Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sex and the Parfum

Osmoz has devoted their monthly feature to sexy perfumes and the advertising that accompanies them. "While porno-chic and glam-trash are so last millennium, the trend has in fact evolved rather than disappearing… And there’s no way around it: sex still sells" Nicolas Olczyk writes. From B-Spot, the latest playful hinting perfume from Benefit and Diesel unveiling a new perfume in an ad stamped 'For women only' as well as sure-bets Agent Provocateur's newest Strip in black and powder-pink undies, with a trail of bewitching amber (you can’t help recognizing the allusion), Intimately Beckham Night for Him and for Her duo and Tom Ford's images there is a trend towards boudoirs, libertine women and elixirs of sensuality. (just remember the Elixirs Charnels/ Carnal Elixirs collection by Guerlain!). Guerlain also claimed that their newest masculine Guerlain Homme is set to reveal the "animal in you": a thirsty one, if one goes by the commercial and the mohito cocktail notes it includes.
Sexy scented items are also booming if the success of the massage candle concept is anything to go by. Agent Provocateur even has a nipple "titilation" product! Lately the new “cosmetiques du plaisir” line YesForLov will be launching L‘Affolante Eau de Draps (eau de Sexy Sheets). The sweet-spicy composition suggests that beds aren’t only for sleeping.

The accompanying Osmoz quizz testing your "fragranista" knowledge is witty and light enough to do from work if you want, with a couple of questions that might make you think back a bit. You can take it here: SEX AND THE PARFUM. Fun!

And if you want to find out what a handful of New Yorkers (men and women) think are sexy scents, watch their video here. It's interesting to contemplate what shapes public opinion and how different men's and women's perceptions are about those things.

Pic of David and Victoria Beckham photographed by Terry Richardson for Intimately Beckham Night courtesy of Osmoz.


  1. I read this yesterday, I think the best part was the video. I think I was really suprised to see Opium and Obsession mentioned, while these two still have a following amongst perfume lovers, I had begun to wonder if the general public still liked them.

  2. Validation from men is the real test as to which fragrance is really sexy/sexual or not. Old Lutens Fleurs d 'Oranger got me more hot compliments by men than any other perfumes all combined, unfortunately FdO turned into a flat and dull orange blossom jasmine about three years via bad reformulation. Many perfumes marketed sexual/sexy failed to impress men like Musc Ravageur, also younger generations of men under 45 don 't seem to like heady overtly feminine fragrances.

  3. Jen,

    I agree, the video was really interesting! It's nice to see those oldies being still fondly remembered (although it was indeed remembered by a self-proclaimed perfume lover)

  4. Caline,

    VERY true about the validation: most women have a *completely* different idea about what constitutes a sexy fragrance I have noticed.

    Musc Ravageur is not considered attractive by any of the men I have asked. (OK, this is not a scientific experiment, just saying...) In fact I beleve MR is more of an amber than a musk, really, like I have said many times, but that's another matter for another day. However MR is loved by many women. So I think when women are asked about sexy fragrances they often state what they themselves think of as sexy or puts them in the mood or something along those lines.

    You know, I have heard you say that about FdO (which I love) again ~you have prompted me to actually get some of the more recent batches and compare.
    Did you take into consideration that because of the high ratio of natural ingredients there might be some slight difference accounted to crops? Or is it some regulation pertaining to animalics that is affecting it? (the issue interests me a lot)

  5. Stella Polaris20:30

    FdO must still be potent; I bought mine this summer, and wearing it has given me more compliments than any of the others that I have been wearing since then. So I wonder how delicious it must have smelled in earlier batches!
    The men I know and have talked about perfumes with, all am very fond of vanilla, which I can't like more than in very faint concentrations. Are food smells generally considered sexy by men?
    (I seem to remember that the "titilation" product from Agent P is meant for both nipples and lips. One may wonder which lips.. :-)

  6. perfumeshrine, men like fragrances the way they like women; young, fresh, vibrant, pretty and sexy. Too innocent, pure or goofy and immature it turns them off, too sexually provocative, naughty, mature or experienced isn 't good either. Think Coco Melle 's success! Men love that fragrance on women, it 's got character, elegance and sensuality but all restrained, the way only Chanel knows how to do that.

    perfumeshrine, I 'm not an expert like you and many others in the blogosphere but I 've been wearing FdO since 1996, years before most people from the perfume community had even heard of Serge Lutens, this is not something I got into last month or last year. I noticed a sudden change about three years ago. Then last spring, LT and TS from the guide mentioned the unfortunate reformulations of Chene, Fumerie Turque and Un Bois Sepia; although I 'm not familiar with these Lutens scents at all I thought it made sense. I contacted Les Salons Shiseido in Paris, eventually the director confirmed FdO and other Lutens scents had indeed been reformulated. Old FdO 's opening is more "spicy orange" (had a Tang note I thought)compared to new FdO 's flat top notes. Old FdO 's floral heart is richer, headier with creamy tuberose, lush jasmine and white rose, the new version 's florality is more "orange blossom" and again so flat.
    A friend of mine from France sent me an old decant of Muscs Koublai Khan, the old mauve label bottle, it 's so beautiful and although the current version is also beautiful there is a slight difference that is clearly noticeable. The old one is smoother and more radiant, the new one is less complex and doesn 't last as long.

  7. Back in the day (as they say), before I was a Married Lady, I found that anything with amber or vanilla in it was a sure thing. And when I was 16 "Love's Baby Soft" had the same effect... These days, obviously, I'd use "Habanita" to lure the hypothetical men who used to fall for LBS. So much of it is subjective though - "Mitsouko" always makes me feel sultry and Anais Nin-like so I'm sure that's what I project, whereas the supposedly glamorous things like "24 Faubourg" make me feel like I'm going for a job interview at LVMH...

  8. S,

    I suppose that food does have a subliminal attractive effect: after all why wouldn't it? It denotes warmth, affection, and someone competent enough to take care of the weary warrior...(yeah, I'm afraid the cliches have a reason they have become so well known).

    That was exactly my thought on the AP product!! Hehehe

  9. Caline,

    I certainly see your point. (I never understood the *huge* success of Coco Mlle though: it's all right but doens't wow me all that much)
    It'd be a pity...not MKK too!!!!

  10. L,

    your bring a great element: how a perfume makes us feel personally and good examples to illustrate it. LOL on the 24 Faubourg (alhtough I love it) and agree on Mitsouko.

    In the end it suffices to choose what you know you like and feel comfortable with, I guess.

  11. watchman17:29

    Caline ... a new name for an old guest ... :)
    Easy to trace because always saying same lying ..

  12. Watchman,

    thank you for stopping by.
    In all fairness, I know the username from Perfume of Life where she was also Caline for a while (among other aiases). I never doubted it was the same person and from time to time I do pop in the French fora as well.

    I do hope to see you commenting on the subject at hand because it's interesting and I'd appreciate your views on it: it'd make for an exciting discussion.

  13. watchman, I was previously posting under Emmanuella. I always change usernames, always done that and unlike you it 's not to be anonymous or hide behind something like you 've just done with "watchman" out of cowardness. You must be a frustrated person who thinks so high of himself or maybe conflicted insided (sexually?) or is it because I was wearing Lutens when you were still wearing cheap cologne?
    If you don 't "believe" me about Lutens reformulations, read the "guide" and call yourself Les Salons Shiseido in Paris you frustrated A*Hole!

  14. perfumeshrine, I 'm trying to find a vintage MKK bottle but never saw any on ebay and french ebay so far. The radiance intensity is what differs from old to new MKK. I guess Mysore must have been reformulated too unless they have access to their own real Mysore sandalwood...

  15. Caline and Watchman,

    I would really appreciate it if you didn't bring personal vendettas, you two, in this venue (which is completely unrelated to anything you might have to fight about anyway). You both have freedom to speak your mind here if you want to have a civilised discussion, but please no mudslinging or calling names.

    I am sure Santal de Mysore would require a small personal plantation in Kerala fenced with electrical wire in order to survive unscathed and a faux facade of bamboo shoots, so...(btw, I prefer Santal Blanc for some curious reason anyway).
    But others seemed in a less perilous situation and it's a pity.

  16. perfumeshrine, this coward anonymous person that I don 't know is attacking me out of nowhere, I have no idea who this troll is, as far as I 'm concerned it can be anyone, there are so many of those frustrated people with no life lurking in the perfume community. I understand this is frustrating for you too, you work hard, but I 'm a victim of character assassination here, I felt I had to expose this troll for what it is, a pathetic frustrated person with issues of his/her own. I don 't have to post again and just let me know.

    Is it TS from the guide who says that Guerlain still have their own real Mysore sandalwood because they had their own stocks, maybe Lutens/Shiseido have their own as well. Who knows? The director of Palais Royal doesn 't provide these informations, but I 'm glad she was honest about the reformulations. She also confirmed that Miel de Bois (a favorite of mine) was not discontinued but if anything it would join the exclusive line (in the worst of it).

  17. Caline,

    I might be late in my reply here, but, like I said, as long as you don't call names you're welcome to post.
    If this person is attacking you surely he/she must know you, though, from someplace. Since the perfume online community is miniscule, it's usually not hard to figure that (or who) out.
    At any rate, hopefully you will find a happy middle road between you two when posting here. :-)

    As to Guerlain having "stocks" -which I don't recall Tania saying verbatim-, I don't think it's a matter of stocks since it's the actual plant which is declared endangered (therefore harvesting should stop even if one owned the whole country!) but of supply of the perfumery material. Then again I distinctly recall that in the Samsara review there is mention of upping the synthetic equivalent (which was present before as well, but in lower concentration) because of this issue. Therefore...
    If Guerlain, which is a multi-million company (under the LVMH umbrella especially), cannot do it, I don't see how Lutens or Shiseido -and Beaute Prestige International for that matter- could.

    On the other hand regarding Miel de Bois, the discontinuation rumour got started by a Lutens representative who said so to Carmencanada. I then investigated it a bit and found out that Sheldrake never liked the composition ~this was divulged to my by someone who is a very close friend of his and very prominent in the perfume community ;-)~ and maybe, just maybe, Lutens got disenchanted as well "being a perfectionist" (verbatim).
    Later Carmencanada asked at the Salons again and they denied the rumour. Therefore MdB remains in limbo till further news. If they re-issue it in the Exclusives, that will be a first too and quite interesting in its own way (from a business and artistic point of view I mean)

  18. perfumeshrine, a lot of people hate me in the perfume community;
    I 'm brash, honest with incisive humor, libertarian and a proud transsexual woman so it 's not hard to figure out why these narrow-minded people who think so high of themselves hate me.
    Anyways, I don 't want to read "you two" because again I don 't have anything to do with this person who attacked me in the first place "Caline ... a new name for an old guest ... :)
    Easy to trace because always saying same lying ..". It feels like I 'm being told I can only blame myself for this and that I shouldn 't respond, fine I 'll do that and won 't be posting here again then.

  19. Caline,

    I for one am not one of the people you describe, I do not hate you (why would I?? I find hate soul-destroying and internet-hate mind-numbing on top of that!). As a matter of fact I enjoy a different perspective and the points you make exactly because they're interesting and not cliché.

    I am truly sorry you misunderstood the intention of my comment if I was unclear, I certainly didn't mean that you have yourself to blame; only pointing out that it must be someone you know ~so you could easily find out who~ and hoping that you might find a way between yourselves to co-exist here in relative harmony so I don't have to delete posts which is not my way of doing things on this venue ("hopefully you will find a happy middle road between you two when posting here").

    Of course you're free to respond to an attack (it's the manner one does things more than the what they do that makes the difference I generally notice) and to post again if you still want to. Rest assured that ~like before on another article's comments section~ I will be fair and give what is due to whom it is due.
    If you want to, do mail me privately (email is on profile) so I can explain further.

    And if I might be so bold as to advise a little bit: why give credence to anyone's accussations by being ignited by them? If I were you I'd laugh them off! But I may be completely off-base here and you can diregard that last bit if so.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. perfumeshrine, don 't worry about it, it 's already behind me but I just felt insulted and disrespected that 's all, it was hard to disregard this comment. This must be someone very well known from the perfume community, anyways someone with no balls, very frustrated and envious to stoop that low.

  22. watchman09:39

    " Câline said...

    watchman I always change usernames,
    ... You must be a frustrated person who thinks so high of himself or maybe conflicted insided (sexually?)
    ... you frustrated A*Hole! "

    That's all ? ... you have done Better Caline, I am disapointed.

    So I can answer ...

    Caline you have insulted so much person that you cant even count them.

    You are just always the same as mythomaniac as ever. Just hiding behind false knowledge.
    You are very good at this, to make beleive others that you are the only one to know things.

    And it is always the same story, when someone find the truth, you insult and you are also good at it ... at the end you are banished from a blog or a forum.

    And you go to another ... It is only a question of time.

    Caline : you havent read well your Idole, LT : "Perfume has no relation with Sex"
    It is in Secret of Scent in the first chapter.

  23. Caline,

    thanks for understanding my position and I agree that it did feel ackward for me as well: I try to be impartial and fair as much as humanly possible.


    I understand that you have some past with Caline. Perhaps you feel insulted yourself, for which I am sorry.
    However, Caline up to now has been an active contributor commenting on the content of the posts and not on other commentators here (I am not concerned with what she does elsewhere, as I am not an administrator there but rather here)whereas your contribution has been to comment only on her and not the content of the blog up to now.
    Therefore, to my chagrin, I am going to disallow further commenting on this post and urge you to refrain from accusing her here for tresspasses on other venues. As long as she behaves on this venue she is welcome to state her opinion on the content of the articles, no matter how much you or I or anyone might disagree with. As you are as well, if you so choose in the future and I welcome your thoughts on fragrant matters of which I am sure you have plenty to say. :-)

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