Functional Perfume Genres, part 1

Posted on

(Françoise Hardy–image source unknown)

1) The Unhurried Beauties are about charm and make me realize that I don’t usually wear perfume to feel more attractive.  I don’t usually use perfume to accent or enhance or (let’s be honest) just plain lie about my own appeal.  I wear beautiful perfumes because I like to smell beautiful things.  These perfumes give a feeling of offhand, almost indifferent beauty.  They are languorous, but some people are nonchalantly stunning when shopping for groceries.

Del Rae Amoureuse

Robert Piguet Baghari

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Parfumeries Générale Louanges Profanes

Annick Goutal Passion

Serge Lutens Datura Noir

Givenchy Insensé

Comme des Garçons Daphne Guinness

Vero Profumo Kiki



(Quentin Crisp by Angus McBeene)

2) Quentin Crisp

The art of faggotry has been de-prioritized in many ways and for so many reasons.  Elton John went from “The Bitch is Back” to Disney dreck.  Tom of Finland came to be seen as faulty aesthetic realism.  Gay parents turned their backs on faggotry and queerness faster than the mainstream homos of the mid 1980s turned theirs on ‘the promiscuous fags’ dying from AIDS complications.  So, fuck the parents and their prams and their school districts.  Let’s hear it for Quentin Crisp and the Stonewall faggots who cleared the way for us all!

Robert Piguet Fracas

Serge Lutens Bois de Violette

Rochas Femme

Guerlain Nahema

Amouage Gold

Guerlain Insolence edp

Thierry Mugler Angel

Kenzo Ça Sent Beau

Paco Rabanne Metal



(image Azmarie Livingston, source unknown)

3) The gamine androgyne.  I lived in the 80s and quite enjoyed the autonomy of androgyny.  It was a valuable ideal, and in light of the current hyper-genders of the 20-teens, might still have some lessons for us.  My androgynous ideal was the femme tom-boy of Françoise Hardy.  When I was in my teens I had long hair, and was often mistaken for a girl.  Others tried to tell me that this was a negative outcome I had to accept if I wanted to keep my hair long. The implication was that I would have to accept this insult if I elected to deviate from the norm and have long hair.  They never understood that being mistaken for a girl was fine by me and was an added perquisite of having long hair.  I have always regretted cutting my hair.

 Chanel Cristalle

Guerlain Vetiver


Dior Diorella

Guerlain Mitsouko

(fascinating how the most iconic of the 20th century chypres fit this genre, eh?)

Histoires de Parfums Noir Patchouli

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

Chanel Egoiste

Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme

Balmain Ivoire

Givenchy Insense


see also:

Functional Perfume Genres, part 2

Functional Perfume Genres, part 3


  • Share