Fragrant Confession Time


Post by Sister Mary Magdelene, Patron Saint of Perfumers


Hello APJ! Have you got a habit? Lord knows I have. Confession time…

Fragrant Confession Time

I have been guilty of being quite set in my ways, feeling that certain fragrances have their season, or fit only certain social situations, even that they “match” with particular outfits or colours! (My Bandit ensemble is a favourite). A gorgeous friend has gone one further, making a beautiful dress in celebration of Ma Griffe. Now I know lots of people do this sort of thing: saving zesty summer spritzers for only the hottest days, categorising scents for business or parties or the gym.

All that is wonderful, and serves well most of the time, but lately I have wanted to mix it up, to experience my collection in new ways. I also wanted to avoid falling into unconsidered habits. And then, some days I just need help to decide…

I have my fragrance collection stored on a fragrance social networking site* that has a cute tool. It’s a way to make a random selection from the fragrances listed in your wardrobe. So… each day I ask the Random Button what I should wear.

And…? I have been selecting my SOTD like this for a month now, to entirely delightful results. I have worn much more broadly from my wardrobe, and from samples and decants at least as much as full bottles. This has been a great prompt to discover some “new” scents.

Parfum Sacre Caron Shopping.comPhoto Stolen

Taking my cue from this fragrance wheel of fortune, I have fallen into the waiting spicy balmy embrace of Parfum Sacré, I have floated on the criminally overlooked cool green florals of Givenchy III, Incense Rosé has risen above L’Air du Desert Marocain in my Tauer of love.

Eau d'Epices TauerPhoto Stolen Tauer

Recently I mentioned the unusually cool Spring and Summer weather where I am. Although in no way intended as a complaint, it seems that I was heard where it matters, and since we have been smote with a long and blistering heat wave. So fiery it’s been that I fancied I heard the thunder of Apocalyptic hooves, but thankfully it has transpired merely to be the clip clop of a Happy New Chinese Year.

Black Bvlgari FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

At the zenith of this heat, the Random Button decreed I should wear Bulgari Black. I do believe this fragrance is exulted in extreme heat. Rather than resisting the roasting, I made a cup of Lapsang Souchoung, unfurled and became one with the melting tarmacadam of the city, the scent of rubber, tea and vanilla swirling as I yielded.

I’m not especially good at being told what to do, so I won’t claim I’m consulting the Random Button religiously. There are still days when I know I *have* to wear a certain scent. But I’m looking for a suggestion a lot more often than I thought I would. And enjoying the outcomes more than I imagined.

How about you? How do you select a fragrance to wear? Any quirky habits?

Sister Mary Magdelene, Patron Saint of Perfumers


*I’m using Parfumo, which is great! Once you’ve loaded all your perfumes into your Wardrobe and Samples collections, you can use the Parfumo Assistant to suggest perfumes adjusting their settings for season, time of day, whether it’s a week day or weekend, even occasion (leisure, night out, business…) You can choose to include or exclude your Samples in the suggestions. The assistant gives 12 suggestions that you can then choose from. And of course you can mess about with it however you like: when it becomes really cold over winter I will be dialling up some spring morning suggestions just for some relief!

You can use your account to keep a record of what you wear (the accumulated record is visible only to you). If you do this religiously, you get an archive of how often you wear scents and what you rarely wear – great info for reminding you of neglected beauties, or for keeping tabs on what can justify its place on your shelves and what should be moved along!

18 thoughts on “Fragrant Confession Time

  1. Dear Sister M2,
    What a great post! Love this idea and the tool on Parfumo sounds very helpful. Appreciate knowing about it.
    Bandit ensemble!!! Please where are the pix?? And a Ma Griffe celebration! Photos. please. (I’m thinking about dressing up for the Tra La La launch.)
    Cheers for living the dream, Jackie


    • Thanks Jackie, enjoy the dress-ups! And do report back, I find it’s such a lovely *complete* feeling to be sartorially and fragrantly aligned.


  2. *laugh* i WISH i could be so disciplined in my perfuming pursuits! still, shaking up one’s routine is wonderfully stimulating and this Parfumo sounds very interesting! however, if i put all the essential oil blends i use in a day i might break it… or it would just tell me i have a serious problem. 😉 wouldn’t be the first time i heard it.

    i love the idea of succumbing to an aroma despite it’s so-called appropriateness, i.e., sitting back with lapsang souchoung!

    a delightful read!


    • Oh how delightful einsof! The thought of you fragrantly blending your way through each day is a lovely one. Therapeutic benefits in this ritual I imagine?

      If your collection is manageable in size I’m sure selecting little pieces of paper from a hat the old fashioned way would be a very nice way to shake things up.


  3. It’s kind of like a perfume oracle! And, “Rather than resisting the roasting, I made a cup of Lapsang Souchoung, unfurled and became one with the melting tarmacadam of the city, the scent of rubber, tea and vanilla swirling as I yielded.” Beautiful to read, but must have been ever more beautiful to do.


    • Ah Fruitful, it is a beautiful thing to give over to a higher power in these ways.

      Lovely of you to pop by, and many thanks for your kind comments.


  4. I need to confess I use certain perfumes for special occassions and some for going to the shops, but everyday is special isn’t it?
    Will read my latest vogue sip lady grey and wear….??


    • … Ooh anna, did you chose something with a little bergamot and citrus? Did you treat yourself to a spot of marmalade on toast?

      What pleasure to fragrance layer in several dimensions.


  5. Another fabulous piece of writing, Sister MM! I keep telling myself that when I have gotten my Basenotes wardrobe up-to-date I will start using their “Pick me something random to wear” button – alas, I never seem to get on top of finalising that wardrobe. However, the Parfumo version with its various options and range of suggestions sounds heaps better anyway. I like the idea of sometimes being ‘told what to wear’, and then having the challenge of selecting an outfit (and even a mindset!) to complement the selection. Must get onto Profumo!


    • Lovely of you, thank you!

      Perhaps the solution for you Christine W is to just start where you are. Put the thoughts of completion aside and begin!

      You can always be a little disagreeable and pick something else. 🙂

      Sometimes it just takes someone telling us what to do to help us realise what it is we really do want.


  6. Hey there Sister Mary,
    I almost wrote Hail Mary, ooops, Catholic upbringing rearing its lovely head.
    I have started to punch my wardrobe into Parfumo. I will slowly add the lot. Already I have used it twice to pick me a frag and enjoyed the choice. I most love that it gives you about a dozen options to chose from.
    Portia xx


    • Excellent Portia! If I know anything about your collection I’ll bet the work of entering your ‘fumes is more in front than behind you, but Praise Be! you can start having fun with the fragrance suggestions already.


  7. Hi Sister,
    I joined the Parfumo site and loaded in about a dozen frags. Will do more during the week. Would love to get the decants and samples in there. This might be a great way to track the samples. Thanks for a wonderful introduction.


  8. Hi, Sister,
    Your post reminded me that I haven’t updated my perfume wardrobe on Basenote for ages… I haven’t even touched the Parfumo one yet!!
    I really love the idea of “perfume oracle”… When I can’t decide which one to wear, I usually stick my hand in my sample bowl with my eyes closed. 🙂


    • thinkingmagpie sounds like you best get busy with the e-cataloguing! Or not. Divine guidance is just as good old school, the hand in the bowl system is pretty flawless 🙂


  9. Thank you, Sister, for introducing me to Parfumo! I’ll get started entering my collection and see what the gods decree I wear on a given day. As a lover of ‘Black’ myself, I adored your description of embracing it in the heat!


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