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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Perfumes that Smell Like a Hooker (but in the best possible sense!)

Slutty fragrances is a funny subject as there are few things more subjective than the perception of scent. For most people "slutty" in that context means cheap, loud, worn in abundance and easily accessible; maybe like pants bought off the rack at Victoria's Secret.
Yet perfumes, especially French perfumes, have used questionable effects and sexy fragrance "notes" to build a cultural history that reads like a naughty bodice ripper. What perfume lovers have coded as "skanky"....in the best possible sense!

poor dear, to be included in a post with this title...no relation to hookers, just beautiful (via Getty)

From things to accompany a vinyl bondage skirt and hard, blood red lipstick or a romantic lacy sheath, to scents that mentally transport you to the boudoir rather than being worn in one, I have had fun compiling a slideshow of 8 "naughty, slutty perfumes" for Fragrance.about.com on this link. Won't you leaf through the slideshow to find out which perfumes made the cut?

I had to limit myself to just 8 but please add your own suggestions in the comments! 

25 comments:

  1. Anonymous16:07

    I agree with Tabu and Shocking, I'd pick YSL Paris, Montana Parfum de Peau, Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit, Guerlain Shalimar, well of course these aren't truck stop prostitutes, although I truly encountered street hookers wearing YSL Paris by hot steamy summer nights in New York back in the days the Hells Kitchen was sketchy after dark and not the hipsters gentrified hot spot / tourist trap it has become today. Perhaps vintage Caron Narcisse Noir, but that's definitely high class prostitute, that one isn't a street walker!

    Emma

    Emma

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    1. Emma, I'm starting to feel apprehensive about my wearing Paris in the office when I want to smell "clean". Hahaha! Then again I regularly wear Tabu (from the cologne "violin" version and sometimes people mistake it with Opium, so maybe I'm just floating above it all. (There's certainly some fun in considering that)
      I bet NN registers as decadent retro nowadays rather than prostitute (high class, granted), the way scents have become so much sweeter over the years. Vulgarized....

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    2. Anonymous16:01

      Hi Elena,

      I'm well aware that my references are not current but if they were what fun would that be as just like Miss Heliotrope pointed out, it's generational, hookers today probably wear Chloé. Sad but true!

      We are into decadent, dark stuff and if hooker it is, we are high class darling! You're absolutely right, those fruitchoulis are vulgar and so cheap, but at least they have their own personality and character and I'd wear La Vie Est Belle anytime over the new Chloé which not only smells like detergent but is so BORING, you want to kill yourself!

      Emma

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  2. Anonymous16:30

    mama mia !!!

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    1. The photo or concept? Maybe both :-)

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    2. Anonymous01:11

      Yea right!!!

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  3. Kata20:52

    Haha, two of my favorites made your list: Rush and Kingdom. I would also classify them as such and add two Tom Fords: Violet Blonde and Black Orchid. They are high-class, but hookers just the same.

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    1. Thanks Kata. Great additions, and what does it say about me that I like both? I was particularly taken by the allusion of Violet Blonde to "violence" (violent blonde); it has a Freudian association in it which in itself is an association. ("a dream within a dream"). Pretty nifty, eh? Nice smell too.

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  4. Adding Dior Addict, Putain des Palaces and True Lust, and for the femmes fatales, the "slutiest" of all, Fracas! (In the best possible way, although Bandit could work for the most kinky situations)

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    1. Funnily enough, although Putain des Palaces was among the first that popped to mind I didn't include it because it's too niche. Secretions however I had to because it has gained cult status.
      Fracas although sultry is the domain of society doyennes so it would ruffle too many feathers to consider it sluttish, I suppose. I agree that if worn in earnest it might feel more femme than societally acceptable, if you know what I mean.
      Bandit is kinky, so good!! (But I consider it very starch-powdery-green. I love it in heatwaves especially, when sweaty!)

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  5. I think a high class hooker would wear Mitsouko as well as Jicky .... but I had to laught with Gucci Rush .... when I see it I remember when it launched in Oz and my Mum had a huge asthma attack in the department store ...... I hope an asthmatic did not hire the Prossi with Gucci Rush on! LOL

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    1. I think we;re all influenced by the Japanese "geisha" stuff on Mitsouko. Although skin like golden it doesn't really remind me of a down and dirty situation, personally. Then again, I have had a friend with a good nose and a relatively high tolerance for musky stuff sniffing from the bottle (only) and telling me "it smells like a porn film would". (wtf??)
      Rush is a typhoon, the kind of thing a person drawing attention on themselves would pick. No wonder it produced an asthma attack! Highly volatile stuff too!

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  6. Miss Heliotrope03:36

    This was fun - thank you. It also raises questions about cultural or generational concepts of sluttiness in scent: the use of civet or jasmine, or indeed the intention to smell of body & sweat & so on would seem to fulfill that slutty but good ideal, and yet that the more modern fruity & sweet have got in there too suggests a change in mindset. You note that the Lady Gaga one has the right sort of ad & language, but the more recent interpretation of the actual smell - maybe this highlights the move away from an acknowledgement that bodies, and sweaty, dirty bodies, are sexy, and into a more hygienic if not actually anti body mind set? It reminds me of old jokes about which nationalities wash before sex or after or both...

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    1. Great comment, as usual!!

      As you say I think the concept lies in two angles: one is humanity and its smell; the other is vulgarity. The modern notion relies firmly on the second and presents these over-sweet things which can be too sweet but non menacing in their humanity. They're kinda crass, but can be fun too. Gaga's is tame compared to Rush for instance, but they both aim at the vulgar kind of vibe.
      Nothing wrong with that if one is into that sort of thing, of course. Just an observation.

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  7. I agree with the Tom Ford Violet Blonde and Black Orchid additions.

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    1. Glad you do and thanks!

      Phyllis, do drop me an email because you won a copy of the books I was giving away the other day. :-)

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  8. Anonymous05:37

    Agent provocateur anybody?

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    1. Great addition!
      Not only the perfume is launched by a panties and lingerie brand, the smell is sexy as hell. The candle itself in the original scent has accompanied many...ahem...romps...ahem...well, you know what I mean.

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  9. Anonymous08:53

    Great choices! I had no idea Monsieur Guerlain had such a dirty mind. Anyways I love Jicky and don't find the civet base too dirty. It just smells like a person. And that person is often me.
    Tabu and Shocking are given, even though I've never smeĺled the latter. Allways wanted to though.
    Dear Lady Gaga can't know much about perfume. Even though how we percieve scents is very subjective, Fame does not smell hooker-ish at all. She never said Fame smelled like blood and sperm though. She said a long time ago that if she had a perfume, that was what she would want it to smell like. Somebody send her a bottle of Secretions Magnifique.

    And Rush does not smell like amyl nitrate. ;-)

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    1. Thanks for the insightful comment!

      Yup, Jean Paul really has a way with words, doesn't he. I never found Jicky too dirty, but it's very very human, like you so cleverly say. I always feel it's very French, which in itself includes humanity. Love it, especially in extrait de parfum.
      Shocking can be found on ebay and it keeps rather well, I find, contrary to many others. ;-)
      Agree on Lady Gaga. She had said that, but I'm sure the Coty team changed her views shortly after undertaking the project which is probably why it smells the way it does.
      Thank god Rush doesn't smell liek amyl nitrate, because imagine if people got fixed. It'd be illegal and we'd buy it like contraband. ;-D

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  10. Nathan18:09

    La Nuit by Paco Rabanne demands sex!

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  11. Jean Paul Gauthier Classique. Vanilla-cigar-amber. puts me in mind of Marlene Dietrich sitting on a piano, swinging her legs as she puffs a cigar in some underground Paris club...

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  12. Danaki17:05

    Theo Fennell The Scent - that was a shock, I don't dare remove the stopper off the bottle of parfum I have again. Juliet Has A Gun Calamity J does that sexy skin scent thing, very human. The original Shiseido Feminite du Bois, sometimes, and I stress sometimes, well...smells like, sweaty private parts?

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  13. I really love Oud 27/Le Labo - I think it has that dirty/sexy allure. At least it makes me feel that way...;)

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  14. I'll vote for Dior Addict(original), for a regular streetwalker. I'd imagine a decadent brothel-dweller wearing a heavier white floral, like Pure Poison. And it's been years since I smelled Obsession, but I'm pretty sure it's a contender too.

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