On… Trouble

About five years ago, magazines began banging on about skin scents. I don’t know why, it was super annoying. I guess it was the talking point on some snore press release and everyone copied each other, the way everyone always does. And then a bunch of supposed skin scents were released, and most of them smelled very nothing to me. A bit of almond, a bit of musk, a bit of low-power sandalwood and vanilla. They lasted about an hour and had no personality. They were pointless. Perfume for people who didn’t really like perfume.

Most people don’t like perfume, by the way. One of my first ever jobs was a perfume-spritzer, and we were instructed to say “you must experience this…” as we sprayed hapless passersby. It’s a terrible job, the perfume runs down your hands and strips off your nail polish and dries your cuticles, your feet hurt, and people are so rude to you. These days, I’m always super nice to perfume-spritzers. I look them right in the eye and say “oh! Yes, I’d love to! Thank you so much! That’s delicious! I’ll be sure to remember it!” And then I totally never remember it because it was probably something with a revolting champagne-muguet accord from Britney Spears, called ‘Disillusioned’ or ‘Shopworn’ or something.


I always thought that the best REAL skin scent was L’Eau de Rien. (Nuxe Prodigieuse le Parfum is a runner up, but it’s really only for beach vacations.)

I’m such a bore about L’Eau de Rien, I know. It’s the Miller Harris scent that is my favorite ever, because it smells like salty skin and clean hair and baby heads and all good warm human things like that. I feel like wearing L’EdR 60% of the time, the other 40% of the time I hop through my perfume collection like a happy little bunny. L’Heure Bleu, Le Dix, Santa Maria Novella Melograno, vintage Miss Dior, Fracas, Bois des Iles and so on and so forth wait wait don’t stop reading I promise to stop listing perfumes I know I’ve talked about them all before.

L’Eau de Rien has been defanged at some point over the last couple of years. I’m not sure how or why. Somehow, the best part of the scent – the part that made me purr – was taken out or tweaked. Maybe the oakmoss? I guess because it was made from something endangered or caused fits or something. Whatever. I sat Fox down on our bed and made him smell a spritz from the old bottle and the new bottle. “CAN YOU SMELL THE DIFFERENCE?” I yelled, shoving my wrists at his nose. “THIS IS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT SCENT. THIS IS A DISASTER.” “I don’t know,” he said, “Maybe? Why are you yelling at me? Is this really a disaster? There are 62 million refugees in the world right now.” I tracked down a few pre-change bottles, but I knew the time for L’Eau de Rien and I was nearing an end. Also that maybe my priorities are all wrong.

But! Good news. I found a possible substitute. I don’t know if it’s a year-round pleaser the way L’Eau de Rien is, because I only nabbed it from some eBay seller a few weeks ago. But I luuurve it.

It’s discontinued but easy to find, and was created an old perfume house, Boucheron.

It’s called Trouble.



Such a basic, almost tacky name, non? It reminds me of working in advertising in London. Whenever I needed to check something in the alcove where the graphic designers sat, one of the pseudo-cockney lads, probably called Ant or Andy or Simon, would be like ”’Allo, ‘ere comes trouble” as I walked in. All graphic designers in advertising in London are called Ant or Andy or Simon and talk in pseudo-cockney accents and try to flirt with copywriters. It’s just a fact.

Back to Trouble. I got the Eau de Parfum, and the notes are listed as citrus, jasmine, amber and sandalwood, but that combination creates a horrible screech in my brain. When I smell it, it’s more of a warm creamy ambery musk. Very sexy, but mellow-sleepy-naked-snuggles-sexy rather than Fracas-look-at-my-tits-and-take-off-my-knickers-with-your-teeth sexy. Sort of subtle and warm and yummy and not sweet. It just smells GOOD. It’s what I want the back of my neck to smell like when I lift up my hair, does that make sense? I want to dab it on all my scarves so they always waft this when I throw them on. (And given it is April and it snowed in NYC yesterday, I think it might just be scarf weather for a while here.) I think it will get a little honeyish on a hot summer’s day, but that might be a good thing. We’ll find out.

In the meantime, darlings, if you fancy trying something new, try a little Trouble.


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2 thoughts on “On… Trouble

  1. jen

    I’m one of the people who like perfume. Love perfume. The ones you mentioned plus Mitsouko, Chanel 5 and Ambush. Yes, Ambush.

  2. Raphaele

    Trouble means ‘emotional confusion’ in French. As in: you meet a super hot looking guy and he is sort of hitting on you but in such a subtle way you’re not sure if he actually is or it’s just that you wish he was… you feel confusedit both physically ( there s something on your part but not deep, you can’t quite pinpoint it) and mentally, it’s an amazing name for a perfume


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