The New Power Perfumes: You'll Smell Like Your Mom And Like It

Illustration for article titled The New Power Perfumes: You'll Smell Like Your Mom And Like It

Apparently, along with our newfound love of 80's power dressing, we're all enamored of heavy, potent, Reagan-era perfumes, too. You know: Shalimar, Opium, Poison and a bunch of new ones that just smell like them. In general, I'm kind of baffled by these mysterious forces that are supposed to be dictating all our actions, and in this case, particularly so: isn't the way we smell supposed to be kind of, well, personal? And can people stop acting like we've surrendered our individual wills to some kind of creepy demographics genie?I mean, I get changing your scent by season: there are, after all, some issues of evaporation, and light florals can be incongruous on a wool coat. But I'd always understood from a lifetime of casual fashion mag reading that people were basically attracted to one scent family or the other - floral, woodsy, grassy etc. Yes, there was that period in middle school when everyone wore Gap scents - and later Clinique Happy - but I'd always thought one of the lesser pleasures of adulthood was discovering a closer olfactory match to one's personality and sticking to it. According to the Los Angeles Times,"these aren't light-and-fruity times. You can smell the gravitas in the air — and on the wrists of stylish women all over. Serene florals and cheery citrus fragrances in the family of Prescriptives Calyx and Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey, which have been en mode since the 1990s, are giving way to headier scents." The new-old ones are heavy on the musk and amber - which, apparently, denote either gravitas or evoke 80's excess. I don't know who these women are whose finger is so on the societal pulse that they feel a compulsion to run out and douse themselves in Shalimar a la Katherine Parker in Working Girl and throw out their frivolous old perfumes. (For my part, I choose to, ahem, increase societal stability by sticking to my usual - Frederic Malle's En Passant (for business situations and meeting parents) or the slightly sultrier Lys Mediteranee.) I mean, people can obviously wear whatever perfume they want — even if I'm kind of baffled by the woman who says, "I'll suffer through the first two hours of a perfume being overbearing because I want it to last all day," — but I'm kind of sick of hearing lately about how we're theoretically being pushed and pulled in all directions by the cosmos. Yes, the economy is beyond our control, and is indeed effecting most spheres of our lives. But it has not stripped us of individual tastes and opinions and preferences. No magic hand is altering our skirt length while we sleep or forcing men with curvaceous girlfriends into the arms of the more muscular ideal to which they allegedly cleave in times of economic stress. There is enough out of our hands right now without some sinister force also spraying Opium on our wrists. New Fragrances Catch The Scent Of Classics From Decades Past [LA Times]


A Small Turnip

I have two, both totally unfashionable throwbacks. In warm weather, I wear Eau de Givenchy, which is a very light, very breezy, white-flower kind of scent.

Then in cold weather, I wear Yves St. Laurent's Paris. The awesome eau de parfum, not the toilette, so I only ever need a tiny puff. More than that, and it can be a bit of a beast. But I love the way it mellows on my skin over the course of the day, all warm and golden-scented.

My best friend wears The Body Shop's White Musk, and it smells so good on her, I want to eat her skin. I honestly have trouble not platonically necking her when she wears it, it's so delicious. But when I wear it, I just smell like......well.......a trollopy sophmore. It's really annoying.