Sunday, July 15, 2012

Perfumes for the Elder Goth~~~

Shalimar, Opium, Passion, Tabu, all of these scents invoke a mental image of a particular desire within the mind of an Elder Goth----at least for me they do.

Tabu totally forbidden--- Passion, total desire for the one love---Shalimar, hedonistic delights----Opium, dark hidden dens of iniquity.

When you the male (or female) animal your olfactory nerves are stimulated is that what comes unbidden to your mind? When you, the female animal wear anyone of these scents is that what you wish to project? To be darkly dangerous and forbidden, to walk by and trigger those unresolved emotions in others?

That is what perfume should do, that is why selecting the right one for you is just as much a science, a chemistry experiment to provoke those images and feelings in others.

Not all perfumes work with an individual’s body chemistry, which is one thing I have discovered, what worked for me years ago, no longer works now because my body chemistry has changed.

That is why I love finding those little sample bottles that one sees for sale either prior to Mother’s Day or Christmas. The beauty of those sample bottles is you can try them without too much expense and if they don’t work, give them to your little nieces or little daughters or grand daughter when they do “Dress Up”. And not having children of my own I do have several great-nieces who think that I am the most wonderful Auntie in the world because of this.

So my Darklings what is this post all about? Well it is important to find a “signature” perfume or cologne that identifies you, one that works well with your body chemistry and yet projects via scent the mental and emotional image that you wish to put forth.

There are three broad theories of perfume use. One is that people employ it to mask body odors that they perceive as bad. The second is that some perfumes contain chemicals that mimic human pheromones—elusive, mysterious (and possibly mythical) substances believed by some to play a role in mating. The third is that people use it to heighten or fortify natural scent, and thus advertise sexual attractiveness or availability.

Centuries ago it was believed that bathing frequently was bad for one’s health, so you can imagined the bad smells in the Court of King Henry the 8th and his Daughter Queen Elizabeth the first, which is why many things including gloves would be impregnated with perfume, and perfumers were in serious competition with each other, something that continues to this day. Although I hope my Darklings you do bathe frequently, especially during the hot weather.

When the idea that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” finally sunk into peoples brains did the use of perfumes become more to attract a mate. Or at least lead him down the path to his own destruction. (wink, wink).

Now a days scent is also used to create a state of mind for relaxation and calming, which is the subject of another post.

I won’t go into all the things about where scents come from and things like top, middle and base note of scents, I’ll leave that to those articles more knowledgeable than me.

But the idea of using perfume to disguise bad smells even in today’s world is not unusual For example is it said that Bad smells are not just a matter of poor hygiene. Illness and old age both bring characteristic odors of their own, and neither state makes people more attractive. Perfumes may spoof these messages. Hence the marketing of a new scent called Ageless Fantasy, by Harvey Prince, which claims its product disguises the “odor of ageing”, suggested to be caused by the breakdown of a particular fatty acid in the skin. Whether this is true I have no idea but having been in many a sick room, I remember my Grandma in her final illness wanted to have the scent of lavender around her, she said it made her calm and feel clean and all around her feel clean.

In the 1950s, a perfumer called Paul Jellinek noted that several ingredients of incense resembled scents of the human body. It was not until 2001, that Manfred Milinski and Claus Wedekind of the University of Bern wondered whether there was a correlation between the perfume a woman preferred and her own natural scent, surprisingly they found that there is.

Women, it seems, choose a scent that subconsciously matches their own body chemistry. In other words, they are advertising their own scent. Another implication, one researcher discovered is that it is probably best that people choose perfumes for themselves rather than for someone else.Years ago a woman was expected to have a signature scent. But now we are more likely to treat fragrance as an accessory, changing our perfume daily - or even more often - to suit our busy lives and shifting moods.

But too much choice can lead to confusion. If you're like most women, you have multiple perfume bottles cluttering your vanity table, taunting you with their silent demand, "Who do you want to be today?"

Catherine Helbig did a wonderful article about scents which I will abridge here for you to make it simple:

Infused with the tangy essence of citrus fruits, these perfumes are lively and energetic. They are best enjoyed as a daytime delight, just the thing to wake you up in the morning before you've had that second coffee. Wear a citrus perfume to meet your girlfriends for brunch, brighten a baby shower, or ride your bicycle to the organic market.


Sweet and romantic, these scents are the "good girls" of the fragrance aisle. Florals are sometimes single note, but generally combine the scents of various flowers to create a classic feminine appeal. Spritz on a floral when you want to show off (or fake) your sweet-and-girly side -- when meeting your boyfriend's parents comes to mind. These scents are also appropriate at church, the ballet, or your best friend's wedding, especially if you've got your eye on an eligible groomsman.


Like a cheerleader with a wicked side, fruity perfumes are fresh and spicy. These fragrances please the nose with the bright and familiar smells of apple, peach, berry, mango and other juicy fruits, often blended with florals to create a compelling aroma. Pretty without being overwhelming, these perfumes are ideal for a movie-and-dinner first date. Just apply sparingly. Sometimes these perfumes are referred to as Gourmand, were you just desire to eat something, but this would also include anything with the scent of Vanilla, Cinnamon or Basil.


Smelling of fresh leaves and newly-mown grass, the green fragrances are a natural and energetic group. These scents tend toward the unisex, so are best left on the shelf when you're dressing to impress a hot date. Save them for daytime instead, when their sporty, modern appeal makes them a great fit for any casual or outdoor gathering. My personal note, be careful you don’t attract bees.


Oceanic perfumes are a modern invention, first appearing with Christian Dior's Dune in 1991. These scents use a blend of synthetic compounds to evoke natural aromas such as mountain air, ocean spray or clean linen. Crisp and fresh, they are an ideal choice for job interviews, when you want your perfume to say, "I'm clean, efficient and won't stink up the joint if hired."


Think of oriental perfumes as the fragrance equivalent of cleavage and a killer pair of stilettos. Exotic and distinctly feminine, these sensual blends feature an earthy, animalistic base scent such as musk or ambergris, often combined with warm notes such as amber. (When combined with florals, these scents are called "florientals"). The effect is a bold yet mysterious perfume that makes a big entrance, tosses back a few martinis, and leaves with phone numbers in her pocket. Wear one when you want to seduce, whether it's a third date or just a rare night out without the kids.

O.K. Darklings if you in for seduction then these scents includes Elizabeth Taylor’s Black Pearls, Guerlain’s Shalimar, Givenchy’s Organza, Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium, Versace’s Crystal Noir


Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what these perfumes smell like. Uncap one and be transported to your mom's kitchen - if your mom was the type who baked cinnamon rolls and gingerbread from scratch. With notes of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and pepper, spicy perfumes are comforting and alluring in an old-fashioned way. Wear one to your next parent-teacher meeting, or at lunch with that handsome officemate who you wouldn't mind sharing pastry with.

Woody (Chypre)

Woody scents are built on base notes of bark and moss, conjuring winding forest paths. While more unisex than other fragrance categories, that's not to say these scents are masculine. They evoke a particular brand of no-nonsense femininity. Think Marion in Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Katharine Hepburn in any movie. This strong and classic appeal translates well to the corporate office, too. Wear one to your next performance review.

But one has to remember that when wearing an Oriental type of scent the heady mix of spices, amber, balsams and resins marks this type, suggestive of warmth and exotic sensuality but because of the group's rich, musky traits, these luxurious scents make the best statement in the winter. So avoid wearing these during the spring & summer months at work.

So Darklings, just as you have different styles of clothing for different occasions and seasons, you should also have a wardrobe of scents to match your moods and the season. Deciding which perfume to wear has a lot to do with personal preference and mood, but there are some tried-and-true rules for choosing scents that match different seasons and times.

Choose light florals and citrus scents for spring and summer. Heavier scents can be overpowering during the hotter days, especially when they mix with body sweat. Pick scents that are fresh and invigorating for the hottest days. Wearing citrus or a synthetic "ocean breeze" type of scent will actually make you feel cooler.

Experiment with lighter spicy notes in the autumn. Scents with cinnamon and spice undertones are warming but not overly heavy, perfect for cooler days. Choose heavier scents such as musk and spice for winter wear. Perfumes with Oriental notes such as sandalwood and patchouli work well for winter months.

Another thing is choosing a scent for an occasion.

Choose a sophisticated but light perfume for everyday and office wear. Many synthetic blends strike just the right note for a professional woman.

Be a little daring for dates and nights on the town. Experiment with perfumes that have an Oriental base such as musk or civet.

Suit your perfume to the season as well as the occasion. Choose lighter perfumes for warmer weather, and heavier notes for winter wear.

Wear sophisticated and romantic florals for weddings and special functions.

And not only for the occasion but also for your mood---- Pick up your spirits with a light, fresh floral scent or a citrus splash. Express your sensual side with a perfume based in woodsy and Oriental tones. Be playful with fruity scents. Enjoy the calming effects of lavender and vanilla.

And again I do need to reinforce this:

If you are feeling seductive? According to scientists, the most seductive perfumes are not the complex tones of musk and sandalwood. Instead, they say, wear vanilla, basil or cinnamon.

Avoid heavy, lush scents when the weather is warm. The heat can make them overpowering.

And most importantly Choose your perfume for office wear carefully. Avoid heavy, seductive perfumes and overly sweet floral perfumes. Both will make you appear less professional.

Wearable scents come in many different strengths. A perfume is not the same as a cologne, although it might smell the same and have the same proportions of essential oils. Knowing whether the scent that you own is a perfume or a cologne will help you determine the best way to wear it. There are various levels or strengths of scent all based on their durability from Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum to Eau de Cologne

Learn the different concentrations of essential oils in perfume, cologne and other types of scents. Perfume contains the highest concentration of essential oils to alcohol (about 30% by volume). Cologne contains the lowest (about 5% to 8%). Understand the price differences between perfume and cologne. Because perfume contains more essential oils and is more concentrated, it costs far more than cologne.

Perfume lasts longer than cologne. Because perfume is so highly concentrated, a few drops applied to pulse points and your skin will last for as long as 6 to 8 hours. Cologne needs to be renewed every 2 hours or so.

Apply more cologne than you would perfume. Cologne is designed to be splashed or sprayed on because of its low concentration of essential scent oils. Because of this, an 8-ounce bottle of cologne will not last as long as a 1-ounce bottle of perfume.

Cologne is a good choice if you are on a budget, but many perfumes are affordable luxuries. If you want to wear perfume but can't afford full-size bottles of it, shop around for perfume samples.

Remember there is a difference between perfume, eau de perfume, eau de toilette, and body splash. This is one of those cases where you get what you pay for - perfume may be expensive but a little will go a longer way than the same amount of body splash.

But as an Elder Goth what perfume should you wear? Whatever one suits your position and mood. I have been known to wear a seductive perfume to a wedding, and have met some very nice men along the way. But then I’m Devilish that way.

Later Darklings


  1. Hi, this is my fourth attempt to get this to work so forgive me if you are getting several fo these. I have a question about what a 16 year old female goth might be wearing in 1986 other than perfume. A positive memorable but low-key scent? Thanks.

  2. Hi, by the way, I can be reached at Great blog by the way. Thanks again.

    1. Sorry for taking so long to reply, Indy, there were also colognes, which was the weaker sister to perfumes, Tabu was usually favored that I remember because it was affordable, the word meant "forbidden" and the picture advertising was bordering on near rapturous sex, take away the violin and it looks vampiric.

      Cologne was usually softer and back in the 80's it held a lot longer than how they are made today.

  3. I'm an Elder Goth and my favourite two perfumes are Tabu and Shalimar. I've worn Tabu since I was 16. I have two cheapy recommendations for goths in general Song of India Musk and Amber. The musk is challenging and dirty, the amber magnificent.

  4. I'm an Elder Goth and my favourite two perfumes are Tabu and Shalimar. I've worn Tabu since I was 16. I have two cheapy recommendations for goths in general Song of India Musk and Amber. The musk is challenging and dirty, the amber magnificent.