To be honest, I don't really feel guilty about my pleasures, from watching cat videos to perfume or mac & cheese. But some fragrances feel slightly more indulgent and just a tiny bit on the wrong side, which makes them sort of a guilty pleasure for various reasons. Here's my list. What's on yours?
Guerlain Champs Elysées. A few months ago I became the owner of a large amount of the "vintage" EDT. Not the original turn-of-the-20th-century juice but the mid-1990s perfume, the one I absolutely loathed when it first came out, because something about the peach-mimosa didn't sit well with me. I think it made me stay away from peach notes for a very long time. Getting reacquainted with Chapms Elysées after all these years has been an interesting experience. I find it so delightful and perky now--- how could anyone not like it? What were I thinking? Or maybe I stink without knowing?
Dior Addict. I'm quoting myself here, and I still stand behind my old review: "Dior Addict is a guilty pleasure. It's like a semi-trashy chicklit book or an episode of Giuliana & Bill. You know you shouldn't but it's too much fun. Dior Addict is loud, sweet and has no problem announcing its presence with big and bold notes- citrus, somewhat screechy orange blossom and a big sugary vanilla base with a hint of coconut. It's like a treat you buy on the boardwalk, knowing well it's all empty calories but you enjoy every shameful bite."
Karl Lagerfeld- Chloe (vintage, original). This is my mother's signature scent. I buy her every old bottle I can find, but I do keep a small amount of the vintage extrait and dab a tiny drop every now and then. It feels a bit off, like a little girl experimenting with her mom's lipstick and dresses behind her back, but my mom lives far away and sometimes I just want that familiar scent, a feeling more than "just" a smell.
Guerlain -La Petite Robe Noire 2. It's a flanker of a somewhat questionable fruity-floral that exploited the classic Guerlain bottle. Still, something about this cherry marshmallow hits the right spot. It's also a huge compliment-getter. Go figure.
By Kilian- Love. Speaking of marshmallow and fluffy pink clouds. This is ridiculous, I know, but I ended up using enough samples of this frothy confection to justify buying the travel refills. Funny enough, the only other By Kilian bottle I own is the very grownup Back to Black. I don't know if it's the comfort aspect, the sweet tooth, or simply the need for fun. It's perfect to wear around small children, by the way.
Michael Kors- Michael. This kind-of-trashy tuberose was Kim Kardashian's favorite perfume and the inspiration for her own first eponymous fragrance. This may be reason enough to reconsider my attachment to Michael, but I refuse to let go. It's heaven for tuberose lovers, and I wear just a drop of the extrait, which is somewhat more refined. I promise to warn you if we're about to share a confined space.
Roja Dove- Diaghilev. Oh, how I love Diaghilev! My decant was a gift from a dear and lovely friend, which is reason enough to cherish this stunner. The guilt comes from the price tag that cannot be justified in any way, yet doesn't prevent me from desperately want a bottle. And from the uncontrollable urge to slap Roja Dove a few times.
Bond No.9- New Haarlem. I bought the bottle long before developing my distaste for the brand, yet I still feel uneasy when I open the box and spray. Longtime readers understand.
Parfum d'Empire- Musc Tonkin. Every time I wear Musc Tonkin an angel loses its wings and falls down.
Photo of Doris Day and friends via Stirred, Straight Up, With a Twist (which in itself is kind of a guilty pleasure).