My Interview with LaurynX, Femme Perfume Goddess (Part 2)

In between massages and mani-pedis at the spa, the lovely LaurynX and I managed to squeeze in time for the second part of our interview. I pulled out my tape recorder while we relaxed over a leisurely lunch of tomato-basil bisque, grilled salmon, and arugala salad. Did I mention the wine? We had a few glasses, but who’s counting? Since this was a day of indulgence, we ended our meal with decadent chocolate desserts. (Sure, sorbet is “refreshing” but chocolate is almost always better.) Glowing and relaxed from her hot stone massage, LaurynX was eager to get back to our discussion of perfumery. And so, you’ll see, was I.

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SF: What do you wear when you want to seduce a lover? And what fragrances make you weak in the knees?

LX: Shalimar! Masterpiece! I really, really love it, especially in the highest parfum concentration. It just oozes sexy jazz bar and evening candlelight. It’s lemon confection, creamy vanilla, and sultry smoke all wrapped up into one! I also like the dark leather and myrrh-incense of Madame X from Ava Luxe. Fragrances that would make me go weak…well, it’s definitely not Old Spice or Axe. (shudders) I like Davidoff’s Cool Water; I dream to smell Bvlgari Black on a lover. (double swoon!)

SF: I’m glad you mentioned Bvlgari Black since it’s designed “for men and women.” Personally, I have a gender inclusive approach to perfume and cologne. Do you think fragrances have genders?

LX: No, especially since I wear Bvlgari Black. That’s how I know I like it! Perfumistas don’t restrict themselves. They may say one scent is more masculine or feminine due to personal perception, but gender in perfume is purely a marketing thing.

SF: Good to know! By the way, I recently ordered samples of a few perfumes to try—Bvlgari Black because I think it’s sooo sexy on you, and also Gucci Eau de Parfum II and Dior Midnight Poison. I admit it, I’m addicted to florals but I’m trying to expand my horizons a little. So, how did I do with my choices?

LX: Black is a chypre, Gucci II is a fruity-floral (that’s been a very popular category in designer fragrances since the 90s), and the Dior is a floral-oriental …Well, at least you’re trying that chypre! (laughs) I’m just kidding. Being more drawn to one fragrance family or another isn’t bad. I have zero faves from the citrus category. The people who really need to expand their horizons? Those folks who own that one “signature scent.” (You know who you are!) Why? There’s too much out there. Besides, do you want to smell the same on the job and going to a funeral and making love? It may be comforting, but Obsession does not transfer to all environments.

SF: So true! (laughs) What are the basics you think a fragrance newbie should know before going shopping?

LX: Hmm…*do* know that the perfume counter salespersons don’t know anymore about fragrance than you do. They are only there to sell you what came out last week. There is no pressure to buy! You must sit with a fragrance for at least a day. It may be calling your name in the first hour, but after that you could realize it turns sour on you. Don’t wear anything scented (soap, lotion, etc.) when going to test, and don’t test more than about five in a day. You’re nose can’t tell the difference accurately after that. Next, don’t plan to look in just one place, shop around! There are different types of perfumes such as designer, niche, vintage, and exclusive. So some older Diors are found exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue only. Other designer perfumes like Prada and Armani can easily be found at most stores selling perfume. Vintage perfumes are old and/or discontinued loves. Niche means small scale production, with prices ranging from very affordable to outrageous.

SF: Are perfumes connected to emotional or sexual experiences for you? Do they remind you of how you felt during a certain period in your life, for instance? And if so, what’s your favorite scent memory?

LX: I can’t say that I have a favorite scent memory…yet.(winks) My perfume hobby is relatively new. I will say though that Avon fragrances I will always associate with my childhood—I liked Sweet Honesty. Pleasures, White Linen, Beautiful, all by Estee Lauder, remind me of my mother.

SF: Funny, Estee Lauder perfumes remind me of my grandmother! Do you feel more femme wearing certain perfumes?

LX: I do actually have a “Femme Anthem” perfume. That is Lipstick Rose by Frederic Malle. It’s reminiscent of old school makeup—you know violet scented face powder and the sweet waxy smell of lipstick. Fracas by Piguet is a potent tuberose floral. It slaps you in the face being feminine and perfumey to the extreme!

SF: Hmm…so I guess you’re saying that you personally have high femme experience of this fragrance, which isn’t the same thing as saying that the perfume itself has one unchanging gender, right?

LX: Correct. Fragrance is all about personal experience. It’s funny ’cause many times in fragrance discussions, a woman will say she’s “butching it up” when she’s wearing say, Bandit (marketed towards women, and considered “dykey”, yes that exact word), and femme-ing it up to wear Insolence. In formal industry speak there is feminine, masculine, and unisex. So do you feel like being an uber-feminine femme or a dandy butch today?

SF: OK, last question. Can fragrance make someone more beautiful?

LX: I think fragrance enhances who you already are or especially how you already feel. It can convey a vibe you want to give off. So if you’ve got on a cologne/perfume that you think smells sexy on you, then you’re more apt to act how you feel—and people pick up on that.

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The Interview’s Over, Now It’s Your Turn!

We want to know: What are your favorite fragrances? Do you have a “Femme Anthem” (or “Butch Anthem”) fragrance? Where do you like to buy your fragrances: department stores, Bath and Body Works, online? Do you swap on MakeupAlley.com? What scents are sexy to you?

You can visit LaurynX at A_Femme_Fluff_Blog

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With Thanks, from Sublimefemme

To LaurynX: Interviewing you was a sublime experience! You’ll always be my favorite Perfumista! xoxo Sf

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9 Responses

  1. i love the interview! sounds like you two had quite the time!

    i can’t add anything; fragrance has always completely befuddled me (not that i don’t appreciate it when others manage it well). i do have cologne for drag – a gift from the lovely miss avarice, which saved me having to venture into this intimidating world 😉

  2. Fragrances and perfumes have always been a HUGE part of my life. I used to wear Mugler’s “Angel” in winter and Aveda’s Desert Trio scents in the summer but I decided Angel is too heavy. Now I am wearing Lolita Lempicka au Masculin nearly year round because the licorice-basil odor makes me feel wildly sexy and I can’t stop sniffing. Though I do occasionally wear Dolce and Gabbana Pour Homme in the warmer months because it is so captivatingly citrus-y. I spray my bedsheets with a mixture of rosewater and a special fragrance oil that lingers on the skin upon waking. Smell is so closely tied to memory and just a single whiff of certain smells can remind me of a person or occasion. Which is why I make it a point to have a signature scent, so my lovers with think of me like that forever more.

    Swoon! You’re one spectacularly sexy librarian! I love that you spray your bedsheets. But what exactly is that “special fragrance oil that lingers on the skin upon waking,” or is that only revealed to those lucky enough to share your bed? 😉 -SF

  3. Oh, I love this post. I adore wearing cologne or perfume depending on my mood. I particularly like KL by Karl Largfeld which is as rare as emeralds. But my fav has and always will be Coco. Both these perfumes include a cinnamon high note.

    I really, really go for Obsession and Aramis for my butch/maleness, for a similar reason. I loves these scents for dates, dinner or dancing. But for everyday usage? I usually go for Diesel feminine with the coconut and or citrus over-tones. I also tend to be seasonal with my scents, lighter for summer, spring, and slightly heavier for winter.

    Great piece, and look forward to more.

  4. I love what she said about not wanting to smell the same all the time! I’m a variety freak, and for years I’ve been bemoaning the fact that I choose my scent based on occasion or mood, rather than having a ‘signature scent’. Now I understand that it’s not a big deal, and instead of trying to make myself ‘be consistent’ (when I’m not that way in anything!), I enjoy being unpredictable and varied. My Ferret’s happy either way!
    Thank you for making me see it in a whole new way, LaurynX!
    Oh, and SF, great interview. Will you be doing more of these with other butch/femme bloggers? Don’t tell him i said so, but your interview style is even better than Sinclair’s, so I hope you’ll do more.

  5. I appreciate the way that LaurynX broke the scents down into their aromatic notes in the interview. I myself can’t really wear anything mainstream while working (its faux pas when you work with food). I love amber notes, vanilla (if it doesn’t smell like an open house air freshener), lilac, and lemon/citrus blossoms. Fresh seductive “foodie” aromas get me every time. The thing that kills me about scents are when you smell someone else wearing the scent of an ex (while its not exactly the same on someone else) its emotionally arresting, and not always in a good way.

  6. grrlchef13

    –I know what you mean about “the scent of an ex”…for this reason anything by Burberry is ruined for me. I didn’t mention that in my “scent memories” question b/c I thought it would be a downer. ha.

  7. It’s dangerous when collecting scents becomes just as thrilling and addictive as collecting, say, shoes.

    So, so, so guilty as charged.

    Serge Lutens Chene for me and Serge Lutens 1834 Borneo for the tomboy, for what it’s worth!

    @Bibliofemme – Is it true that Angel smells like Christmastime? I’m intrigued!

  8. @SBJ: hmm that’s interesting b/c I always saw the hobby of fragrance much like wine connoisseurship. Is it just as dangerous to wine collectors who get a thrill out of it? I ask b/c perfume is often thrown in with “beauty” in mags and pop/culture. When in reality the industry is set up much differently and ppl who get really deep into perfume don’t see it as just “something to collect”. I love perfume, however I only own one bottle…I enjoy smelling fragrance …I’m not addicted to buying anything.

  9. @Skinny Bone Jones
    I think it smells warm and sultry but a little heavy. Lots of chocolate and amber notes but not Christmas-y to me. Depends on who’s wearing it too!

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