Pandemic Perfume Diaries (Week 5)

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Greetings! As we head into Week Six of isolation (or shelter-in-place, or lockdown — I still can’t remember what our official status is), I’m managing to work out a new routine. Every day I work remotely from about 10 AM to 6 PM, with a break for lunch and some shorter pauses for coffee and chats with the cats.

Sometimes I put on a dress and jewelry and do all my makeup. Sometimes I’m attired a little more…casually. The one constant is still that I’m always wearing perfume. Here’s a sampling of last week’s choices…

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Ormonde Jayne Vanille d’Iris

As I recently told my friend Marianne lately, I’ve been trying to make the term “fleurmand” (floral gourmand) catch on for a long time. Vanille d’Iris is a perfect example of this sub-genre: elegant, peppery orris plus notes of soft amber and sophisticated vanilla. It made me feel instantly more polished when I wore it one day last week.

Robin at Now Smell This reviewed it in 2016.

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Thierry Mugler Dis-Moi, Miroir

And it seems to have been my week for fleurmands, because I also pulled out this hard-to-find limited edition from Thierry Mugler. Part of a five-fragrance collection called “Miroir, Miroir,” Dis-Moi, Miroir is a blend of powdery orange blossom and milky lilies. It’s sweet yet slightly weird.

The collection was mentioned on Now Smell This here.


Bond no. 9 West Side

Eek, that bottle. Sometimes, though, you really can’t judge a book by its cover or a perfume by its bottle. West Side is a plush rose-vanilla-sandalwood fleurmand (yes! I’m OWNING this term) that brings back happy memories of visiting the Bond no. 9 flagship boutique with some very dear friends. My bottle still smells great. I hope this fragrance hasn’t been reformulated lately.

You can read Robin’s review for NST here.


Calvin Klein Euphoria

I remember trying Euphoria at the Lord & Taylor flagship (now closed, alas!) when it was released. I bought a bottle on the spot. I still like it. Sure, it’s somewhat inspired by Angel, and its bottle is really clumsily designed, but Euphoria just smells good on me. And sometimes that’s enough.

Robin reviewed it on Now Smell This in 2006.

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Arquiste Misfit

Long ago, or so it seems (February?), I visited Carlos Huber’s Greenwich Village apartment to learn about the newest Arquiste fragrance. We chatted about Misfit…and about some related topics of art and history.

I hope things like that will happen again someday. In the meantime, I’m writing a review of Misfit for Now Smell This. I’ll update here when it’s posted.

What are you wearing, and where do you wish you could go with that fragrance?

Top illustration by Roberto Martínez Baldrich​ 


  1. Love this! Today I went with a new old favorite, the reissue of Anne Klein II. Very comfortable. I don’t mind staying home during this epidemic and I’m so lucky to have a job that I can do remotely. I’m still sad about the trips we’ve had to cancel, but I hope we can do them in 2021! Especially that long awaited trip to Paris and Normandy we were going to take this summer with our kids …

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never tried that one!! The Anne Klein brand was/is an American classic…it deserves more credit.

      My husband and I were hoping to take a short trip in May for our anniversary, or a summer trip celebrating 20 years since we first met…alas…maybe we’ll all be able to enjoy some travel in 2021, as you said!! Let us hope.


  2. I’ve never tried any of the perfumes cited here. Just last week I realized I don’t have any Calvin Klein perfumes! I will give Euphoria a try. I recently got PG Felanilla. I think it might be a fleurmand, based on your description of the Ormonde Jayne. Our office called us back full time this week(happy), and wearing Felanilla I found that it has the power to keep me company all day at work in a very good way. Continued wishes for all to stay healthy! Oh and shared *big sighs* for cancelled travel. My longed-for family reunion is looking unlikely as of last week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s the only CK perfume I own…no, wait! I do have a tiny bottle of Obsession that I bought to use in a lecture, but I actually do like it, worn sparingly! And there was a CK fragrance in the early 2000s that I really liked, although it wasn’t quite my style…Truth?

      Parfumerie Generale really does have some good cozy-sophisticated perfumes!

      I’m sorry you’ll be missing out on that family reunion. Sigh. It’s good that we’re all staying safe and “flattening the curve” however we can… but I hope we’ll have a chance to make up all these postponed visits sometime!


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