Monday, September 22, 2014

The Ubiquity of Scent, part 2

part 1

It's been over a week since I last applied perfume. How has she survived? is no
 doubt a question surfacing in some of your minds. And now, at last, for a small confession of sorts, which will come as no surprise to some of you, I am sure: many of my body products are selected specifically for their appealing scent, in addition to their functional benefits. A case in point: Clarins Huile Orchidée Bleue, which, to be perfectly frank, smells a lot better any new perfume I've tried in recent sniffing history. I have mixed this product with argan oil in a dropper bottle, and I put it on my neck and décolleté area every night before retiring.

Did I lie, when I promised not to wear perfume while caring for my mother's beloved pup? No, of course not. I have not opened the perfume sample vials I brought along. They sit inert, untouched, in my suitcase. Still, there's no unscrambling the egg, as Pentagon officials are wont to lament having funded the heinous crimes of warlords all over the planet, under the assumption that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Well, not exactly. The principle is more like "forced to collaborate with bad or worse, I'll take bad." The fallacy in the argument, of course, is that anyone is ever forced to collaborate with anyone. But that's another completely different story, redolent of nothing but vice. Let's return to something nice.

My skincare regimen happens to afford me the felicitous opportunity to doze off in a beautiful cloud of scent but without having touched a bottle of perfume. I never agreed to forego my skincare regimen, so I did not lie. It's true that I have been noticing that little Jula seems to suffer allergy attacks especially at bedtime, and she does sleep in a bed on the floor close to mine. Causal connection or pure coincidence? I'm not sure, to be honest, because I always take her out for a bathroom session right before going to bed. She invariably breaks out sneezing the moment we step out the door, and her eyes water, too, clear evidence that this was not all just a pretext on the part of my perfume-phobic mom to prevent me from leaving traces of scent behind. Of course her reason, too, is allergies, but my impression is that she is allergic to added chemicals more than the natural stuff.

My dad, too, like Jula, suffers from severe allergies, especially during the spring, when pollen begins to float about the air. I don't recall my mom ever having suffered in the way that my dad always does from hayfever, but I'll take her word for it! There are a few nagging pieces of evidence in the house, however, which make me wonder how much of her aversion to perfume is a matter of taste and how much a matter of physical discomfort. Perhaps it does not matter, since it is her house, so she's allowed to forbid anything she wants within this space, up to and including smoking.

Which brings me to my stepdad's inveterate pipe-smoking habit. A while back, when I reviewed Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, my stepdad was brought to the forefront of the perfume blog reading public (perhaps even immortalized!) as I insisted that he smells exactly the same as the drydown of that perfume. Not his tobacco, but him, as he is literally saturated with the scent. Probably the only time he does not smell like pipe tobacco is right after a shower at the gym--before he makes his way outside to light up a pipe once again.

It's a very pleasant smell to me, and I learned before their departure--to my amusement and satisfaction--that in fact he smokes a vanilla-scented tobacco! I actually love the way it smells and told my mom as much. She exhorted me not to share the news with my stepdad, because it would only reinforce and validate his habit! (Of course, I could not resist.)

Well, at this point in history, as "he" approaches "his" eightieth birthday--I suppose that I could name names, but shouldn't I leave something for the biographers to do?????--I don't think that there's going to be any turning back. And, why, after all? This is a guy who for decades has carried three freshly stoked pipes with him wherever he goes--in addition to a sleeve of loose tobacco. So, yes, I'd say that the word incorrigible applies, unless of course one happens to enjoy the scent, as anyone who appreciates Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille surely would.

Smoking is strictly verboten (auf Deutsch, bitte!) inside the house. However, this humble abode is far from scent free. The hand soap in the upstairs bathroom appears to be one of those triclosan-infused foam generating Soft Soap dispensers. The label has been removed--which is fine with me as the only thing I hate more than plastic containers are plastic containers with their store labels still affixed. I mean, why? Why do I need to know that the Rubbermaid tote in which a serial killer stows the body parts of his victims was made by Rubbermaid? I see this on garbage barrels all over the place. A smooth, monochromatic surface spoiled by an unsightly peel-off label, which no one ever bothered to peel off. When possible, I take the liberty of doing so myself, but touching everyone's trash can is even less appealing than being subject to these omnipresent eyesores. But I digress...

So the Soft Soap--or reasonable facsimile. It is apricot-orange colored and smells very aquatic and calonic. A big "yuck" for me. Not to mention my suspicions about triclosan, which seems to be found in everything these days: hand soap, dish detergent, toothpaste... what????? I was using the orange Soft Soap stuff for the first few days here, as there is no other hand soap in the sink area. Fortunately, at one point I was sufficiently caffeinated to think out of the bottle, so to speak, when I opened the cabinet below, where I espied with relief a bottle of Johnson's Baby Shampoo.

Thankfully, it smells a lot better than triclosan-soaked, artificially orange-colored foam goo, so now I am using that instead. Something about the scent of Johnson's Baby Shampoo is so soothing, perhaps it is tapping into some of my earliest infant memories. Who really knows? What matters now, is that the scent is pleasant enough that I no longer cringe at the prospect of washing my hands. Chez moi, back in Boston, the ready-at-hand bathroom sink soaps are Puig Agua Lavanda and L'Occitane Verveine-scented shea.

Surprise, surprise...

(to be continued)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Ubiquity of Scent

Difficult to believe though it may be, I now find myself in the position of not being able to wear any perfume--for two entire weeks! I am caring for my mother's beloved shih-tzu while she is away on a cruise with her husband (my step-dad). This seemed like a good thing for me to do. The pup has Cushing's disease and is twelve years old, and my mom was seriously concerned that she might come home to a dead dog if she put her up in a kennel or in a ward at the local veterinary hospital. So here I am.

Deciding which perfumes to wear was a difficult task, as many other perfumistas have reported about similar scenarios in the past. It was a bit less difficult, I suppose, because the bulk of my excessive bottle collection is now hidden snuggly away in a storage space. I have been perfuming myself with a fraction of my collection selected primarily for hot-weather readiness--and of course general wonderfulness. It's actually a good exercise to find out which of one's bottles are really worth holding onto and which could be given away without undue strife. As I made my way through my storage space deciding on my summertime perfume wardrobe, I found myself drawn compulsively to Hermès. Basically every Hermès I saw I wanted to add to the pile to take back to my house. Ditto for the Prada, though that was in part because I own full-on jugs of both Infusion d'Iris and Infusion d'Homme, which are perfect for summertime with their clean yet sophisticated personalities. Same for the other Prada Infusions, all of which I own. (Yeah, I know.)

Over the course of the summer I have nearly drained my bottle of Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie, but I have a back up in storage, so no worries! I have also made inroads into my third bottle of La Perla La Perla (the old bottle with the ugly black plastic cap, not the new one, the contents of which I do not like). Rather than Hermès, the houses I've reached for most often over the past couple of months have been Miller Harris and InekePoet's Jasmine appears now to be my favorite "wear to the library" perfume, despite its formidable sillage. I also continue to spritz my way through Le Labo Poudre d'Orient (now on bottle #2). Guerlain Chamade (also bottle #2) and Houbigant Quelques Fleurs L'originale (a twentieth-century vintage) have been worn quite a lot as well.

You might be wondering: Are those really hot-weather scents? They are chez moi, at least this summer, and especially after a bath and before bedtime, because I now own an air conditioner and use it to create a cool-weather climate to escape to when the space downstairs starts to feel like a steam bath. Thanks to my air conditioner, I have even managed to drink a lot of hot tea this summer!

So the trip. What to bring? I debated a few options, including to tote along only two or three bottles which might be drainable during the trip, after which I could toss the empty vessels. Of course, not all bottles are toss-worthy, but that seemed like a good idea since I am trying to tame my tendency toward "collecting"--what is now officially known as "hoarding". Apparently the latest (twenty-first-century) conventional wisdom is that we are now supposed to read all of our books and magazines on Kindle and watch movies streamed live. Anyone who persists in maintaining big collections of either books or DVDs must be pathological!!!!! Ditto for perfume, well, except that it is a pathology afflicting only about .00001% of the population. You know you have a problem when you expel a sigh of relief upon sighting a collection at Parfumo or Fragrantica even larger than your own--especially if it's double or triple the size! (Thank you, Action.)

That logic does not really work, of course. The fact that a person owns 1,000 perfumes does not make it any less excessive for me to own 400. I think that I may have more than that, but the stuff that I really need to get rid of--because I never, ever wear it--I no longer list anywhere.

I could not settle on two or three bottles, nor did it seem like the best solution to my predicament, given that I have hundreds if not thousands of sample vials and decants, and I know for a fact that evaporation is a much worse problem for those than for bottles. In the end, I gathered up a bunch of Histoires des Parfums and Tauer Perfumes samples, and packed them in my bag. Happily I flew on Jet Blue which still permits passengers to bring a bag large enough for a two-week trip without paying a fee! There are lots of other reasons to love Jet Blue (not a shill, just a fan!): above all, the spacious seats and friendly staff. They even provide snacks and never bitch or moan or snarl if you ask for something to drink or a second bag of chips!

Upon my arrival at my parents' humble abode in Boulder, Colorado, I learned that, in addition to her many other health issues, Jula is allergic to perfume! My mom has been seriously worried that Jula might die over the summer, and the last thing I want on my hands is a dead dog, so I promised her that I would not wear any perfume. And I have not.

Except that I have! During this "no perfume" period, I have begun to pay a lot of attention to stuff around me that is really very strongly perfumed. Take the Dial soap I bought upon my arrival. I meant to buy white Dial, which is my favorite body soap. I did buy white Dial Soap. Unfortunately, I did not read the fine print. The white Dial I bought is not the white Dial I like. It has a "Spring Water" scent which smells an awful lot like an aquatic cologne. It's really very strongly scented, to the point of evoking memories of Acqua di Gio and sundry other aquatics which make me feel a bit queasy if not downright seasick. I bought a package of  8 bars, having just run out chez moi, and knowing that I would have to buy some anyway upon my return to Boston. I debated taking the 7 unopened bars back to the store to exchange, but I'm not sure that they would. Plus it was on sale, so it did not cost that much to begin with. I probably should have just bought another package of the regular white Dial, but I have been experimenting on myself to see whether my attitude toward this particular scent will change with repeated usage. Will I become less or more intolerant of this scent, which seems clearly to boast calone? One thing is clear: I seem to be spending a lot more time rinsing than I ever did before...

Then there is the hand soap in my mom's upstairs bathroom. It, too, smells like some sort of aquatic cologne! Is this a conspiracy being perpetrated by Procter & Gamble? I ask most sincerely. The laundry detergent is "Free", that is, devoid of any added scent. Trouble is, the scent of unscented laundry detergent is not the scent of water. It's more like a kind of plastic, it seems to me.

There are lots of other scents here, too. Need I even mention that dogs smell like ... dogs? My mom took Jula to the groomer the day before my arrival. So for one day she smelled like freshly shampooed hair. According to my mom, the groomers use the only shampoo which Jula can tolerate, and it is very lightly scented, but not completely unscented, at least according to my nose. It does not smell like Bedhead shampoo, for example, which in my experience contains a full 100ml bottle of perfume in each large bottle of shampoo or conditioner. That stuff is seriously strong and will and does conflict with some perfumes, so it's important to plan ahead before using such hair products.

Which reminds me of a funny new trend. Hair perfume. That's right. Companies both mainstream and niche are now offering perfume for hair! This strikes me as funny, as so many hair products with functional benefits are already extremely heavily scented with full-on perfume. One glaring example comes to mind: Oscar Blandi leave-in conditioner smells EXACTLY like a jasmine soliflore. In fact, it is a jasmine soliflore, as far as I can tell. Why Jasmine Absolute is explicitly listed among the ingredients! (Apparently the Oscar Blandi company is not privy to the latest "scientific findings" of the IFRA...) But it also conditions the hair. I'm not sure about the hair perfumes being sold by Frédéric Malle, et al. Are they also hair products? I'll have to look more closely into that, but now that I'm on a rambling roll, there's no stopping for a Google fact-finding mission.

So dogs. Yes, dogs will be dogs, and dogs will smell like dogs. To dog owners, who are nearly by definition dog lovers--except for the small contingent of Hitler wannabes who upbraid their dogs for such crimes as, well, being dogs--the scent of dogs is probably a welcome one. To me, I have to admit: it is not. I do not like the smell of dogs. It's a natural scent which may overlap with dirty musk to some extent, so I'm not being a dog bigot here. It's a matter of scent preference, and I am on record as not liking dirty musk perfumes. So I'm not really picking on dogs. I just don't happen to like that particular scent. A chacun son goût...

(part 2)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Of Transgender Hitmen and Celebrity Scents

Random reflections on Hit & Miss (2012)

directed by Hettie McDonald and Sheree Folkson

One way of figuring out what we really care about is to consider how much time we spend on it. If you spend a lot of time on Facebook, for example, it’s pretty clear that you are drawn to the land of the likey. That may sound tautological, but many people who complain about the time wasted on Facebook do not stop to reflect upon the fact that they themselves freely choose to spend their time in that way. They might be writing poetry or running up a mountain or composing music or watching movies or reviewing perfumes. Instead, they choose to survey the terrain of their timeline to view the selfies and status updates on that day—or in the previous hour. I should clarify that I am not judging anyone on this matter but merely agreeing with Aristotle’s observation more than two thousand years ago that

You are what you eat.”

That was a somewhat colloquial translation of the idea more obviously attributable to Aristotle that

Habits build character.”

It occurred to me that one way to gauge the importance of perfume in contemporary society would be to consider how much time people actually spend on perfume. Sure, they spend a slice of their nonessential wallet share on perfume, but in what sense does perfume constitute a part of their Weltanschauung?

I’ve been noticing of late that most contemporary films—many of which aspire to realism—make no mention of perfume, and those which do tend to use it as a part of the scenery. In House of Cards, season 1, a bottle of Tocca perfume is clearly visible on the vanity table of Claire, the main female protagonist (played by Robyn Wright). Given the blue label on the unmistakable (because it’s both attractive and unique) bottle, I believe that the perfume may be Bianca.

But no one talks about or even mentions Claire’s perfume. (I’ll report back if that happens in season 2!) Perhaps that’s because it’s just another accessory, something which she dons as a way of being hip with the upper-middle-class lifestyle in Washington, DC. Ladies wear perfume, don’t they?

This general cultural assumption, that “ladies wear perfume,” is briefly displayed in the six-part series Hit & Miss (2012), directed by Hettie McDonald and Sheree Folkson. Before proceeding, let me make clear that I am not commending this series to your viewing attention. Below is my review from IMDB:

Mia, played by Chloë Sevigny, in Hit & Miss (2012)

White Trash Reality TV meets Pedro Almodóvar

11 August 2014
Having invested six hours of my life in this thing—for lack of a better word—I feel compelled to pen a review. There is no question that Hit & Miss is watchable—I watched the whole thing, all six episodes, in spite of the fact that much of what I saw was less than appealing. I viewed two installments of Hit & Miss each of three nights in a row, finding myself unable to resist. Perhaps the best comparison to make would be to a road kill. I simply could not stop watching this production, no matter how unsavory it became. But the question remains: is that a good or a bad thing?

The story features a trans gender hit woman, actually a hit man in the process of becoming a woman. She's about half way there, popping hormones and dressing the part, though one glaring anatomical piece remains dangling between her legs. The female hormones have done nothing to mitigate her icy ability to dispatch anyone at any time for a wad of cash. In fact, it is her hits which are permitting Mia (played by Chloë Sevigny) to undertake the expensive sex change, which, it is implied, she would have been unable to afford otherwise. Mia, formerly known as "Ryan", grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak. We learn among other things that her father was an abusive thug, her family having been firmly anchored in white trash culture. The setting, by the way, is the United Kingdom, so apparently white trash is not a purely American phenomenon.

Suggestions of biological determination abound in this series, which brings us to the radical moral ambiguity of the production, made quite explicit by Mia's discovery that she is the father of a child now parent-less, as his mother has succumbed to cancer. Feeling a responsibility to care for the son whom she sired, Mia moves in with the motley family of bastard children mothered by Mia's former lover—back when Mia was still a he.

The entire series revolves around the role of Mia as she attempts to care for the family of stray kids while simultaneously continuing on as the trusty contract killer of a criminal boss of sorts—he actually seems more akin to an agent, but rather than real estate or manuscripts, he "closes" hits for prospective buyers. Mia's boss regularly calls her to meetings in the upholstered vinyl booth of a seedy café where he pays for previous jobs and hands over a folder of data about the next victim from what appears to be an endless list of persons to be executed for whatever reason was deemed adequate by the person who fronted the cash.

On the one hand, the viewer is pulled to sympathize with Mia as a trans gender protagonist attempting to realize her dream of being a woman—having been, as they say, trapped in a man's body for most of her life. She seems genuinely to care about the children whom she has taken under her wing. On the other hand, the viewer can only be repulsed by the clinical, mechanical conduct of the hit woman, who does not bat an eye at the idea of killing anyone for any reason, provided only that the price is right. For each hit, she dons an eerie "Grim Reaper" black hooded sweatshirt, pants, and boots, which imparts a ritualistic feeling to her fulfillment of the contracts. She works out and trains for the challenges of her profession in a huge empty warehouse, which might be construed as a metaphor for the vacuity of a hit man's soul. The cold, solitary nature of contract killing is more effectively conveyed in classic films such as Le Samouraï (1967), directed by Jean-Pierre Melville and starring Alain Delon; and The American Soldier (1970), directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and starring Karl Scheydt.

The bizarre, nearly schizoid, character of Mia may be intended to illustrate the general philosophical thesis that people are not black or white but only shades of moral gray. Mia is clearly a repository of moral sentiment and tries to be a good "dad" (more like a mother, given her current appearance), while at the same time supporting the family with funds procured from terminating with extreme prejudice other "dads", and thereby rendering their children fatherless.

Does any of this make any sense? Not really. It's not a "banality of killing" case à la Adolf Eichmann, because Mia is not an administrator who "facilitates" the slaughter of human beings by other human beings. Instead, Mia directly and physically causes the deaths of her victims. In some ways, Hit & Miss reminds me of the Pedro Almodóvar film in which the viewer is tricked into sympathizing with a character who has sex with a comatose woman. Despite the fine cinematography of this production, it's all vaguely repugnant, in the end.

As we have come to expect, the coverage of perfume in this film--as in most--is minimal. In fact, out of 270 vice-filled minutes, a measly twenty-second sequence is focused on perfume, and nowhere else does it appear again.

The scene opens with Mia walking into the bedroom of the sixteen-year-old girl Riley, one of the children of Mia's former lover Wendy.

Mia is basically snooping around out of curiosity about "girl stuff". She walks into the bedroom, peeks in the closet, sees a perfume bottle reflected in the mirror and is naturally drawn to it.

She walks across the room, picks up the bottle, removes the cap, gives the nozzle a big sniff, and then places the bottle back on the table.

She next notices a cosmetics bag of greater interest across the way.

Inside the bag, Mia finds a tampon, which she takes out and rolls in her hand, apparently relishing the idea of being woman enough to be able to use such a thing.

The scene ends with Riley walking in, catching Mia in the act of essentially fondling a tampon, and railing at her for invading her privacy, but more than anything else calling her out for being a "Weirdo!"

The telltale spherical shape and tiny rhinestone studs belong to one and only one fragrance line: that of Britney Spears. By process of elimination, the red bottle in question can only be Hidden Fantasy.

By sheer coincidence, the penultimate New York Times Perfume News article happens to raise the question of the economic value of celebrity scents, yes, such as those of Britney Spears. It appears that the Elizabeth Arden company is floundering. Who is to blame? Certainly not the creative director who signs off on vat-produced chemical soup sold in garish bottles. No, it appears to be the celebrity fragrance sector itself, we learn in the following rather amusing article (by Rachel Abrams) published on August 19, 2014:

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So much for the sweet smell of success.
Elizabeth Arden, the beauty company, blamed its celebrity fragrance lines featuring Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, among others, for a steep drop in sales in the fiscal fourth quarter.
Its earnings report delivered a bleak picture — recording Arden’s worst quarterly decline in a decade — for a company that has tried to appeal to a younger clientele by teaming up with pop stars and by retooling some of its signature Red Door salons. Along with “Someday,” a soft, musky scent in Mr. Bieber’s line, Elizabeth Arden also has fragrances from the rapper Nicki Minaj and the former teenage idol Britney Spears.
Net sales fell close to 30 percent to $191 million for the three months that ended June 30. For the year, net sales fell to $1.1 billion, from $1.3 billion in 2013.
The immediate future does not look too bright, either. In its earnings release, the company warned that the first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year “will continue to be challenged by the same factors that affected recent quarters.”


Taylor Swift is among the celebrities who have a fragrance line.CreditEvan Agostini/Associated Press

Elizabeth Arden relies more heavily on sales of its fragrances than rivals like Estée Lauder, and it has a large presence in mass-market stores like Walmart. Fragrances make up 75 percent of the company’s sales, while its own brand of cosmetics accounts for 25 percent.
And unlike the high-end fragrances at department stores, celebrity lines stock the shelves at retailers like Walmart and Kohl’s, whose budget-conscious customers have not recovered from the recession.
“The celebrity fragrance market is still a good market,” said Jason Gere, a consumer product analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets “Right now, it seems to be buckling a little bit with the weaker consumer out there.”
The earnings report on Tuesday sent the company’s stock plummeting more than 23 percent.
Companies like Elizabeth Arden have had some success capitalizing on their celebrity partnerships. At its height, Ms. Spears’s perfume generated more than $100 million in sales a year, Mr. Gere said. And celebrities, as well as their handlers, continue to seek partnerships with the fragrance business to help build a star’s brand.
Elizabeth Arden still carries a line of fragrance featuring the actress Elizabeth Taylor, who introduced a fragrance more than 20 years ago, when such celebrity branding was far less common.


Elizabeth Arden markets a fragrance from Justin Beiber called Someday.CreditJamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Since then, the world of celebrity perfumes has become more democratized as many companies have tried to target a younger audience. Perfumes bear the names of actresses like Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston and Halle Berry, along with socialites who include Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.
Elizabeth Arden’s cosmetics mainly appeal to middle-age and older women, who are familiar with its red-and-white logo. For the fragrance lines aimed at younger consumers, however, many of the bottles use designs that prominently feature celebrity names rather than the company logo.
The company’s other celebrity fragrances include lines from Mariah Carey and Usher. And all its perfumes may still have an audience, even if that audience is unwilling, or unable, to buy them right now.
“There’s this attraction to wearing the same things that movie stars wear or singers,” Mr. Gere said. “There’s just this natural aspiration to be like somebody else.”
The company also announced on Tuesday that the private equity firm Rhône Capital had agreed to buy $50 million of preferred stock and warrants to purchase 7.6 percent of the company.
In its earnings release, E. Scott Beattie, Elizabeth Arden’s chief executive, said:
“I am very excited to have Rhône Capital as an equity partner, to support the turnaround of our business in the short term and the continued global growth and development of our brands and organization in the future. I am confident that we have a compelling business plan to improve the company’s performance.”

Why is this article so amusing? (I mean, aside from the non sequiturs such as that celebrities actually wear celebrity scents...) The company's explanation is risible because the whole reason for the celebrity-scent industry is economic. The purpose of having Britney Spears' name on a bunch of mediocre fragrances sold in volume to hoards of women who cannot afford higher-end perfumes is none other than to increase the parent company's bottom line. Is it not? Yet the Elizabeth Arden management team blames the celebrity sector for their poorest quarter showing in a decade.

The real culprit, they then rush to clarify, is the economy. Well, the economy plus the concept of marginal utility. Stated simply: to poor people, a $15 bottle of fragrance costs a lot more than does an expensive bottle to a rich person. Poor people are now so poor that they cannot afford to have more than one bottle even of cheap juice in their boudoir. Riley's choice was Britney Spear's Hidden Fantasy. Whatever other small change she is able to scrape together has been used to put food on the table.

Nice try, Elizabeth Arden, but the extreme poverty of such consumers does not explain why no one else is buying the fragrances either. Yes, by sheer serendipity we have learned through Hit & Miss the true reason for the faltering of the Elizabeth Arden company, thanks to Mia's twenty-second encounter with Riley's bottle of Hidden Fantasy. Having once removed the stopper from the bottle, Mia--who is flush with cash thanks to the many corpses left in her wake--sniffs the nozzle but does not opt to spray. Instead, she replaces the cap, sets the bottle back on the table, turns around and walks away.

I have not tried Hidden Fantasy, which has apparently been discontinued already, after having been launched only in 2008, but I have tried the Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift fragrances pictured above, and I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with Mia, at least on this point.

Call it a hunch, but I somehow doubt that this is helping either: