Play it again, Sam

With hundreds, even thousands, of new fragrance launches annually, it’s no small feat when a collective “Wow!” sweeps the perfumed blogosphere. We don’t always agree on what those perfumes are, but no matter how jaded you are, you probably found at least one new thing to love in 2011. I know I did!

Although contentment has settled in, and my collection feels complete, I’m still delighted when I find something new to love, especially when it’s unexpected. These days my perfume wardrobe is growing much more slowly, yet it grows still.

While I was reading M. J. Rose’s new thriller, The Book of Lost Fragrances, there were several quotes that got my hamster wheels spinning, but particularly the following:

There are a thousand niche perfumers not succeeding, consumers aren’t buying any of the new creations twice…”

So says Jac L’Etoile, Rose’s female protagonist, on why her brother’s plan to launch a new line of scents, in the effort to save the family perfume house, are in vain.

I’m guilty of chasing the New, and why not? The era of the Signature Scent, at least among dedicated enthusiasts, is so ten bottles ago. Since perfumania set in, I’ve bought these perfumes at least twice:

  • Guerlain Shalimar
  • Guerlain L’Heure Bleue
  • Chanel no. 5
  • Chanel no. 19


I haven’t yet run out of any of these juices*, just made subsequent purchases in varying concentrations. There are several bottles in my collection that I’m sure I would buy again, but speculation doesn’t keep a fragrance from being discontinued!

Which leads to my question: in a collection of dozens, or even hundreds, of bottles, which ones have you bought more than once?

*I’m not sure if it surprises me that my multiples are tried and true mainstream classics.

Beauty on The Outside is growing…

I started seeing comments from Dionne over at Now Smell This (where, to my embarrassment,  I have been much less active in the comments since my move to Texas) which, despite the relative “newness” of her voice to that long-running conversation, most certainly did not carry the tone of a newborn perfumista. Insightful, honest, intelligent, and bearing a thoughtful gravitar to boot, I categorized her in my brain as “new to me, but not new.”

When she began commenting here at BoTO, I quickly noticed a trend: I wanted to read each of her comments over and over again— not because they massaged my ego with praise (Though I’d read that kind over-and-over too!) but because of the engaging and intimate quality the perfumed stories in her life. After reading one particularly moving comment, I realized that I wanted to hear more; had to hear more.

It took me a few days to work up the courage (I hardly *know* her!) but when you know, you know. I sent a bizarre and awkward email— my specialty— which led to a series of emails, which led to:

Dionne, a happily married mother of five hailing from the Canadian Rockies (and self-titled Frugal Perfumista), agreeing to join Anne-Marie and me on the Beauty on The Outside team!

Dionne is familiar to some of you, and new to others. But I think that you’ll agree, she’s right at home at Beauty on The Outside. Tomorrow her first post will be up; I know you are going to enjoy it!

Welcome, Dionne!