My Secret Obsession

There is a mystery that perfume bottles hold. I remember seeing the elegant bottles on my grandmother's vanity when I was a kid. 

They looked like magic.

I believed there were all kinds of potions inside...they were filled with promise....and possibly Genies. 

I would take my time opening them...holding out hope that something important was about to happen. 

And they did.  Some of the bottles had a little more magic than others. Some of them were a little too magical.  

While I adore the scent of jasmine in the air, in it's liquid form, it's a little too close to cat pee. I have no idea why. 

Gardenia leaves me overwhelmed too. 

It turns out, that if a fragrance has white flowers, it is definitely not for me. And by that I mean, I do not like the smell...and it smells terrible on me. 

I have a tendency toward the musks and woods. Oriental fragrances are right in my wheelhouse. Add a little spice and oooh, my. Heaven.

Sandalwood rocks my world. Especially Mysore, but that is almost extinct. 

I like a little skank, so civet is luscious to me. 

Ambergris. Oh dear lord I love that scent. Yes. Whale vomit or poop, I am not sure. Don't ask. Unless you already know, you are not going to understand. So darned sexy.

There are others. A flower called labdanum. It's a rock rose. Tobacco. Tobacco accords for some reason smell amazing on me. Tonka bean. Rose...I do love a nice rose. You want a killer rose, try PHI un rose de Kandahar by Andy Tauer. Oh, it is delightful. I love that man.  

My go-to perfume is Odori Tabacco. It is this tobacco-vanilla mixture that sits close to the skin and smells so unbelievably sensual it's difficult to describe. It is also no longer being made, so I have hoarded three bottles. 

The sexiest perfume I have ever worn is called Madame X, by Ava Luxe. It also, is no longer being made, but I have asked the perfumer, Serena Ava Goode, to make me some. OK, I have hassled the heck right out of her. Begged. Pleaded. I am going to send her another email. Lucky her! 

The problem is, some of the ingredients have been banned by a group in Geneva called IFRA. All you really need to know about them is that they are busy-bodies who have ruined many a great perfume. If I was a great fragrance house like Guerlain or Malle, I would riot. Actually, I would tell IFRA to pound sand and put all the oak moss in my perfume that I wanted. 

But I digress. I have been dying to try a fragrance called "Portrait of a Lady." Named for the classic Henry James novel, PoaL fragrance notes read like a laundry list of my favorites:  Rose, patchouli, incense, musk, sandalwood, amber. Add some whale barf, and perfection could possibly be achieved. At any rate, sign me up. 

Actually, I signed myself up. I ordered a I can try it before I commit. It's a pricey sample, but the smallest bottle is about 300 bucks, so it was worth it to make sure it is full-bottle worthy. 

I can't wait to get it. And I threw in some others that I thought I would like. I am a little ridiculous about this, but as obsessions go, it is pretty harmless. 

My friend Steve, in England, understands this obsession. We shoot pictures of our fragrance and send them back and forth. And of our cars. We like our fragrance expensive, and our cars fast. He is my kinda people. And I bet he smells good, too. I know I do. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

LaDona Harvey

LaDona Harvey

La Dona Harvey is co-host of San Diego's Morning News on News Radio KOGO AM 600. Read more


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