Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kelli Stanley on Fragrance of the Past

Rhys: Do you have a signature perfume?  I love light fragrances but I'm horribly allergic to heavy perfumes. If I sit in front of someone wearing perfume on a plane I'll sneeze throughout the flight.  I've always been a big fan of 4711, the original Eau de Cologne. My mother always used it and I do too. And my first expensive perfume was Je Reviens by Worth.

So it was exciting for me to welcome Kelli Stanley and to read her blog on perfumes today.  Kelli is one of my favorite people and she also celebrated a book launch on the same day as me. It is her eagerly anticipated third Miranda Corble novel, set in San Francisco in 1940. If you want to know what San Francisco was like in the good old days, you only have to read Kelli's books for the city to come to life.

So talk to us about perfumes, Kelli!

Kelli Stanley:  Thanks, Rhys.

Fragrance of the Past

Do you remember your first perfume/personal fragrance? Was it fruity or flowery? Musky or spicy? Did you wear it to prom? Do you recall the image you had of yourself when you wore it … carefree, perhaps, tender or maybe even exotic?
For male readers, was an aftershave fragrance part of your first shaving ritual? Was it a gift from a family member? How did it make you feel? Glamorous? Strong? Worldly?
A personal fragrance—perfume or cologne or aftershave—can be incredibly powerful in how we define ourselves, especially when young. I remember the giddy sense of freedom and adulthood I felt when I bought a bottle of “Charlie” as a young teen … I remember the “Avon Lady” coming over once or twice a month during the short period of my childhood when we lived in the suburbs, and the images and evocations associated with the various scents.
I remember the vague feeling of sexy naughtiness in the Enjoli television commercials, a perfume which seemed both liberating and confining (do I really have to “fry it up in a pan?” Can’t I just bring the bacon home??), but embraced and encapsulated the whole 1980s “Super Woman” myth.
The fact is, our good ol’ olfactory sense (commonly known as “The Nose”) is a powerful link to both private and public memory. The smell of a pine tree may bring back recollections of the winter months … the heavy fragrance of a powdery scent may remind you of your grandmother … “Old Spice” may make you think of your first boyfriend.
Some smells are associated with places and times that we don’t really think about until—there—buttered popcorn and we’re back at a Saturday matinee, or the sweet, sticky scent of cotton candy and we’re 12 years old, waiting in line for tickets at a summer carnival. I can’t smell the mixture of sourdough bread, salt water and crab without missing Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
As a little girl, in Tacoma, Washington, the overpowering odor of pulp mills and Puget Sound smelled like home. These days, if I’m traveling north (usually on a trip to sign at the wonderful Seattle Mystery Books!), I can barely catch a sniff of the formerly powerful “Tacoma Aroma”, and when I do—unexpectedly pungent memory magic. J
Smells are embedded in our experience of life. The time, the place, how we feel about ourselves (is it a Love’s Baby Soft night or Chanel No. 5?) They are certainly a big part of my tool kit as a writer, and a big help in bringing 1940 San Francisco to life.
In CITY OF GHOSTS, one of the small mysteries of the Miranda Corbie series is finally solved—part of her back story, part of what makes Miranda tick.
We learned in previous books (CITY OF DRAGONS, CITY OF SECRETS), that Miranda used to wear a fragrance called Je Reviens—part of her identity when she met John, the lover she lost in the Spanish Civil War.
She stopped wearing Je Reviens after he was killed and now wears a fragrance (still made by Guerlain) called Vol de Nuit.

This change on the surface is a key to her image of herself, her refusal to show vulnerability, her desire to keep people at a safe distance. I thoroughly research everything in my books, and perfume is no exception. Je Reviens ( “I will return”) is a very sweet, feminine scent developed by the House of Worth in 1932. The top notes are orange blossom and jasmine, and it’s still made, though the formula has changed a great deal.
[Note: I look for vintage perfumes on Ebay and (if affordable) buy them – even after sixty years, the smell is often truer to the original than a contemporary remake.]
Vol de Nuit (Night Flight) is a storied fragrance from the House of Guerlain, purportedly the favorite of independent, strong women like Katherine Hepburn. Created in 1933 and inspired by and named after  the second book of author Antoine Saint Exupery, it’s a perfume that celebrates the heady exuberance and freedom of aviation’s early years, a mad dash for the liberating sky by women like Jacqueline Cochran, and of course the “Queen of the Air”, Amelia Earhart.
Vol de Nuit is a fragrance I’d wear myself and I sometimes do, when I want to feel closer to Miranda. It helps me channel her feelings and how important a sense of freedom is to her self-preservation—which, as readers know, is rather challenged to begin with.
CITY OF GHOSTS tells the story of when, how and why she made the change from Je Reviens to Vol de Nuit. The answers may surprise you. But then—that’s what mysteries are supposed to do, right? J
BOOK GIVEAWAY: So were you a Charlie girl, too? Or Babe? Or Enjoli? Share your first fragrance or aftershave or cologne below and win a signed copy of CITY OF GHOSTS!


Joan Emerson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan Emerson said...

I have tough luck with perfume . . . I find one I like and they stop making it, leaving me hunting for a new fragrance. I think the sequence went something like Moonwind to Wings to Sun, Moon, and Stars.

I'm looking forward to reading City Of Ghosts . . . .

Reine said...

Hi Kelli, a boyfriend gave me my first bottle of perfume for my birthday—Je Reviens. It was wonderful, and I was impressed.

My first memory of perfume is my favorite. My grandmother had a "vanity" in her bedroom where she allowed me to sit and play grown-up lady getting ready to go to the ball. She had a beautiful brush and comb set and atomizers filled with exotic perfumes covered both sides, while the drawers were filled with linen handkerchiefs. She must have been a very patient woman, because I spent hours spraying her beautiful scents on myself, her handkerchiefs and inside her shoes.

Edith Maxwell said...

What a wonderful post. And another series for my TBR post, especially since I'm orginally a California girl. So true that smells transport us instantly to another time and place.

I wore White Shoulders in high school. Now it seems sickly sweet. I learned to wear L'Air du Temps from a college roommate and still dab some on when I'm going out for a nice evening. My mother always wore Woodhue when she went out and for years I kept a nearly empty bottle in my underwear drawer just to catch that scent of my childhood once in a while.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Welcome Kelli! I don't think I've ever considered what perfume a character would wear--so interesting!

I don't know whether they still make this, but my mother wore TWEED when she went out. She'd get a big bottle from us on every gift occasion. So she couldn't have changed fragrances even if she'd gotten tired of it!

Kathy Lynn Emerson said...

Hi, Kelli,
Great post. I wore My Sin all through college and until I couldn't find it anymore. My college roommate wore Emeraude. I'll never forget that scent, not after she dropped a full bottle of the stuff and it spilled all over our dorm room floor!


Kaye Barley said...

Kelli - Hi! What fun to find you here at Jungle Red this morning. I was late getting to your Miranda, but am now hooked. I can't wait to read City of Ghosts.

I love that she wore Je Reviens, which is what Aunt Zoe in my "Whimsey" wears.

I remember my dad used to always give my mom a bottle of Elizabeth Arden's Blue Grass - a tradition I've picked up since he's no longer with us.

My first fragrance, and I wore it for many years, was White Shoulders.

RobinPS said...

Chloe and Love’s Musk oil.

Ellen Kozak said...

I used to wear Casaque by Jean D'Albret. People (men and women) would follow me to ask what it was (to be honest, that's how I discovered it-- another woman in the Senate office where I interned was wearing it and I asked her what it was, and then hunted for it; it was sold at high-end department stores).

I wore it for years, and then, all of a sudden, I couldn't find it in the US. I did find it in Canada-- but then, it wasn't there either.

There is some vintage Casaque listed on e-Bay at prices you would not believe. I bought some imitation Casaque cologne from a "Lost Perfumes" website, and it is close, but not quite a cigar. (I still have a tiny bottle of the original, but would kill for the dusting powder or the soap).

Once I started gardening (about 25 years ago), I gave up scents in summer, and I've never found anything I was willing to inflict on other people in winter (other than the long lost Casaque). Nor do I like having scents inflicted on me (most of them today are really stinky and I've gotten more and more sensitive to them).

Casaque was a light floral. Here is the description from an internet page: "Top notes: hyacinth, lemon and bergamot. Heart: jasmine, lily of the valley, carnation, orange blossom and roses. Base: musk and sandalwood." It was subtle, but as I said, people would literally follow me to ask what it was. I miss it.

Mary Sutton said...

I was a big White Linen by Estee Lauder fan in college. Then Happy, by Clinique. These days, I like body splashes from Bath & Body Works - anything with vanilla is a winner, although I also love their Sensual Amber and they had a chocolate-amber I adored. Currently using something called Love Sugar - slightly sugary, slightly musky. I don't like flowery scents.

I remember the Avon Lady too. So fun.

And, IMO, a man should never smell like anything other than soap, leather, and Old Spice. =)

Mark Baker said...

With my allergies, I stay away from perfumes, colognes, or anything like that. (Well, as a guy, I'd stay away from perfumes anyway....)

Raquel Muniz said...

The first perfume I wore in high school was Eternity by Calvin Klein.

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

Welcome, Kelli! We are kindred spirits! First thing I do for a character is decide what perfume she would wear.

Karen in Ohio said...

My grandmother wore Chantilly, and to this day that scent can recall her fully to me, warm embrace and all. Scent memory is so powerful, isn't it?

My personal fragrance progression: Jean Nate', Muguet de Bois, Windsong, L'Air du Temps, White Shoulders, White Linen, Halston, and now for many years, Amarige by Givenchy. My oldest daughter has worn Thierry Mugler's Angel for years, and that scent can conjure her up for me instantly, too.

Diane Vallere said...

I always loved the image of the Charlie girl and the idea of Love's Baby Soft, but neither fragrance suited me. I went Chanel for awhile (#5 and #19, respectively), but now I like Van Cleef and Arpels Gardenia. It's quite a splurge, but it stays light and fresh and doesn't give me a headache!

Kerry L. F. Springle said...

I have always worn perfume that was "too old for me," my mother would say. Through high school & college it was Red Door from Elizabeth Arden. Now that I am "old enough" I don't enjoy the scent. I have a collection of scents that I wear based on my mood and the occasion now.
I love the idea of giving a character's personality a fragrance to enhance and identify it with.

Libby Dodd said...

i remember all the boys smelling of Canoe.

Terry Shames said...

I never wore perfume--never liked it--until I read Denise Hamilton's DAMAGE CONTROL. And then I was hooked. I went looking for a "signature" perfume and ended up with Panache by Parfums Delrae. Whenever I smell it, it makes me feel like something wonderful is going to happen.

Kelly I love that Miranda wears a particular scent. Can't wait to read City of Ghosts (love the name!)

Sharon said...

Memories of scent from childhood: My mother always wore Blue Grass when I was young. Both of my grandmothers just used "dusting powder," but my maternal grandmother's was Emeraude something I hadn't thought of for years. My paternal grandmother had a music box powder box, but I don't recall the scent just the tune "Together" which always sounded sad to me.

In the 70's (that's over 40 years ago now!) I was wearing Weil de Weil, but I never used very much of any scent. Just spritz it in the air and walk through the mist before dressing. I have Joan's problem with perfume - no longer made, very difficult to find, or doesn't smell like it used to.

I'll be adding City of Ghosts to my list, I love books set in that era.

Grandma Cootie said...

I used to primarily wear Emeraude in high school. I'm not even sure if they make it any more but my memory of the scent is no longer romantic but overpowering. Now I only wear Anais Anais. I discovered it years ago and love the scent, and it never fails that someone will say, "You smell good." Not to mention the way my husband's eyes light up ;-).

I have just put the Miranda Corbie series on my TBR list. I live in the Bay Area and SF in 1940 sounds fascinating.

Deborah Crombie said...

Windsong and L'Air du Temps! Boy, do those bring back junior high. But I think the first thing I wore was Yardley's English Lavender (you're suprised?) My favorite chemist in Notting Hill carries it, so whenever I'm in London I always have to go in and have a sniff. I also wore something in high school that smelled really green and fresh and grassy. I keep thinking Rive Gauche, but I don't think that's right. Anyone remember what that was?

These day most of the perfumes give me headaches--I think it must be the synthetics they use now. I only wear Jo Malone, and my favorite is English Pear and Freesia.

Deborah Crombie said...

Oh, and in his late teens, my husband wore a Danish cologne called Kanon. For years, just a hint of that scent would remind me of him. Sadly, they don't make it anymore, and I've never found another men's cologne or aftershave that isn't overpowering.

Pat D said...

Help! I need a signature scent. I haven't found it yet. Right now I wear something with peony in it. In college a friend wore White Shoulders but I was told I should wear sister scent Most Precious. Then I went to L'Air du Temps. My boyfriend gave me Chanel No. 5 and Tigress. I wore Eternity for a while. It smelled so good on others, not the same on me. Bleah.
I've also worn a green tea scent.
Would love to find a gardenia or honeysuckle scent that is light. I can't stand to be around heavy perfumes, on me or anyone else!
I will have to read the Miranda Corbie books now. TBR stack is leaning dangerously.

Lisa Alber said...

Hello Kelli!

My first scents were essential oils like gardenia and "rain." I remember the little bottles with black caps lining my dresser next to my first adult jewelry box.

My first official scent was Opium. Such a heavy scent! But I loved it.

These days, I don't wear scent too much. I like a simple green tea eau de cologne that I bought in France. (I think available here now too.)

Have to admit that I'm more curious about scent than I used to be. Between reading Denise Hamilton and M.J. Rose novels (and now yours!) and my friendship with a Now Smell This blogger (Angela M Sanders), I feel like I'm getting to know something about perfume. It's fascinating!

Deborah Crombie said...

I forgot to say (setting the record for multiple posts here) that your books sound fabulous, Kelli! I don't know how I've missed them, but they are going on my TBR list right away.

And I love Denise Hamilton's Damage Control, too.

Pat D said...

Oh yes. When I was a kid my mom always had a blue bottle of Evening in Paris on her dresser. But I don't remember her ever wearing it. She probably saved it for special occasions without children around.

Karen in Ohio said...

Deb, that could have been been Emeraude. Which is still made, by the way, by the French perfumer Coty. They also make Muguet de Bois, by the way. A local store here in Cincinnati, which sells all things French, carries both of them.

Rive Gauche is/was a YSL perfume, since 1971. It came in a very modern-looking medium blue cylindrical container. Does that sound familiar?

Perfume bottles are a whole other thing, aren't they? Some are so beautiful, exquisite little works of art.

Anonymous said...

DIORISSIMO. The smell of lily of the valley and springtime. To this day I still love it.

Kelli Stanley said...

Thank you, Joan! I know what you mean about discontinued perfume. It's so frustrating to fall in love with a fragrance and have it taken off the market. That's happened a few times for me, most notably with Isabella Rossellini's "Manifesto"--a wonderful green scent with pepper and basil after notes. :)

Kelli Stanley said...

Reine, what a wonderful memory--and a wonderful grandmother! :) And I'm so glad you share with Rhys an early experience with Je Reviens. It was such a delicately feminine, bright fragrance!

Kelli Stanley said...

Thank you, Edith! :) Fragrance changes with temperature, so I think we California girls tend to wear lighter fragrances. I, too, wore White Shoulders briefly, and I remember trying L'Air du Temps in the 80s (in Paris, actually!) Isn't it remarkable how a scent can transport us back in time? Thanks for commenting!

Kelli Stanley said...

Thank you, Roberta! :) Tweed was an enormously popular (and for good reason) fragrance in the 1950s and 60s. I collect vintage perfumes when I find them at flea markets, etc. and I actually have a bottle. A great scent! :)

Kelli Stanley said...

Hi, Kathy, and thanks for commenting! :) "My Sin" actually shows up in the Miranda e-story exclusive "Memory Book." It's one of my all time favorite fragrance names, along with Elsa Schiaparelli's "Shocking." And a whole bottle of Emeraude? That truly is too much of a good thing! ;)

Deborah Wall McGraw said...

My first perfume was Shalimar, bought before a prom in 1959. I loved it then and have worn it ever since. It is expensive for me but I have had several old boy friends tell me that whenever they smell it, they think of me. Reason enough for me to continue to wear it.

Kelli Stanley said...

Kaye! :) Thanks so much for stopping by and for reading Miranda! I'm glad we share "Je Reviens"! :)

I mention Blue Grass in (if I remember correctly) City of Dragons. Elizabeth Arden was HUGE in 1940, and BG was regarded as a very American, patriotic fragrance, particularly with French perfume difficult to come by after June, 1940.

I wore White Shoulders as a freshman in college and still have fond memories of it! :)

Kelli Stanley said...

Ellen, "Casaque" sounds like an unforgettable fragrance! I'm certainly intrigued, and hope I can find a lost bottle at some point, just to try it out.

I agree with you about most modern fragrances. They seem to be getting more and more obvious, cloying, shallow and one-note.

I try to stick with classic, established perfume houses (like Guerlain, which a few years ago put out a new, wonderful fragrance I use in the summer--"L'instant").

Unfortunately, sometimes the houses tinker with their established formulas, too. One thing that hasn't changed is Chanel No. 5 perfume (not the eau de cologne or eau de toilette) ... and it's still one of my favorites.

Kathy Reel said...

You authors are so amazing in the details of your novels. I love the idea of a character having his or her own scent with which to be associated. I am fascinated by perfumes and colognes and the bottles in which they are packaged, but I rarely use perfume. I usually prefer scented lotions and powders, as they don't overwhelm like perfume often can. Or, I have a roll-on perfume oil I like, Malie Organic Pikake Perfume Oil I picked up in Hawaii (made from the Pikake flower).

In my teen and young adult years, I remember Chole, Charlie, and Tabu. In my 30s and 40s I liked Oscar De La Renta. A boyfriend upon my graduation from high school gave me a nice bottle of Windsong, and as he was a most deep thinking young man, I think he wanted to covey the message "stay on my mind." My husband likes to buy me perfume and/or cologne, but I finally had to tell him I didn't need a set every Christmas and birthday. I didn't tell him that I like to pick out my own fragrances, too.

I would always buy my mother Youth Dew by Estee Lauder when I was an older teen and in college. I also remember her wearing Coty Airspun Face Powder, which had a scent to it. The orange and white packaging of that powder has stayed with me for many years.

I have to admit that I love men's cologne, not wearing it, but picking it out. I can remember buying a brother-in-law Canoe and my father-in-law Aramis. Since my husband doesn't wear cologne, my son has been the most frequent recipient of my careful selections. Ralph Lauren's Polo, Calvin Klein's Obsession, Tommy Bahama's different scents, Nautica Blue, and his favorite Fragrances of Ireland's Patrick. Patrick is wonderful. I picked it up in an Ireland shop in Virginia, but you can buy it different places.

Such a great trip down memory lane today! And, another great series to add to my TBR list. City of Ghosts and Miranda Corbie sound like my favorite kind of reading.

Kelli Stanley said...

Thanks for commenting, Mary! "Old Spice" is, indeed, a classic fragrance for men, isn't it?

And you can't go wrong with Estee Lauder ... I remember "White Linen" smelling as clean and fresh as its name. :)

Kelli Stanley said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the allergies, Mark! I'm convinced that the chemicals used in modern fragrances are much worse for people than the vintage oils. Even soaps can be overpowering these days.

I must admit, though, to a great fondness for Irish Spring--"manly, yes, but I like it, too" was the commercial tagline! ;)

Kelli Stanley said...

Thank you, Raquel! "Eternity" is still a great fragrance!

Kelli Stanley said...

Thanks so much, Susan! :) I'm so glad to meet another fragrance-character-writer! :)

Perfume tells us so very much--our character's self-image, how she wants to be perceived, her economics, her tastes, her very essence. It's a crucial character point.

Plus, we have fun doing all the research ... ;)

Kelli Stanley said...

You're so right, Karen, and thanks for commenting!

We share some perfume connections: White Shoulders, Halston and Amerige. I loved all three! And my mother loved Angel and its delicious, chocolate top note. :)

Kelli Stanley said...

Diane, "Gardenia" sounds wonderful! I'll definitely try it next time I'm in Bloomingdale's.

I'm still a #5 girl, and I love Chanel's recent spin off: "Coco Noir". My kind of fragrance! ;)

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh, I wore Casaque! SO funny to see that name again.

And a YSL fragrance in a blue bottle--what was that called? OH, re-reading the comments, Rive Gauche! Yes!

In high school, we ALL wore Canoe, boys and girls. And there was another one, oh gosh--it was...English Leather!

I latched on to Shalimar in college.

NOw I wear 24 Faubourg by Hermes. It is transporting.

Hello, darling Kelli! xoox

Kelli Stanley said...

Kerry, you were obviously born with sophisticated tastes! :) Isn't it interesting how we identify some scents as "young" or "too old"?

Red Door is an all-time classic. Thanks for commenting! :)

Kelli Stanley said...

Ah, Libby, Canoe is such a classic, sporty, brisk but masculine scent! It launched--like so many other great fragrances--in 1932. Thanks for commenting!

Kelli Stanley said...

Thanks, Terry! Yes, Denise is the fragrance whisperer, and DAMAGE CONTROL is fabulous!

"Panache" sounds wonderful--love the name!! :) And thanks for commenting!

Kelli Stanley said...

Wonderful memories, Sharon, and thank you for sharing!

Yes, it's tough to find the original fragrances. You can try the Vermont Country Store (mail order and online--they specialize in vintage stuff that's difficult to get).

I'd also recommend trying two excellent British companies: Penhaligon and Floris (the latter has been in business since 1730, and is still family-owned). They both have strong lines of wonderful florals, particularly rose, if you're in the market for a new fragrance.

Thanks for commenting! :)

Bev Fontaine said...

These all sound so interesting. I've been wearing White Shoulders since college (long time ago) and sometimes wear a lovely fragrance by Givenchy called Organza. I was first drawn to it by the lovely bottle, but then was hooked by the scent.

As you all know, body chemistry really influences how different scents smell on different people. My method is to try out a new one and give it a few hours to see how it smells later before buying a bottle of something new. Otherwise, I have found myself with a scent that was absolutely awful on me.

Kelli Stanley said...

Thank you, Grandma! :)

And it sounds like you've hit the jackpot with Anais Anais! It was created in 1978, and as a fresh floral, has withstood the test of time to become a classic.

Thanks for commenting!

Kelli Stanley said...

Deborah, I love Jo Malone! Especially the Wild Fig and Cassis. She's a great perfumer. And I agree--I think synthetics are the major reason behind the allergic reactions we have to contemporary fragrance.

I ADORED Rive Gauche! It was my signature scent for a brief time in college. It felt so ... avant garde and naughty at the time! ;)

I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned "Obsession" (surely the most suitable name for an '80s fragrance). I loved "Babe" (advertised by Margaux Hemingway), too.

Thanks for commenting!! :)

Kelli Stanley said...

Pat, I'd suggest FRACAS. It's a beautiful gardenia fragrance by Robert Piguet, originally released in 1948 and brought back in the late 1990s.

The bottle is gorgeous (one of my personal prerequisites); the scent is lovely and unique. Madonna, Martha Stewart, Kim Basinger and others list it among their favorites. You can usually find it at Nordstrom's! :)

Thanks for commenting!

Kelli Stanley said...

Thank you, Lisa! :)

Perfume is a fascinating industry--like fashion, trends change constantly, but--also like fashion--some fragrances never go out of style.

Opium was one of Calvin Klein's biggest hits and still is! A classic. And that green tea fragrance sounds evocative and lovely!

Thanks for commenting! :)

Kelli Stanley said...

Karen, you hit the mark about perfume bottles!

I have a small collection of "minis"--miniature bottles of favorite fragrances. I try to attend my local Nordstrom's Fragrance Fair twice a year, and minis are usually part of the gifts for attendees, along with custom bottles you can have engraved while waiting. Swanky! :)

I won't even try a perfume if I don't like the bottle or the designer. For me, it's a package deal.

Thanks again for commenting! :)

Kelli Stanley said...

Deborah, Shalimar is one of my favorite classics, and is mentioned in every book of the Miranda Corbie series--it was VERY popular in 1940!

Plus, as you can tell, I have a great fondness for the House of Guerlain. Another of theirs that I really like is L'Heure Bleue.

Thanks for commenting! :)

Kelli Stanley said...

Kathy, thank you so much for the thoughtful comment!

In the 60s, when I was a small child, I remember my mom always had a bottle of Youth Dew. She loved trying new things, though, and eventually Natori, Angel, and especially Estee Lauder's Beautiful became her signature scents.

And as for men's fragrances, some are just hypnotic! I LOVE Polo.

Thanks again for dropping by! :)

Kelli Stanley said...

xoxo back to you dearest Hank!! :)

24 Faubourg sounds perfect for you!!

A mysterious address ... an exotic, romantic, sophisticated setting ... is it an assignation? Is it a secret code?

The mystery is scintillating, as befits both the intrepid, award-winning reporter and the brilliant, award-winning writer. :)

Kelli Stanley said...

Bev, you hit the nail on the head! A fragrance that smells wonderful on one person may smell overpowering or flat on someone else.

I always get a sample of what I want to try and wear it for a full day. That's the only way to know.

Thanks for commenting! :)

Kelli Stanley said...

As I mentioned, I like to change up fragrances with weather and mood, but I do have a "stable" that I return to, again and again:

Paris (YSL)
Basier du Dragon, Eau de Cartier, Must (Cartier)
Chanel #5, Coco Noir (Chanel)
Black Orchid (Tom Ford)
L'Instant, Shalimar, Vol de Nuit, L'Heure Bleu (Guerlain)
Elizabethan Rose (Penhaligon)
White Rose (Floris)
Les Nuits d'Hadrien, Eau d'Hadrien (Annick Goutal)

And I'm always looking for more ... ;)

Reine said...

Kelli it's very comforting to see you here with your signature hat on. I came back to tell you that I am very excited about CITY OF GHOSTS! Great cover art—looks terrific!

Kelli Stanley said...

Thank you very much, Reine! :) Fedoras are like perfumes--I change them up based on weather and what I'm wearing! ;)

Thanks again for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy CITY OF GHOSTS!

Reine said...

And... Balmain Jolie Madame was my favorite for awhile and a bit strong, but just out of high school I thought it made me seem sophisticated (sexy to my crazy teenage mind).

Kelli Stanley said...

Very cool, Reine! And hey, leather is always sexy, and that's the main base note in Jolie Madame! ;)

Reine said...

Ooh... leatherrrr. See... I always learn something from you, Kelli! xoxox

Kelli Stanley said...

LOL, Reine! Glad I could help!! ;)

Kelli Stanley said...

Big thanks to one of my very favorite people in the world, Rhys Bowen, for inviting me to the Reds today! Rhys is an inspiration in everything, and I'm particularly delighted to learn that she, too, was a Je Reviens girl. :)

And thanks, Reds Team, for letting Miranda and I be Honorable Reds! You guys are the best!! :)

Karen B said...

I wore Hynotique for many years. Now I'm allergic to many man-made scents and stick with all unscented items if I can. If you see someone running through the soap, detergent, coffee, candle, fertilizer aisle, etc. at the grocery/hardware/garden store with their breath held - that's me!

Kelli Stanley said...

Poor Karen! I feel your pain! So many fake chemical smells everywhere. Thanks for stopping by Jungle Reds and leaving a comment!

Chris said...

My mother always wore Emeraude. I can still remember that smell. My first perfume was Heaven Sent, which was very popular with 12 -14 year olds back in my day. I now Pure Grace by Philosophy. It is a very clean fragrance. Most other perfumes give me a headache.

Kelli Stanley said...

Thanks for the comment, Chris! Emeraude was a classic. I haven't heard of Pure Grace, but I'll definitely check it out! Thank you! :)

Jungle Red Writers said...

What a terrific number of visitors today, Kelli. And great comments too. Thank you for coming and please pick a comment to send a signed copy of City of Ghosts.
And everyone rush out to buy Kelli's new book right this minute. You won't regret it!


CampRunamokans said...

Proust had his Madeleine. I remember so much of my childhood via Evening in Paris and Coeur Joie, my mother's favorites. Old San Francisco is gone -- the City of Paris, the White House -- but my memories survived.

Rochelle Staab said...

I've been a Chanel No. 5 gal since the 1970s, but my very first cologne back in high school was AMBUSH. Anyone remember? A drugstore cologne, and we drenched ourselves in it.

Love this post, Kelli. Wishing you tons of sales for City of Ghosts!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

AMBUSH! Rochelle, you have made my day. Wonderful.

And aw, Kelli..thank you. 24 Faubourg is actually the address of Hermes in Paris. Got to love it. And the fragrance is astonishing.

SO great to see you here today! Love to all.

Anonymous said...

Je Reviens was mine also. It is very distinctive but alas I've not worn it for ages.

Eau De Rochas was another favourite of that time and both bring back my 20s. If I close my eyes I could be entering a 'time warp' the sounds and smells still acute in my senses.

These days I love DOT by Marc Jacobs and SAFARI for women by Ralph Lauren. Wearing them now is creating another 'time warp' I can visit, when, hopefully, I am in my 70s.

Susan C Shea said...

Mother wore Chanel No.5 at night, Tweed during the day. Sadly, my memories aren't happy ones so I avoid scents with those notes. My current favs are Ellensia by Penhaligon (British) with violet leaf at its core, and L'Eau Issey with a green/floral mix. Love talking scent with other scent-lovers!

Kelli Stanley said...

Thank you all so much for hosting me on my favorite blog! :)

I loved all the comments, learned about new perfumes, and really enjoyed hearing memories.

I've entered names in my trusty writing fedora, one for each person who commented, and drew out ... Reine!

Reine, please email me your address so I can get a signed copy of CITY OF GHOSTS out to you right away.

And again, many, many thanks to Rhys and the Reds and to all of you for a wonderful--dare I say fragrant? ;)--day!

cat said...

As a teenager I wore Tigress by Fabregae . My grandmother Always wore orange blossom cologne and I splash it on after my bath and it invokes lovely memories of her .