I spent the summer of 2017 obsessed with new scents
I kicked off the summer by buying a bottle of Byredo’s Gypsy Water, and I have to say it was worth every penny. It’s so clean and fresh, which makes it the ideal summer scent. It took me through a trip to New York, where I coincidentally stumbled upon the SoHo boutique—which was quite fortuitous since I had been itching to try the brush-on version as well as the various creams and lotions. For the most part, I didn’t find any of these products to be scented enough to justify the price tag—except the hair perfume, although I haven’t pulled the trigger just yet.
Perfume-wise, I spent the second half of the summer obsessed with “no perfume” perfumes. It started when I finally ordered a sample of Molecule 01 from Scent Split (which is either the best or the worst website that has ever happened to me), and this led to adding a sample of Juliette Has A Gun’s Not A Perfume to my cart as well. The common denominator between the two is that they are both single, synthetic note fragrances—and I have a hard time smelling both of them. BUT, when I do get a fleeting whiff I absolutely swoon. And I’m convinced that even though my nose can’t sense them, my brain does because they leave me feeling really happy. So here within lies my conundrum…
Let’s just say I did A LOT of research, and I discovered that I could make my own Molecule 01 by mixing the sole note, Iso E Super fragrance oil, with some sort of alcohol. I promptly ordered a bottle of oil from Etsy for $11 (as opposed to spending $100+ for the ready-made perfume) and mixed it with vodka (as recommended online). Since I can’t actually REALLY smell it myself, I asked my husband and son, and they totally loved it.
But then it was time to make more, and I decided to use a higher proof alcohol because the first batch was a bit cloudy. For my second attempt, I used the ethanol we use for our outdoor fireplace (because it’s essentially the same thing as grain alcohol—although I’d never drink it). I think it worked because my son said it smelled so good, but then again, I don’t know. However, I’m still dousing myself in it multiple times a day. (And I'll be upping the concentration the next time I need a refill.)
As luck would have it, the sole ingredient in Juliette Has A Gun’s Not A Perfume, Cetalox (also known as Ambrox), cannot be purchased on its own. (Believe me, I searched for it.) So I bought a mini bottle at Sephora so I could really give it a good test drive. Again, I can’t really smell it, but when I do I absolutely love it. I also found that I noticed it more when I had the teeny-tiny sample and had to use more than I generally would with a spray. With no recourse, other than spending upwards of $100 for a scent I can’t appreciate all the time, I decided to put this on the back burner—we’ll see how long it takes for me to cave. But I will say I’ve greatly enjoyed my time with this one. But boy, it’s going fast. The beauty of all this is that when I combine the two, it’s pure olfactory heaven—as far as my brain (and not my nose) is concerned.
At some point earlier this month I took a long, hard look at my perfume tray and decided I had to stop the madness. That very afternoon, I popped into Sephora and found myself engrossed in an incredible fragrance conversation with the rep for Atelier Cologne, as I’m rarely able to speak so in-depth about perfume with someone. After about 30 minutes of chatting, the main takeaway (other than some great samples) is that I’m a fragrance collector. I’m not sure why this never dawned on me. Instead of being proud of my well-curated collection, I’ve always felt guilty about buying another perfume that I really don’t need. But in retrospect, I don’t regret any of my purchases, as I have a connection with each and every scent that I now call my own. So with that said, maybe I do need Not A Perfume (ironically enough)… Stay tuned for updates, because this story is definitely not over!