Sunday, September 20, 2009

In Random Fashion

"What makes you think I'm not interested in fashion?" -- Andy Sachs in "The Devil Wears Prada"

Aging is hell, especially as regards the body. But you knew that. If you don’t already, you will.

Bought the new Vogue (and looked at the new Elle while at the dentist).

Both mags are full of encapsulated scent strips from the big companies, the scents ranging roughly from 1)awful to 2)godawful.

Why is everything so diabetes-inducing, instant-tooth-decay SWEET?
Maybe to offset the still-ever-so au courant multiple tattoos and piercings?

And how about those thigh-high hooker boots in “Vogue?” Like the vinyl ones Julia Roberts wore in “Pretty Woman” only a hundred times more expensive?

Less said the better.

Here’s what fashion mags do for me. They tell me which “vintage” (as in old) clothes that have been buried in my closet, or jewelry tangled in the bottom of the box for twenty years, are coming back again. And I kinda like the layouts.

I saw something on a chefporn show, at a too-hip NY restaurant, where the chef lights dried oak leaves, places the stems in whatever the food is, blows the flames out and delivers the dish with the leaves still smoldering to the diner.

(Better not be any oakmoss on those leaves though.)

Black is the new black: Black Afgano by Nasomatto and Back to Black by Kilian. Former is interesting in that almost-revolting way of the super-niche; the latter, on me, is marzipan-and-powder sweet, a lot like some vintage Habanita I have, but without that one's bitter edge.

Here’s the thing though: that Black Afgano smells more like, um, the oil form than the...well, never mind. Sticky umber tar, iron wood, camel dung and kif, don’t-think-about-what’s-in-it nostalgia time; hello 1972!

I have a handful of Shalimar samples, from many vintages and in many formulations, and one of these days I’m actually going to get around to comparing them.

A kindly swapper in Latvia sent me a decant of “Explosive” by Etienne Aigner. Man. Rich, deep rose and dark and dirty base; I am so there. Notes include the usual suspects (patchouli, amber, moss.) One of those “Get out of my way!” 80’s fragrances. Discontinued, of course. Here we go again.

Eureka! I have found my floral. It’s “Odalisque,” from Parfums de Nicolai. Tropical. Not too sweet. Jasmine and iris and an edgy dark green note. Lasts, too. OK, so it’s not The Latest Thing. Neither am I.

So: What makes you think I’m not interested in fashion?

photo of Anne Hathaway in "The Devil Wears Prada" from


Perfumeshrine said...

Irrepressably witty as always! It genuinely gives me pleasure to read your thoughts on what is and what is not au courant. :-))
I just think the Vogue spreads are there to highlight the superior technique of the photographers, stylists, photoshop technicians etc. They need to have the ref on their CV ("The candidate contributed an editorial on Vogue US in Sep'09") Not to actually give us ideas on what to wear!That's all right too, I guess...

Musette said...

What a fun - and funny- post! I was giggling at Vogue (great editorial (I learned about Triclosan there, as well as Mexoryl XL sunscreen) but oh, so silly clothes and sillier layouts. Vogue and Vanity Fair both did structured suits, reminiscent of the 40s-50s, in Sept. issues. Vanity Fair's made me want to drop a few lbs and slide on some stockings. Vogue's made me want to wash my itchy scalp!

Olfacta said...

Hi E -- I think most of the layouts are beautiful, from a strictly aesthetic sense.

Olfacta said...

Hi M -- I too chuckle at a lot of the stuff, at least from a reality aspect, but if I had any place to actually wear a structured suit, I'd start looking for one! Oh well...

ScentScelf said...

Chuckles and post.

Thigh highs...I would never...except if I could, but only then on rare occasion.

Tooth decay sweet fragrance? I think never...ever.

Oh, blast...Explosive sounds fun. I was just playing with roses last goodness, Tauer's Incense Rose really *is* incense, and for a loooooong's way cool, but I think a no can do. (Another nice thing about maturing in fashion; you learn how to admire things on the right people, and accept if the right person is not you.) Funny, I like Nu, but had trouble with the addition of rose...yet MH Rose en Noir seemed sweet and not dark as reviews threatened. Hmm.

Enjoy that Odalisque. :)

Olfacta said...

I like Nu too! And Incense Rose, although it's one of those more-concept-than-personal-fragrance scents. Haven't tried Rose en Noir yet, but I'll get around to it. The Explosive was so dark that I thought I smelled castoreum or at least civet in it; the final drydown really has that barnyard note. Didn't see that on BN but who knows?

Rappleyea said...

Loved your essay, as usual. And may I add my two cents? What has slowly but surely infuriated me as I get older (and I'm a woman of a certain age) is that season in and season out, clothes for women are constantly changing and usually not for the better. While look at men's fashion, or more correctly, just clothes - they've stayed basically the same for the last, oh, about 150 years! Seriously! And don't even get me started on makeup, face lifts, etc. I blame the patriarchy, and why the hell have we women let them do it?

Thanks, I feel better now. And the Explosive sounds glorious as I too have found most new offerings way too sweet. Although I am enjoying a new decant of Amouage's Epic. ~Donna

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