Keep smelling folks!

Danielle has let us all know about changes at BoTO, and it’s my turn to sign off too.

Danielle invited me to keep BoTO going but I’m finding that things have changed for me too. It’s hard to say why. Just that the urge to write about perfume is not there any more. I so admire all those faithful bloggers who write every day in many cases, for years, about perfume. I get so much joy  out of their work and I admire them all so much. My first sip of coffee each morning would not be the same without a perfume blog in front of me. I’m not going to name these fabulous, witty, erudite, knowledgeable people. You know who they are and I know you love them too.

Another reason I’ve been writing less about perfume is that at last I have been buying less. I’m in a slower and more contented phase, and have come to terms with the fact that I cannot afford most of the high end niche lines now. It’s not just the perfume itself, it’s the shipping costs – and the shipping restrictions – that make things harder. So I have been digging down and rediscovering and re-testing many of the wonderful perfumes I already own.

My interest always tended to be good mainstream perfumes and I urge you all not to shrug off the mainstream stuff right under your noses: the classic Lauders, the Kenzos, the mainline Chanels, Hermeses and Guerlains, some of the Chloes, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Elie Saab, Oscar de la Renta, Balmain, Jacomo, Narcisso Rodriguez … some offerings from Dior (Dune!), VC&A, and YSL, even the odd celebuscent. There are some great beauties, and satisfying workaholic fragrances, in there. They are not expensive and they leave you money left over for other important things, like food, books, movies, music …  and paying the gas bill on time! (Insert red face here.)

And then there’s the inexpensive niche houses. I wonder if it is a co-incidence that many of them are led by women? Sonoma Scent Studio. Parfums de Nicolai. Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. Olympic Orchids. Ineke Ruhland. Well, I leave you with that thought.

My heartfelt thanks go to my fellow BoTO writers, Dionne, Adam and and especially, of course, Danielle, whom I met over a discussion of L’Heure Bleue and who generously invited me to join her blog and made me the recipient of many gifts of perfume, much more than I could return. Two stand out: a nearly full bottle of vintage Miss Dior, if you please, and a sample of Rochas Femme. This she tossed in with some other samples, little realising what a difference Femme would make to my life.

That first sniff of Femme brought instant recognition of my scented other half. It happened about a year ago while I was sitting in this very chair. It’s the only fragrance I have felt like that about. Again, Femme is not expensive, and perhaps it’s not even that special – many people hate Olivier Cresp’s cumin-infused re-orchestration of Rouditska’s 1944 classic, released in 1989.

But for me it’s love and I have kept Danielle’s sample vial, still with a few souvenir drops in it even though I now possess a FB. I hope everyone gets to experience that wonderful moment of instant perfume love.

I’ll be seeing you in the comments threads, but in the meantime I wish you all the best on your scented journeys.

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18 thoughts on “Keep smelling folks!

  1. Thank you for your wonderful posts, Annemarie! I enjoyed each and every one of them.
    See you over on OT and around Perfumeland! And if you ever feel the urge to write again, OT would be proud to have you!

    1. Thanks Birgit, OT is one of my regular morning ‘first sip of coffee’ blogs, so yes, I be seeing your there. And thank you for the invitation!

  2. Lovely valedictory post, and I do understand the contented and thrifty phase – I am in that right now. In fact I am wearing Kenzo Eau de Fleur de Magnolia to start faking spring – bought new or £15 on Ebay. Thanks for all your posts and for giving us another regional angle – see you around Perfumeland, as B says!

    1. Thanks Vanessa, and congratulations on that Kenzo! I have a FB of that, bought at a bargain rate. Creamy, lemony magnolia, and a stunning bottle too. And I think it may be a Francis Kurkdjian, done before he set up his own house and started charging the big bucks. Anyway, see you in Perfumeland.

  3. Farewell! Hopefully will still see you around in blog comments!

    Regarding mainstream perfumes, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve noticed that in the last year and a half, niche snobbery seems to have gotten even more pronounced in the blogosphere, while at the same time everyone agrees that the proliferation of niche brands and releases has seriously watered down the quality of the niche market. Many new nice brands are just department-store-style fragrances at higher pricepoints. Anyway. I am also a frugal perfumista, who is facing the reality of her need to be frugal this year more than ever. I get a LOT of joy out of the things I can afford, which is one of the amazing things about this hobby. 🙂

    1. Yes, I agree. I’ve noticed the same snobbery phenomenon in that period, although to my observation it tends to be expressed more in the comments threads than by the major bloggers in their posts.

      It takes a lot of discernment navigate a path among the new releases, as price is not a firm guide to quality, by any means. And many of the major noses take briefs from the niche houses AND with mainstream, lower budget projects too. Frugality teaches patience, but the rewards a great – a well curated collection and, as you say, great joy! Many thanks for your comment.

  4. Thanks for so many great posts, annemarie.

    I think a lot of us are experiencing a similar kind of slow down. Your words about the cost and value of high end niche also ring true with me.

    I wish you all the best and I hope to continue to see you around and about the blogosphere.

    1. Many thanks Tara, for this and your other comments on the blog. I’m sure I’ll be seeing you around.

  5. Annemarie, your presence at BOTO will be missed, but I’m glad to hear that you will still be present in the community. I think many of us can identify with the slow-down – I have been feeling that way, too. Looking forward to seeing you in the commenting forums, where I know that you’ll be sitting on the opposite side of the world from me, drinking your coffee and wafting some of my favorite perfumes: 24 Faubourg, L’Heure Exquise … and maybe an occasional spritz of Grey Flannel? 😉

    1. Grey Flannel – my goodness yes. And those others. What fantastic taste we both have! Many thanks for your comments on BOTO Suzanne!

  6. Annemarie, I feel sad that this page of BOTO is turning but I understand your feelings and wish you all the best in your fragrant journey – within or outside of Blogosphere.

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