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Monday, June 29, 2009

Havoc, Manifesto, Wet Gun-Dog....?

I like perfume for it's own sake but also for the time-travel memories it can evoke.
In my Disco years when days were spent wearing muddy boots and playing with horses and the nights were a constant search for something else to ride, my perfume of choice was Havoc by Mary Quant, (makeup by Biba, of course).
Havoc was my signature smell, recognised and remembered amongst the sweaty dark and strobe lights. The Brut-splashed boys I dated all told me they loved it and it pleased me to say the name. Havoc!
After moving to France, (and growing up a little), the Man who was to be my one and only, said that my perfume reminded him of a diesel truck, in need of an engine tune-up, starting on a cold morning. Apparently he could get beyond that thought and liked me for other reasons. I moved on to lighter, more organic scents of mimosa, orange flower and Lilly-of-the-Valley.
A leap forward a few years and we are living in California. Mr. "Don't Spare My Feelings" has to travel to France a few times a year and each time he returns he brings perfume. I'm not complaining, but I understand how this goes. Mr. DSMF either arrives at his airport with time to shop (unusual) or reaches for the duty free catalog to shop on the plane. He has no clue what to choose; it's an excuse to engage in conversation with a charming flight attendant, or store assistant. "Which perfume should I buy for my wife, Mademoiselle?" "This is my favorite, Monsieur. Your wife will love it. It's all the rage!" Duty-Free is a good description for it. Duty-Dispensed-With would also be apt.
And so I found myself discovering new perfumes: For a while it was "Anais Anais" by Cacharel; Not too young, not too old and in fashion with many of the other women dropping kids off at the French-American school every day.
"Manifesto" by Isabella Rossellini was, and still is, a favorite. I like the slightly anarchistic implications of the name, as well as both the perfume and the squared-off shape of the bottle. The fact that "Manifesto" often draws compliments from the guys I work with in construction, who want to know the name so they can get some for their wives, has me suspicious that maybe it's another truck-related perfume.
I have one bottle that is designed to look as though it is falling over. The packaging designers of "Eau des Merveilles" by Hermes did not impress me with this gimmick, although I suspect that this is the reason Mr. DSMF chose it. However, I do like the perfume and it is currently first choice for the daily squirt.
Mr. DSMF was always an advocate of the "natural" aroma of human beings. Little by little he began using scented after-shave. Passing through the inevitable "Old Spice" phase, I know he was disappointed in his quest to find "Parsley and Garlic", although that might be available at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, a place we are never going.
When I visit England I find myself in the gift stores run by The National Trust and have successfully found natural honey-based products that smell great. "Parchment" was also well received, and it did have that Historic paper aura.
My best find of all time was a cologne for men called "Wet Gun Dog". Now I am no longer torn by the choice of who to hug first.
Mr. DSMF arrived home from this most recent trip smelling very attractively indeed. It is still very unusual for him to get involved in such things for himself. After a couple of days of surprisingly increased enjoyment of being in his proximity I wanted to know what he was using.
As soon as I saw the container of "1 Million" by Paco Rabanne I knew why he had bought it. Mr. DSMF likes his bling. This looks like a gold ingot. How could he resist? It is purely the luck of the draw that it smells appealing.


  1. Just the name "Paco Rabanne" takes me back 30 years!!!
    I haven't bought perfume in years..... eau de cheval is more my line unfortunately, perhaps I should go perfume shopping....

  2. One post I cannot relate to! I am allergic to most perfumes--the smells, mostly. Some very natural fragrances are OK, but, no!! I also have to be very careful with bath products, etc. Natural fragrances only. Love orange, peppermint....

  3. "Wet Gun Dog" I would wear that myself. I bet I could come up with all the fixings to make up a batch all on my own.

    I think it would ensure I had a pew all to myself every Sunday.

  4. Eau de Cheval is the one I wear too, excellent choice - classy fragrance which embodies defiantly feminine yet powerful style of the legendary Amazons.
    The sensory blend which stays with you, your clothes, your household, your hair forever...

  5. Wet Gun Dog? Are you serious? I have never seen that one. It's got to be better than Old Spice - or Old Socks as we called it in Dagenham.
    For me, it is Polo by Ralph Lauren, D&G Masculine and Tsar. I rarely wear them, though. However, my dog (Geronimo Sexxipants-Rockstarr) often gets a little bit splashed on the back of his neck and the chick dogs love him for it. So as weird as it sounds confessing this, my dog wears after shave more than I do.
    very funny post, by the way.

  6. Oh, I can just imagine my husband if I let him have a pong called Tsar!
    He'd want his own tank in Red Square.
    Wet Gun Dog is honestly available at various stately homes run by The National Trust. Makes me think of a very posh volunteer with an evil sense of humor and a great sense of marketing. Maybe her dog is the Spokes-Dog for the fragrance. Has to be a black Lab. don't you think?
    Next year's new fragrance, "What my dog rolled in last Friday" -Name needs a little fine tuning- "You Rolled in What?!!"
    And for the eau de cheval crowd: "Horse Apples" ? "The Flatulent Mare"? "Barn Slobber"?
    Dave: My dog wears Pantene pro-V spray on conditioner.

  7. After reading this last response here, now I see why you give points to someone who will lie down and roll over on his back to get a good picture of a horse in a pasture... never know what one might roll in... and smell like after... And I was wondering why la Grenouille was keeping her distance the evening that horse photo was taken !

  8. lol.... Love this! I have a highly sensitive olfactory sense for some reason, so most perfumes give me an instant headache, even walking past a shop can give me one.. I can just about stand delicately scented oils... However.. I absolutely love Farhenheit, I know it's for blokes... but.. I want some! Most of the time I smell like a barn though.
    The wet gundog scent is inspired!.. :-)

  9. These days i suspect that i mostly smell of Elderly Cat, because they both sit on my clothes despite my best efforts.

    Never been one for scents - i think blokes seem to think we should be proud of our sweat, but all the male things to cover it up seem to smell worse

  10. Golly, your significant other actually BROUGHT YOU perfume back. I should be so lucky! I once went for "Ramage", but when I dropped it in the loo at the office and everybody called it "blamage" from then on I stopped wearing it. I have gone with Nina Ricci's L'heure du Temps for years now, but nothing beats the smell of Benno after he's been for a swim in a stagnant pond.

  11. Comment connection keeps dropping off today. Here's one more try.
    Friko, sounds like "Pond Scum" is your new Eau de...?
    Pixie, Do we christen your parfum "Mature Moggie"? No I think i prefer your "Elderly Cat" version.It has dignity.
    To get away from the animal smells, how about a perfume that smells like fresh toast? I'd buy it.

  12. I hsven't got a single drop of perfume at the moment. No-one buys it for me and I never get round to buying any myself. My pong of choice is currently "Gel Douche le Moins Cher" by House of Tesco. I think men's perfumes (if we're allowed to call them that without their wing-wangs dropping off) smell way better to me than women's ones. I used to love Jazz aftershave. I like the Eau de Toast idea and would augment the range with Eau de Cafe.

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