid, I had a scratch-and-sniff pony named Iris. She smelled exactly like Joy.

*I bought Anna Sui's Dolly Girl when I was 13.

*I used to wear a cheap goodie called Pavlova in high school. My friend and I sprayed on Caswell Massey's Casma, which came in a bottle with a bulb atomizer, before school dances.

*I had a group of gay friends in 2008 who wore Perry Ellis 360 Red, and used to fight about who wore it first. Little did they know that their community had been wearing it for years.

*One of the first perfumes I wore when I really started liking it was Lolita Lempicka. I also asked my dad for a bottle of Tabac. Not the Tabac we talk about. It's from a German brand and it comes in a 10 oz pour bottle.


Thanks for sharing this, Joan, I wasn't sure anyone would want to wade into the past like that! First off, it's very touching that you diluted your first love, Hello Kitty. A true perfumista in the making. I'm also very intrigued by a scratch and sniff pony named Iris...who smells like Joy. Wait, what?? And I love the story about your Perry Ellis crew arguing about who wore it first. I hope that was fun to walk (sniff) down memory lane. It was fun for me to read it!

bloody frida

What a fun post to read!
I had a boyfriend that wore vetiver all the time - hence, why it makes me melancholy now!

Grey Flannel - yes!! If I wasn't testing samples today I'd spray some on.


Hi bloody frida: Bummer that vetiver makes you melancholy, now! I wonder if there's a way to reprogram that association with it. And yeah — Grey Flannel is timeless and genderless. I wish I had some to spray on! Thanks for stopping by.

Steve Seyboth

My first cologne was Hai Karate in the 70's. Followed by Old Spice, Tabac to name a few in the 80's. It wasn't until the late 80's that I found Aramis & Dior's Fahrenheit. Tuscany was another I grew to love in my 20's. I bought a bottle of Old Spice last week to relive my youth a little.


Hi Steve, I've seen Hai Karate in passing but don't know anything about it. Was it an Asian-themed cologne? As for the others in your list, I see men list Fahrenheit a lot. (And I LOVE Aramis and wear it myself.) Just last night, a friend was listing his current wardrobe: Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford...and Old Spice. It's a favorite! Thanks for leaving a comment.

Steve Seyboth

It was some sort of oriental. From what I remember, it lasted an hour or so before it had completely vanished.


I love this post.


Jonno! More, more. You're supposed to answer the question!

Anna in Edinburgh

I recall using my mother's "Magie Noire" and "Myrugia" when I was at secondary school, simply because she didn't use them for some reason.
When I was working, I wore "Lauren" (which came in a sample vial when I bought a RL holdall so I got a second holdall to get another perfume vial!); it took a while to get hold of a bottle.
I also wore "Climat" (until the bottle leaked) at work and then at university. I've still got "Lauren" and "Anais Anais" from those long-ago days.
You recently wrote about "Blue Carnation" and I wore a dupe of that during post-grad studies, and an oil dupe of "Opium" called "Poppy" (still got it, still good). And Body Shop oils ("Vanilla" and "Chypre" date back to mid-80s, I think, and are still fine; "Dewberry" and "Winter Dew" date to 1990). I've even got some original vials of Cosmetics To Go frags, as well as initial Lush ones, but I think I've monopolised this long enough so I won't keep going!

Thanks for indulging my stroll down Memory Lane. Funny how I keep the old scents but don't often wear them: onwards and upwards instead!

Anna in Edinburgh

Oops - I meant to write "Maja" by Myrugia ... time for bed it seems!


Hi Anna in Edinburgh: You're not monopolizing anything! I love that you gave me an inside look into your perfume history; it's as if I got to peek into the L.Bourgeois-esque French doors to see what empty bottles were lying around. So we've got some Chypres, aldehydic florals and Dewberry, which I recall liking too. And god bless perfume samples and specials; I love Lauren, too! (Its reformulation, not so much). What are you wearing these days? Anything you used to? Thanks for stopping by!


I have no real early perfume memories. My mother wore no perfume. She had a bottle of Evening in Paris and kept it in its box in her top dresser drawer.

In my teens I babysat for a family and the woman would wear Chanel No.5 when they went out, so every time I smell it I think of her!

When I was 18 I got a job at a drugstore and was in charge of the candy and perfume sections (my loves to this day!). I started wearing Calvin Klein (the original and only Calvin Klein scent I've ever liked). Some others I remember wearing were Jontue, Tatiana, Bonne Bell Skin Musk, Jovan Musk, Alyssa Ashley Ambergis, Alyssa Ashley Musk, Coty Earth Scents (compact of solid perfumes) and something with Bleue in the name that I loved but wasn't around long.

Then I graduated to department store perfumes. My favorite scent was Charles of the Ritz (your aunt's). I went through at least 3 bottles of it and have no recollection of what it smells like and could kick myself for using it up and not keeping the last bottle of it. I guess I didn't know I would become such a fumehead!

Opium was my other love and alas it doesn't smell the same now! Read about Eau Savage somewhere and sought it out and loved it. Oscar de la Renta, Shalimar, Guess, Bill Blass Nude, Samsara. Bijan (donut-hole bottle) was in heavy use - men loved that one! Can you tell I was in my twenties in the '80s? My best friend wore Giorgio,
an istant migraine for me!

Another scent I wish I still had was Om by the Gap - my first incensey fragrance.

Got married in my 30's and wore Coco Chanel for my husband cause he loved it ( and sometimes still do!). Black Cashmere was my favorite for a long time.

Then came the interwebernets and I started ordering things on-line.
Perfume blog reading followed and now I am drowning in sample vials.
My tastes have evolved to Guerlains, Carons, Malles, L'Artisans, and others to numerous to mention!

Thanks for a great post and allowing me to stroll down memory lane!


Oh no - menopause brain! Forgot about Obsession, a Calvin Klein scent I do like and wore in the 80's!


Hi Barbara. Thanks for your comment! (I'm Barbara, too. :-)

I wonder why your mother didn't wear the Evening in Paris she had in her dresser. Did she not like it, or did she not want to waste it? Whatever the case, it sounds like you made up for all the perfume she didn't wear!

Your job as a teenager selling candy and perfume sounds
dreamy! I didn't realize they sold Calvin Klein's first perfume at drugstores, too. I saw my first bottle at the mall. That stuff is great! I found a mini a few years ago I
treasure, and it's one of the few vintages I've worn out that people have said they loved. It's a pity no one talks about it!

It sounds like you got heavily into musks! I have a lot of the ones you're talking about. I love them, and I'm about to do a Coty Wild Musk review. I really want to get some Charles of the Ritz, for myself, and for my aunt! I remember I liked it and the metallic gold (?) bottle? Ritzy! I also want to try Bill Blass Nude, Bijan, and Om. And yes, Obsession's nice. Don't think I ever did a review though! Thanks for
walking down PerfuMEMORY Lane with us!


I knew you were Barbara from your profile and I believe I've read your posts on other blogs. After I stopped lurking and started some commenting I realized I should have used a different name!

I think my mother didn't wear it because she just doesn't wear perfume. I started giving her some testers during my drugstore days and she never wore any of them! She's an Ivory Soap and that's it woman!

Yes - I have definitely made up for her between the perfumes and my shower gels!


Barbara, that makes me feel better that she just wasn't into it rather than that she held onto it not using it. I think I've done that before and it actually makes no sense. Life is short. Spray that perfume! (And use that gel!) And then get more. No worries about calling yourself your own name, Barbara! I'm strictly Perfumaniac around these here parts, anyway. Glad you stopped lurking and started commenting!

Anna in Edinburgh

PerfuMemory Lane is a nifty bit of naming, Perfumaniac!

I've recently been given a vial of old "Maja" to play with, and I was in two minds about using it - would I morph into the awkward teen I was when I wore it if I put it on? Would it smell the same? (See, this is why I don't generally seek more of a scent when I no longer have it, just as I don't wear My Mother's Scents. Potentially too weird.)

Being brave, I dabbed it on my wrist, and it smells totally different to the late-70s version I have in mind. I'll have to try it again because it was completely unfamiliar. Perplexing.

I like the sound of some of Barbara's Past Perfumes: imagine working on a counter with sweets and perfumes *and* getting paid for it! Heaven.


Anna, Was Maja different because it had been reformulated, or because it didn't conform to your memory — or is it hard to say? I agree with you that some scents are too loaded with (weird and/or negative) personal associations to wear again without being a little masochistic. And yes — my fantasy perfume shop would definitely have candies (and kewdra sp? essence) and aromatic oddities. From my lips to Gods ears...

Anna in Edinburgh

Hi Perfumaniac,

Maja in my memory was spicy and reckless and exotic, so a little went a long way; the vial of vintage Maja seemed rosy and oily, somehow, when I tried it. Not familiar to my nose/memory. It's very strange!

I don't know if the vintage was older than the late 70s version I knew (which was in a little bottle, not very broad and narrow in the width, with a flamenco dancer in a red dress on the label, I think) but it was like a different scent altogether. Intriguing enough for me to have to follow it up some more.

Here's to Fantasy Perfume Shops that stock all your kinds of goodies;-)

noetic owl

This was a great read! I laughed at your story about Greay Flannel as I was caught wearing it by a gay businessman who sensing my embarrassment when he discovered my perfume choice confessed that he wore Sweet Honesty in private!
My perfume history has been long and extensive (40 plus years). And I have my own little book of every scent I ever wore (400+ )alphabetized. When I peruse it I can recollect just about every scent and where I was in my life when I wore them. Some I have revisited and the nostalgia they create can be bittersweet.

My mother wore anything gifted to her and shared it all with me so as a child/tween I wore many classics (Diors, Lauders, Chanels,etc).

My best friend in high school was up on all the latest scents so in my attempt to keep up with her I had bottles of Chloe, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Giorgio,etc.

My first love insisted I wear only three fragrances- Nocturnes, Calyx and Nikki de Sainte Phalle and they were staples in my early 20s.

I introduced my best friend in college to Annick Goutal and we had a terrrible influence on each other-as in we ended up with 8 full bottles each from all our visits to SFA in NYC.

Three years ago I discovered the world of perfume blogging and was introduced to many niche/indie lines- my favorites now are Sonoma Scent Studio, Ineke and 100o Flowers.

However, I always go back to my vintage roots- I have a stash of vintage vials and my husband swears I look like an addict hovering over my pile of vials, sniffing away!

Perfume has and will always continue to be a ubiquitous part of my life!


I have loved perfume for as long as I can remember. My earliest perfume memories are of sniffing all the perfume bottles on my mother's dressing table and dabbing them on when I could. Strangely, my mother had quite a lot of perfume for her time and generation--at least 15 or 20 full bottles--but seldom wore any of them. She had Arpege, no. 5, Blue Carnation, l'Origan, Blue Grass, D'Orsay Divine, and others I have forgotten the names of.

My very first perfume of my own was an Avon rollerball. I don't even know if it had a name. I just remember it labeled as "fragrance rollette".

The first perfume I had that *did* have a name was a bottle of Coty Muguet des Bois that was a Christmas gift from my great-aunt when I was about 10. I wore it sparingly, not knowing when or if the next bottle would come along. I still wear this from time to time (I tracked down some vintage, as I understand the current formulation is terrible), as I love it for its freshness and simplicity.

In junior high I had Shulton Blue Jeans and a Coty Sweet Earth solid perfume compact. When the Blue Jeans ran out, I debated getting another bottle, but decided against it as I had gotten a bottle of Love's Baby Soft and though they smelled too much alike to justify having both. I should have bought up all the Blue Jeans I could and stored it away. When it shows up on eBay, it goes for truly astonishing prices.

In high school, I acquired Emeraude and Heaven Sent, as well as another bottle of Muguet des Bois (the bottle from my great-aunt having run dry). I think I had some sort of musk, as well, perhaps Coty Wild Musk. I was definitely on a drugstore budget.

In college, I began to acquire my own bottles of some of the classics I had learned to love from my mother's dressing table--no. 5, Arpege, Blue Grass, and My Sin. I got a bottle of Pheromone, partly because I liked the Egyptology angle, and partly because I was intrigued by the idea of owning the most expensive anything in the world, even if it was only the much less expensive EdT. It turned out to be one of the few perfumes my hyposmic boyfriend (now husband of 21 years) could smell clearly.

In grad school, I wore Poison. I fell in love with it from a scent strip in a magazine (not always a good idea, I know) and ordered a bottle of it my mail, as it was exclusive to Bloomingdale's at the time and there was no Bloomie's near me. I still had my Arpege, no. 5, etc., so I really had a true perfume wardrobe. I also loved visiting the Crabtree and Evelyn store at the mall in San Antonio, loved to pamper myself with their soaps--one of the few splurges I could afford. My boyfriend gave me Tabu for Christmas one year, and I loved it. I also had a dupe of Coco. I was definitely on an Oriental kick.

In the mid-90's I picked up a copy of Jan Moran's "Fabulous Fragrances". It was a real eye-opener. I had no idea there were that many perfumes out there! I started seeking out some of these wonderful scents previously unknown to me. I found a really good Guerlain counter at one of the Houston area malls, and bought Apres l'Ondee, Jicky, Parure, Vol de Nuit (instant love!), Liu, and l'Heure Bleue. I fell head-over-heels for Feminite du Bois during the (seemingly) five minutes that it was offered for sale in the U.S., and bought it on the spot. I sniffed a few Annick Goutals. By this time, my collection had grown to probably 20 or 30 bottles.

Two years ago, I finally got home internet access, and with it, found the online perfume community and internet perfume shopping. I haven't counted my bottles lately. I almost don't want to know. I think it is about 50 or 60, but it could be more. Add in 200 or 300 sample vials, and I am definitly a full-fledged crazy perfumista. I am finding that as I get older, my tastes are changing, and not in the way you might expect. I used to be crazy about heavy orientals, but now, not so much. The Poison I loved 25 years ago is unbearable now. Tabu is just too much. I still love Vol de Nuit, but can only wear it in cold weather. Feminite du Bois is still gorgeous (I have backup bottles of the Shiseido version), but also only for cooler weather. I wasn't crazy about green scents, and I used to wear Pheromone mainly because my husband could smell it, but now I have finally learned to love it--now that my original bottle has run dry. I still love floral aldehydes, and probably always will. I try to wear perfume whenever I can. I have so much that there is not way I will ever run out. Perfume is meant to be worn and loved and enjoyed, not hoarded for "special occasions" that never seem to arrive.

Lydia Fox

Oh I love this post. I'm 71 raising 4 grandchildren, 2 of them girls, 8 and 14. I began wearing perfume at 10 when I went into the restroom at the Paramount Theater in Cincinnati. This was 1951. My dad was having choir rehearsal at a local church and my folks could drop me off as the theater manager always kept an eye on me. In the restroom was INTOXICATION by D'orsay. I sprayed some on, immediately fell in love and was hooked on perfume ever since. I've been through so many I cannot remember all the names. Right now, I've got some of my favorites, Raffinee, Royal Secret, Shalimar, Chantilly, Ciara, Windsong, Nude, Private Collection, and more. My girls love perfume too. I have the Cotton Candy spray and the Lemon Sugar spray and some others that are light and happy! I love different ones all the time. I could never just settle on one. Perfume is one of God's gifts to womankind. Maybe to mankind to, but I wear it for me!


I love that you wore Grey Flannel, too, and I want my little paws on that book, noetic owl! That would be some awesome reading. It sounds like you HAVE measured your life in perfume, and I find that so incredibly beautiful. You basically have a perfume diary that marks important points in your life. (By the way, I really need to find some Sweet Honesty. That perfume has come up a few times in comments.) Thanks for stopping by, wise owl!


Epic, 50_Roses. Your life has been steeped to the gills in perfume. I asked this of another commenter, but I wonder why your mother didn't wear all those perfumes? Did she not like them? Did she buy them just to decorate her dresser? Did she want to save them as you say poignantly "for special occasions that never seem to arrive'? It's interesting how, for many of us, our first forays into perfume were what mom had. Your mention of Crabtree & Evelyn soaps (I grew up in Texas too! I was a teen in Ft. Worth) makes me want to rush out and buy their Jojoba shell-shaped soap. That scent will definitely take me back in time. I LOOOOOVED that soap. And I'm very curious about Shulton Blue Jeans and the Coty Sweet Earth scents. Interesting that the drugstore stuff is so expensive on eBay now...Thanks for sharing your wonderful scent history with us.


Lydia, I'm younger than you, but I remember going to a Stucky's (Southern convenience store/pit stop in between states) on a family road trip in the 70s, and finding a 50s-era lipstick vending machine. I asked my mother for some change, and out popped a garishly coral-colored gold bullet lipstick from the past! I really wish they'd bring back vending machines with perfume and lipstick. That's just an amazing way to be introduced to perfume. And Intoxication, no less! Perfume is indeed a gift, the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks for sharing your memories with us! Sounds like you're passing on your love of perfume to your grandchildren.

noetic owl

Sweet Honesty is still sold by Avon but I would imagine that it has been reformulated. I actually wore it in the 70s and I have always viewed it as a love it or hate it fragrance. I hope that I am the one that influenced you to get back into Gucci Rush! Bought the bottle after Christmas for myself and it is already finished!


Rush had been on my mind, noetic owl, but yours was the push I needed. It is beautiful! You finished your bottle already from...December? You know you're supposed to spray it, not drink it, right? ;-)


My own mother did not wear perfume (and the top drawer of her dresser was filled with fabulous costume jewelry which she also did not wear), but my love for perfume started with the little perfume nips that were given out in little advertising cases in the 50s and 60s. I would sit on my bedroom floor or just look at them and re-arrange them and once every couple of weeks I'd snap the end off of one and make it last for a few days.

When I was old enough to be making forays into drugstores by myself, maybe in my early teens, I would try out the testers for what was available then and sounded interesting. I remember going around reeking of Emeraude, Tigress, Woodhue, Tabu. Not too long after that I started asking for perfume for Christmas when asked by certain relatives what I wanted. That's how I ended up with Charlie and Norell, both not really my type, but I fell for the heavy advertising at that time. Also about this time I asked for and received as gifts a couple of the Coty Sweet Earth compacts.

I started working while still in high school and then could buy my own perfumes. The first one I remember buying with my own earned money was Maja by Myrurgia, and then Zen by Shiseido in that beautiful black bottle. By that time already I knew that orientals were going to be my thing, but I couldn't pass up that black bottle with the gold script and flower spray.

I must have had a break in wearing perfume for a while, because I can't remember any between Maja and Zen, and Opium being released and my discovering it about 1978. Opium was all I wore year round, day or night until the early 1980s when I went to the Guerlain counter in Nordstroms intending to have yet another try at Shalimar which I loved for the name but didn't like the scent on myself at all. I saw a tester of Mitsouko, tried it and bought a bottle of EDT right then, and never looked at Shalimar again.

I quit wearing perfume around 1998, but started again recently. I bouigfht a new bottle of Mitsouko in 2005, and was gifted a new bottle of Opium around the same time, but never really wore them until recently. In the last couple months I have rediscovered vintage Magie Noire, which I remember smelling in the late 70s and not liking, and I have also picked up a couple bottles of vintage Diorella which I absolutely LOVE. Also a bottle of Cristalle, I believe it is reformulated but I love it anyway. I ordered a mini of Bal a Versailles and like it so much I got a pretty good size bottle of vintage eau de parfum. A bottle of Champagne by YSL I am still trying to come to grips with. I thought it might be like Diorella, but it's more like Mitsouko's granddaughter (I saw that in a review somewhere and it is spot on)

I have enough bigger bottles of scent to last me forever now, but I am still buying minis if they catch my attention, mostly vintage. I have in the last couple of months picked up Bandit and Fracas, Femme, a few others.

Oh my gosh, this post is getting out of control. lol


Epic, Carrie! I love this. It's making me lust for those Coty Sweet Earth Compacts (the old ones, not the reissue), and Champagne. (It seems like Maja was among the first perfumes for lots of people.) I can see where those nips would have gotten you hooked. There is something to be said for packaging to incite desire. And there's something so decadent and mysterious about a glass tube filled with fragrant liquid that you have to break to get into! I hope that was fun to do! I enjoyed reading it.

Lydia Fox

While we're all remembering about perfumes, scents -- I vividly remember some of my all-time "get'er done" fragrances, i.e. scents I wore on dates when I was single. I didn't move away from home until I was 27 years old. I was my folks' "Only" and they had been professional music performers. My mom sang leading roles in Cincinnati's famous Zoo Opera and my dad was popular in Light Opera circles and sacred music. Later on, after I came along, they got into public school music teaching. So we were very very close. I finally got up enough nerve to move out of their house in 1968 when I was 27. My girlfriends and I were dating a circle of guys that we had met at various Singles clubs, one in particular called JOPA. I got my own little effeciency apartment at a Singles Apartment complex in Cincinnati called THE FORUM. It was exclusively for Singles back in that time. It still exists right down the street from me now but it's for anyone. Anyway, I had a good job, my own cute little car, a bunch of girl buddies and no boyfriend. Something was definitely missing. When I finally got my own little place, I didn't go WILD, but let's face it, it was close to the SEXY SEVENTIES. I was not a lagger now. I dated a whole lot!!! And I wore fragrance. I experimented and I had a wonderful time doing it. Estee Lauder's YOUTH DEW, and some of her older fragrances (can't remember the names)but remember one named ALLIAGE. Royal Secret was a winner. Does anyone remember CALENDRE? Loved it! I will say this, IT WAS FUN BEING YOUNG, THIN, AND BUILT, and being Single at that time. I loved so many of them and it makes me mad I can't remember the names but I am 71 after all and it's been a long time! On the night my husband Ken proposed to me, which was NEW YEARS EVE l979 into 1980, I was wearing PRIVATE COLLECTION. It's still my favorite! Did any of you wear JUNGLE GARDENIA? Wish I could afford to buy it now!! Anyway, I gotta go now so I can deal with the kids. You gals are wonderful and I am having so so much fun!


Lydia, these stories are amazing. Singles apartments complexes? "Get'er done fragrances"? I can only imagine what being young and single in the 1970s was like. To me that seems like the golden era in the US for so many reasons. (It's one of my favorite decades for movies, music and perfume!) So I must ask, which perfume out of all these was the best  "Get'er done" fragrance? It sounds like Private Collection was what you wore when your boyfriend proposed, but which others, well, you know...got it done?! I've written about all the fragrances you mentioned: Youth Dew, Aliage, Calandre, Private Collection and Jungle Gardenia. Well, ALMOST all; I haven't written about Royal Secret yet. That seems to come up a lot, so it's definitely on my list. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you have had a fun life!

Lydia Fox

Dearest Perfumanic, I honestly can't way which of the scents I wore were the most productive in the "get'er done" category. All my serious guys/dates would only say, "You sure smell good". That was about it. I may have appeared to be a wild child but I didn't "become a woman" until the age of 28. I picked the guy, the place, and time. I was deathly afraid of pregnancy so I even went to my gyn to get on birth control since I was turning a new page on my life. I honestly think the affect of any of the fragrances I wore was definitely more for me than them. I still feel that way. Isn't it amazing the smell brings back so many memories both good and bad. I would hate to lose my vision, my hearing, but I would hate so much to lose my sense of smell. The smell of my son's head when he was a baby and little kid, the smell of a little kitten, the smell of new clothes, new shoes, etc. And especially, I will always want to remember, even when I am a spirit, is the smell of fresh grass. I even have the fragrance produced by THE GAP called GRASS. It's pretty old, but it's still good!. But that is one scent I will always want to be able to remember. What about you?


OOOH, so much fun! PerfuMemories!

Age 5: My addicted-to-Avon grandmother (who wore Cotillion and Eliz. Arden Blue Grass and every sample her Avon lady could scrounge for her) gave me a little solid perfume pin; it was a red apple with a smiling worm through it. I don't remember the scent.

Age 7: Same grandmother gave me Sweet Honesty in a little roll-on bottle shaped like Rapunzel's tower.

Age 11: Someone else bought me Karl Lagerfeld Chloe edt, a 1-ounce dabber bottle that I used until I was 25 or so.

Age 14: My mother (who wore No. 5, Jovan Musk for Women, and Anais Anais) gave me Prince Matchabelli Cachet. I preferred Chloe.

Age 16: I fell hard for Emeraude. A boyfriend gave me a tiny bottle.

Age 18: I came home drenched in Sand & Sable, carrying a small bottle in a bag. My mother MADE ME TAKE IT BACK, insisting it was "too mature" for me. (PTHTHBLLSPPB, Mom.) Discovered Crabtree & Evelyn at college and bought scented soaps for all my best galpals.

Age 20: Tossed Cachet as it smelled strange. Bought Xia Xi'ang (pretty soft rose-amber). Fell really, really hard for Victoria's Secret Victoria, that beautiful soft floral chypre that I couldn't afford and lusted over until it was finally discontinued in the 1990s.

Age 22: Bought Aspen for Women, which I loved.

Age 24: Got married. My Aspen for Women and the dregs of Chloe ran out at about the same time, and Aspen was discontinued so I couldn't get more. There was nothing else at the drugstore I wanted, since Emeraude smelled funny to me, and I couldn't afford a department store scent.

Age 30: Husband bought me Eliz. Arden True Love as a gift. Didn't like it, wore it anyway.

Age 34: Mourning the loss of original Victoria, I bought Pink (nice green peony scent) at Victoria's Secret.

Age 38: Bought another bottle of Pink on eBay. Bought my sister samples of Coco Mademoiselle, which she loved and I didn't.

Age 39: Wandered into Bath and Body Works and swooned over Velvet Tuberose. Bought it. Wore it instead of Pink. Started to wonder if I could now afford something better quality... googled "perfume review" and wound up at Now Smell This.

Age 40: The rabbit hole beckoned... Spent $$$ on perfume.

Age 41: Began blogging about perfume. Spent more $$$ on perfume, including vintage stuff on eBay.

Age 42: Spent more $$$ on perfume, mostly decants of niche things, with the occasional full bottle.

Age 43: Am currently planning to hit my husband up for a whole bottle of Amouage Memoir Woman for our 20th anniversary...


Hi mals86. I'm so glad you decided to walk down PerfuMemory Lane! That solid perfume pin sounds adorable. I do wonder what was inside it! And I'm sorry your mother made you return Sand & Sable. I might have to review that soon. That stuff is sexay! I, too, love those Crabtree & Evelyn soaps. I felt so very posh buying expensive soap for myself. I'm intrigued, now, by Aspen and Victoria's Secret perfumes. I don't know them at all! I love how as the years roll by, you just become more addicted. She's a cruel and expensive mistress, that perfume, but I just can't quit her. :-)


I don't know exactly why my mother seldom used her perfumes. Perhaps it had to do with having grown up in the Depression and during WWII, with rationing and all. It was as if she was afraid that if she used it, she would use it up, and there wouldn't be any more. Or maybe she just comes from a generation that regarded perfume as being for special occasions only, even when the available supply negated any need for such parsimony. If you only have one bottle of perfume, and cannot afford more, then using it sparingly makes sense. But if you have 20 bottles, then just wear it and enjoy it!


That makes sense, 50_Roses, although it is poignant that it might have remained untouched when she could have been enjoying it. And wearing perfume only on special occasions would make it that much more special, but I'm like you. A special occasion for me is: taking a walk, going to bed, and then of course, going out. I stopped for a while while I was sniffing tons every day, but it seems as if perfume is an everyday thing now.


Lydia, to respond to your comment: "I will
always want to remember, even when I am a spirit, is the smell of fresh grass...that is one scent I will always
want to be able to remember. What about you?"

Too many to narrow down to one, Lydia! But here are a few: the smell of my favorite cat's fur after he's been hanging out in the sunshine. (I call it his Kitty Cologne.) And I guess the individual smells of people I've loved. And then in a more universal way, the smell of forests on cool mornings (all that pine and damp moss). Passing a night blooming jasmine bush while riding my bike in the New Orleans summer...etc.

noetic owl

Barbara and Mals- I have the original Victoria (about 1/4 of the bottle left)- I forgot that this was another scent I wore in college and I must have gone through 5-6 bottles. If you each want a small sample let me know- Barbara has my e-mail address.


Hi Noetic Owl, I was rearranging my perfumes today and found the Victoria you gave me. It's lovely, and not at all what I would expect from that brand! How old is it? Nice of you to offer some to Mals!

noetic owl

I thought I had sent you some Victoria a while ago. Isn't it lovely? They don't make em like that anymore and it is next to impossible to find, even on e-bay. I believe it came out in the mid to late 80s. I wore it around that time all through the early 90s-there was always a bottle amongst my perfume stash. However, it was a scent associated with an individual and I stopped wearing it b/c of that. In the late 90s I was walking through the VS store and saw that there was a special sale so I bought another bottle but could not wear it (too many scent memories) so I gave it to my mum. Now I can smell it and smile again. I think there is a write up on it somewhere out there in "blogland" with the notes- I want to say amber and rose but I am not sure. If you run out of things to review (LOL!!!) you might consider it. And by the way, the bottle is gorgeous and exactly what one would love to display on one's dresser.

Vivii Anna

I've loved perfume all my life. I used to buy my mother Evening in Paris. She never wore it, and I always loved it. When I was a teen she gave me woodscents solid perfumes. They were heavenly! Then I was given Charlie, mmmm loved it! I went to an estate sale and bought a set of Coty powder perfume from the 30s. They were fabulous. I tried Chanel 5 for the first time when I was 22. I loved it! Then I found a 1920s presentation bottle of Narcisse Noir. I wore it to nightclubs with my 1920s flapper dresses. I felt so sophisticated. Then came Shalimar, Champaigne and Opium.
Then Maja purchased in Mexico, Youth Dew in every incarnation, powdered Blue Carnation, the carnation cologne. Then Estee Lauder solid perfumes in a variety of scents. Then the new incarnation of Blue Watz (fabulous), vintage Emeraulde, and a very disappointing flirtation with the new Evening in Paris. But I realized something, I love single notes like rose and carnation most!
What a stroll down memory lane!
Vivii--aka Glamourkitty

burberry outlet

Thanks for indulging my stroll down Memory Lane. Funny how I keep the old scents but don't often wear them: onwards and upwards instead!

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