Puckrik on Perfume

Katie Puckrik ON Feb 12, 2010 AT 1:23 pm

Katie Puckrik: Photographer Martin Shaw

Katie Puckrik: Photographer Martin Shaw

Reader Request: Help Us Smell Like Badasses!
By Katie Puckrik

Dear Katie,
My friend and I, perfume novice-types, were pen-palling recently about Agent Provocateur. I said something about how I was curious to try it, since I heard it was a little skanky.

I wrote: “I think skanky in a DIRTY-UNDIES way, which is my favourite way. I’m not going to even pretend that’s not true.”

And then she wrote: “I hope so! I saw ‘dirty’ and ‘skanky’ used NUMEROUS TIMES. WE NEED TO VERIFY THESE ALLEGATIONS. I need something truly skanky for those days when I need to add a little shot of BADASS before I leave the house. Something that smells like being on tour with the Stones in the 70s.” So of course, the first thing I thought was, “You know who would know how to smell like the dirty underwear of a roadie from a classic Stones tour? Katie Puckrik!”

Agent Provocateur

Agent Provocateur

So I’m counting on you, oh my favourite-est fume guru! Lay on the KNOWLEDGE.


Heidi — I’m going to lay lady lay on the knowledge like no groupie’s business — perfume-wise, that is. And regarding your metaphor, I’m sticking with groupie underwear, because roadie underwear is just a gusset too far, even for this filth-lover.

I describe Agent Provocateur as “a slutty rose: intensely feminine, intimately female”. AP goes for full-on, old-fashioned rose-skank, daring someone to call her “Old Lady” — then ready to sit on their face when they do. AP blends rose with indolic jasmine naughtiness into a saffron, coriander and woody musk mix. The effect is one tough, smart bombshell.

Even though Agent Provocateur was released in 2000, it shares an unwashed-in-close-quarters vibe with vintage dames like Jean Deprez Bal à Versailles and Rochas Femme. Other “neuvo-retro” contenders in the Dirty Panty category include Jubilation 25 by Amouage, Party in Manhattan by The Party, and Nuit Noire by Mona di Orio.

I can suggest two other olfactory approaches to earn your access-all-areas pass for the classic 1972 Stones Touring Party (STP) tour:

Jean Couturier Coriandre

Jean Couturier Coriandre

Approach One: head for the head shop. Any self-respecting boho freak from the late-60s/early 70s regularly marinated themselves in mystical oils of patchouli and musk. Open your third eye in style with fine fragrance interpretations of these earthy, sensual notes.

I like Intrigant Patchouli and L’Ombre Fauve, both by Parfumerie Générale, as well as Bruno Acampora Musc. All three share a furry, animalic accord, almost “scalpy” – a borderline dirty hair smell. Without dwelling too much on the scalpiness, I find them all subtly sexy and effective enough to put a tiger in (70s-era) Mick and Keith’s tanks.

Approach Two: wear “classic Stones”-contemporary perfumes. The Rolling Stones’ women would have been in the forefront of every trend: fashion, hairstyles, drug-consumption. And you just know they’d be wearing the hippest new fragrances, too.

There are a number of early 70s scents that growl with basenote beastiness or oakmossy menace:

Réminiscence Musc (1970)
Réminiscence Patchouli (1970)
Clinique Aromatics Elixir (1971)
Christian Dior Diorella (1972)
Jean Patou 1000 (1972)
Jovan Musk (1972)
Jean Couturier Coriandre (1973 — and the mother of Agent Provocateur!)

Rock on, Badasses!


For more of Katie’s fragrance rants and rambles, visit KatiePuckrikSmells or click here.

Missed Katie’s last post? Catch up here.

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