Perfume greed and subsequent ramblings

It is amazing how people are coming together in this day and age to shout equality and love for ALL—THAT MEANS ALL!—from the rooftops. It is appalling how much of the opposite—the dogma, bias, discrimination, and unfounded rejection—polluted many of my formative experiences through influences big and small in my own life. Though we cannot undo as easily as pressing Ctrl-Z, we can unlearn, and neural plasticity can be forgiving. It is comforting to think that the majority is (finally) aligning to an ideal mindset, and disconcerting to be reminded that those of us who think so may be in a large echo chamber in relation to the wider world. I truly hope that the former is the case. But we must be prepared to stay in the active, “-ing” phase, as there will always be work to be done.


Changing topics, I was never very interested in plants, which went harmoniously with a general philosophy of letting nature be and manipulating only human-made things in service of nature (but not thought out quite like that). Now thanks to a broadening interest in perfumery, I wish I knew more about these beautiful creatures that provide so much of the raw material used in fragrance. Starting with being able to put names to flower faces…

Incidentally, I recently finished watching the old TV series Rosemary and Thyme, about 2 spunky, post-midlife women who find themselves with unexpected “freedom,” then become gardeners and inadvertent—but very eager—sleuths. I enjoyed it hugely for the “cozy mystery” aspect (no need to think too much), but learned very little botany from it, except perhaps the following points that I can remember off the top of my head:

  • Hogweed is phototoxic
  • Horse waste can contain heavy metals, which kill grass
  • If you want to plant roses, you must use soil in which no roses have grown before
  • Flowers have been coded into secret meanings, which can make for interesting inside communication between those in-the-know

I’m sure those with gardening knowledge (of which I have none) can quickly confirm or deny these points.

What I can say with confidence is that we are now in the season for figs, and figs are delicious. Now is the time to buy fresh figs from your local purveyor of produce.


Today is the first time I ever used up a 2-mL sample of perfume all in one day. The dubious lucky winner of bragging rights was Fils de Dieu by Etat Libre d’Orange, a supposed “cheeky, powdery twist on a fresh and citrusy tropical fragrance that is inspired by the ingredients and the humility of the Far East” according to the brand. If I’d liked it less, I would have put it aside. If I’d liked it more, I would have spritzed sparingly so as to enjoy it over more days. My perfume habits are changing, ever so subtly (or not).

What I smell, beyond the bright, lime-ginger opening, is rice—as promised by the rest of the name, du Riz et des Agrumes (of rice and citrus). There’s something comforting and settling about the smell of steamed rice; perhaps the promise of a meal soon, an upholding of tradition implied by the abundance of a food staple? I also sniff hard for the shiso note, because it’s dear to my heart, but it’s not prominent here. If I inhale some shiso essential oil and smell the perfume again, I get a match, but otherwise it’s not announcing itself.

Unfortunately, the overall blended effect of citrus and (coconut) rice ends up like a wet wipe on me, or maybe a lip balm. It’s vaguely warm on the drydown and I get some of the amber.


I might enjoy a more savory rice in perfume. Not too foody, but more consonant. Maybe it’s out there?






4 thoughts on “Perfume greed and subsequent ramblings

  1. I haven’t tried this perfume, but in general rice I can do only as “rice powder” and shiso is something I’d eat but don’t want to smell prominently in my perfume.

    I liked that TV show (watched it twice) and wished for more seasons – even though gardening and I are completely incompatible :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish they had more seasons too—despite the unlikely situations and their constant tampering with evidence, it was always satisfying to follow their adventures.


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