Once a year I visit an adorable perfume shop in the East Village known simply as The Fragrance Shop. Owner Lalita is a treasure; she has helped me blend over 10 custom scents over the years.
This fall, I wanted to create a scent that was mature and sensual, aka GROWN AND SEXY.
I wear more than four perfumes daily, a tiny dab of each at a different pulse point, and the overall consensus is wood, leather, spice, and patchouli. I created a custom blend some three years ago to "attract men," and boy was I surprised when it worked!
Does anyone recall this article from 2010? It claims that pumpkin pie smell makes dudes horny. So that November, I went to see Lalita, and my first scent “D” was born. I ended up with a dreamy man in less than two months!
This particular blend was sugar and spice, pumpkin pie, cinnamon, and vanilla mingled with leather and sandalwood. When worn with my usual top-coat spritz of Angel by Thierry Mugler and a few extra dabs of patchouli over coconut body oil, I smelled like a manic hippie dream girl from 1993.
Last fall I slightly altered “D” to contain more patchouli, clove, and a special blend called Himalaya, which is heavy sandalwood. Now that I know that the pumpkin pie formula is reliable, I want to tone it down to reduce the number of randos trying to smell me all the time.
This is a real thing, people. When I was a sweaty waitress, lustful men always tried to get a whiff of my hair while my boyfriend looked on with pride. “Thats my smelly girl!” he would say, knowing that only he would get to smell my hair for longer than .02 seconds and without being shamed.
The addition of rosewater in my scent wardrobe has also been a boon for helping to mask smoky or dirty hair, keeping things tight and allowing me to further avoid shampoo.
This year, change has come with the seasons, and I want to present myself as more confident and mature, toning down the playful pumpkin as I phase it onto the retired shelf. Lalita suggested that I experiment with more floral notes, as traditional feminine smells start stepping away from my girly gourmand notes and into my big girl shoes.
I have finally accepted the smell of roses to mean more than funerals and awkward high school relationships. Rose, when paired with bright green smells like cut grass, green tea, and cannabis can be transformed from its usual staleness. When paired with heavy wood and spice scents, new depths of sexiness are revealed.
I was digging the imagery that we were working with right now, a beautiful rose in a wooden box; Ron Burgundy’s apartment, with rich mahogany and leather bound books. But the scent was not yet complete.
One of my all time favorite scents for men is Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille. Some of the other Private Blend scents are just as enticing for fall. Old Wood and Tuscan Leather are insanely warm. They make you want to cuddle and then some, like a converse to the pumpkin pie conundrum.
Sadly, Lalita does not stock a tobacco absolute, but that is OK with me since I will just steal tiny drops from my boo, who ordered small bottles of Tom Ford's fragrances on Amazon.
I still needed a top note to polish off my new fall creation, and I knew it needed to be weird. This is my first scent with even a hint of floral, as I generally stay in the unisex and men’s category for my base scents. Powdery scents seem to keep me away, so lilac, freesia, and lily were out.
I thought back to all of the incense shops on the boardwalk back home, and besides Nag Champa and coconut, I always got one other scent: african violet! A touch of violet rounds out this blend, and considering I ditched the pumpkin and cinnamon, it seemed soulless without any sweet notes.
I named it Rosita, half after Lalita herself and half after the new adventures I’ll have with my rosy new signature blend.