eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Faith Healing for the Scent-Obsessed

You know this story: You're faced with a stressful situation, like waiting to see the doctor for a very intimidating health issue that could land you in the hospital, or not. All you really want is a glass of water with lemon, and a fragrance so stunning that it provides focus for your thoughts and emotions to keep you from jumping out of your skin. Something grounding that makes you feel smarter when you wear it. It should be very long-lasting, because you don't know how long you'll be at dear old Doc's. The receptionist is yakking on the phone with her boyfriend, every single person has come and gone from the waiting room except for you, and then... "Single Ladies" comes on over the intercom. The best thing to do in this situation, I have found, is to have a good book on hand (in my case, I'm following the intrepid Lisbeth Salander during her Caribbean vacation) and privately revel in a great perfume. My scent of the day was Aroma M Geisha Ambre Rouge, which sticks to me like a benevolent spirit and has huge presence and depth without being overwhelming.

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Some other scents I wear which I consider to be particularly fortifying are:
Aftelier Tango and Oud Luban
Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan
Opus Oils Dapper
Caron Pour Un Homme
Ormonde Jayne Woman
Guerlain Bois d'Armenie

and...

Lavender, Lavender and more Lavender. I recently ordered a bunch of products from Paso Roble, California's Central Coast Lavender (body oil, body lotion, linen and body mist, lip balm), and it has proven to be just the thing. I believe that when we have cravings for something, it's meaningful and we should somehow be able to satisfy them. Lavender has been on my mind a lot lately and I was happy to find some lovely natural products made with copious amounts of French lavender. It's such a classic aromatherapeutic scent that it's practically ubiquitous with very concept of aromatherapy. Many folks may not prefer to wear lavender in a perfume, but love it for bath, body and home-- and I would urge everyone to give Central Coast Lavender a try.



I'd love to hear from you, dear readers: what are your favorite fragrances that help to build you up from the inside out and offer comfort during trying times?

29 comments:

  1. I'd have to cite using my fave cologne, Rivertown Road Pour Homme, in this manner as well. Countless times I've lifted my wrist to nostril to inhale the lavender spiciness of it to settle my inner monologue while the world seems to spin & blare.

    Love the idea of a book/perfume combo as a sort of centering device.

    Now I need to log off, go get a book and sniff my wrist.

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  2. Oooh, good choice! Rivertown Road is gorgeous. Fragrance is the highest form of escapism, I think, and rewarding in so many ways.

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  3. Ormonde Jayne scents are greatly fortifying--- today I fortified my spirits with Orris Noir! :) Though, most any of my "staples" will do. After my big move to Texas, I didn't try anything new, just stuck to my central bottle collection, because they were strengthening in their familiarity: Champagne de Bois, Ambre Fetiche, Memoir Woman, Poivre 23... the usual suspects are a cure-all!

    (I think you've got Noomi Rapace above, fyi :) )

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  4. Egads, you're right, Dee, thank you! I'm with you, moving house is not a great time for scent experimentation. There's nothing like spritzing on an intimately familiar perfume in order to recalibrate yourself. :)

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  5. Carrie darling, I am so honored that you choose Geisha Amber Rouge as your perfume to give you comfort! I love this post and so agree that having a perfume you love wrapping around you can be the biggest fortifier. xoxo

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  6. Just stopping in with some well wishes, and I'll keep you in my thoughts. I know those exact feelings, about the waiting. My fortifying smells, are Jasmine and Rose. For some reason, those florals just make me feel like I could go on no matter what's happening.

    Amanda

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  7. Maria- when you first sent me Geisha Amber Rouge, I had no idea at the time that it would become such an important fragrance in my life. I've gotten nothing but positive feelings and vibes from you from the start, and that only feeds my love for your perfumes. Thank you for always appearing as a ray of sunshine to me!

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  8. I've discovered that warm, toasty notes of vanilla and almond are extremely comforting. I have an old Sephora body butter that's nearly dead -- and it's not the most sophisticated thing but there's a reason it's been sitting by my bedside all winter. Smelling warm vanilla as I sleep seems to melt away the day's stress.

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  9. Hi Amanda! Thank you so much for your well-wishes, it means a lot to me. I almost took this post in the direction of your answer- naming particular flowers or elements. Jasmine is one of those things that took me years to fully appreciate and love, but in its natural, high-quality state, there's hardly anything that can beat it for therapeutic purposes.

    That brings me to For the Love of Bees-- I fell in love with it, it's so magical and I'm obsessed with the idea of enjoying these gifts from the bees. Ok, now I need to go buy some, because my vial is empty. :) It's a purchase that's easy to justify-- I'm self-medicating!

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  10. Thank you so much Carrie for including both Tango and Oud Luban. I have always found solid perfumes very comforting. I ind I reach for them when I am feeling stressed and they always make me feel better --- there i something about the texture and running your finger over them that really pleases me.

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  11. Hi Carrie Meredith,
    I hope you are well! How funny, I've been to Paso Robles a few times...don't ask. Aside from producing surprisingly good wines, didn't know that quality scents have been produced here as well! I'll have to check it out.

    Wearing OJ Woman today and it's keeping me feel relaxed and unphased...I recently turned my coworker and fellow frag-head on to it. I think she's secretly planning a trip to London to find it in person hahaha
    Another scent that has helped me 'keep it together' per se is BK Love and Tears, a coworker once told me that smelled refined and regal even though I was falling apart mentally at the time being. I discovered that Vanilla and Amber also has great healing effects on my soul plus it just smells really good on me!

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  12. Dear Carrie,
    I hope you are doing well! Glad that Amber Rouge was a good companion for you that day.
    My favorite fortifiers are amber scents. They are like invisible protection. If things are really scary, there is nothing better than Onda extrait, my suit of armor.
    Feel better! xoxo

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  13. Vanilla-based things like Mona di Orio's Vanille. Heliotrope things. For the really bad times, my Amouage Lyric. And, Carrie, I hear what you're saying and I hope you're all right.

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  14. I like Chanel's Cuir de Russie for that, because it's subtle and soft, but confident. I can't wear really overt perfumes like Fracas when I'm feeling down, because I think a strong happy perfume on an unhappy person seems ridiculous.

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  15. I nominated you for the versatile blogger award. Follow this link for more info! Love your Blog!!
    http://larasweighdown.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/thank-you-so-much-bailey-for-the-versatile-blogger-award-nomination/

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  16. Carrie...sending you all the healthy thoughts I can muster...and I think Amber Rouge is an inspired fortification...There's just sonething in it that really does make you feel strong and slightly more invincible! ;)

    For days I need that, I wear ...Ambre Sultan for comfort, Chêne for armor, and if it's really bad and I'm really wobbly, anything with incense is my instant fortification! This usually means Epic Woman, and since I've been wobbly lately, I've worn it a lot lately.

    And for a mental image of empowerment, you can't do much better than Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander. In my opinion, the best Lisbeth. Badass doesn't get any better!

    But I really do hope you do - and soon! XOXO

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  17. Oh No!- hope you get well soon Carrie! *hugs*
    Aftelier Tango is one of my favorite 'strength' perfumes too..Also Cepes and Tuberose (with Shiso hovering on the other arm). Sometimes comforting perfumes like Tolu can help too- though it plays more of a 'warm woollen sweater/shawl' role for me than that of strength..
    My other 'strength' perfume might be Epic (sometimes); I could see vintage Miss Dior working too. I am wearing By Killian Taste of Heaven right now and I think that would work very well too.

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  18. Mandy: Your scents have always been comforting to me, but over the past year since we've become friends, there is even more comfort imbued in those fragrances. It's love, long-distance!

    Lexi: Oh, you said those magic words-- OJ Woman! I feel like it envelops me in puffs of powdered wood and green smoke, I will never be able to get over it!

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  19. Olfactoria: Amber is such a powerful scent that it becomes more than a scent- it's like a state of mind, so I completely understand what you're saying. It was only a year ago that I declared that I was over amber because I'd burnt out on it. Then along came SL Ambre Sultan, which put me squarely back in the game. I'm so glad too, because there have been some spectacular examples that have recently launched.

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  20. Olfacta- thank you so much for the kind words. Heliotrope is another comfort note for me, but it makes me a bit melancholy and contemplative, so I save stuff like L'Heure Bleue for when I feel strong.

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  21. Joan- I know what you mean about "soft and subtle" doing the trick, sometimes I don't want something very strong or long-lasting. I am always thinking into the future... "I'll have to either scrub this off or deal with it 8 hours from now, or, I can wear something softer"

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  22. Sheila- thanks so much for your words of encouragement! I do love me some Lisbeth, I have often wondered what scent she would wear, and I always come up empty. And that's because I'm fairly certain she would not wear anything. :)

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  23. Hi Lavanya! You and I seem to converge on our comfort scents... a whole lotta Aftelier, a little OJ and Kilian-- sounds perfect!

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  24. I envy you for being able to concentrate on a book when you are stressed and waiting in such a loud environment. My doctor's office is very small with paper thin walls. A radio is blasting the entire time to mask any talking in the consultation rooms. There is also a sign that reads "no scents is good sense". Those signs are plastered all over the building...

    On Monday, I must return to my doctor's office. For comfort, I will think of you smelling of Amber Rouge, and enjoying a book despite the noise all around you.

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  25. Carrie, when I want to put on a fragrance that will help me tough something out, I prefer ouds. If you were Lisbeth Salander, I'd recommend Montale Black Aoud, but since I know that rose-heavy fragrances aren't your favorites, I'll say Mona di Orio Oud.

    Wishing you every comfort and beauty -- and please let us know how you're doing when you know more. Lots of love to you. <3

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  26. Hi Joanne! To be completely honest, after reading my book for awhile, I started nodding off, despite the piped-in pop music and regular doctor's office noise. I can blame that on the anemia, because normally that wouldn't happen! Yes, when you go to the doctor Monday, try wearing Ambre Rouge, and maybe a good magazine would be a better choice than a book for you? Or a strictly-pleasure type book like the Sookie Stackhouse series. :)

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  27. Suzanne- thank you so much for your sweet words! MdO Oud is such a powerful scent to me, it just oozes strength, and I can definitely understand why you would turn to your favorite oud scents for fortification. If I were Lisbeth, I probably wouldn't need to be comforted, in fact, I would probably resent any gesture as such. But since I'm me, I will take comfort and joy wherever I can get it!

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  28. Carrie, I'm so sorry you haven't been well! I think I saw on Twitter that you're on the mend, but if not I do wish you a speedy recovery. Visits to doctors and stresses about unknown medical issues are absolutely terrible. Hugs!

    As far as perfumes go, you mentioned one of mine, which is OJ Woman. I also like Champagne du Bois, Coromandel, and Borneo 1834 for those days.

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  29. Hi Natalie! Thanks so much for your kind comment. I am indeed on the mend, but not quickly enough for me! Being impatient doesn't hasten recovery, I know, but a girl can only take so much of looking in the mirror and seeing yellow skin and eyes staring back. :)

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