Mood Scent Four: Night Out Perfumes

Photograph by kind permission of Alison Oddy of World of Oddy. Miss Meow and Lola-Showgirl

Moodscent Four is a collaboration between four bloggers from four different countries.  There’s Megan in France (who is actually from New Zealand), Esperanza in the Netherlands, Tara in England and me, Sam here in Wales.  Every few months, we all blog on the same theme and share what scents we use for different moods and occasions. There’s no right or wrong, and every time we collaborate I love to see what the others have written as we keep our choices a surprise form each other until the time of going to press.

This month, appropriately enough for Christmas-tide, it’s Night Out perfumes. Get your glad rags on, and get in a cab with us. It’s going to be a very fragrant ride.


My Favourite Night Out Perfumes

When an invite lands on the mat, or more likely these days, on Facebook Messenger, I find myself devoting far more time choosing my fragrance than I do my outfit (probably something black. Whatever’s clean).

Photo of the Folly Dollies by kind permission of Alison Oddy of World of Oddy photography.

To me, going out means getting the special favourites out.  I like to make an impact and when you’re hitting the town, that’s OK.  At night, you can let your inner vixen off the leash.

Here are my five favourite Night Out fragrances.  Don’t make me choose a favourite.  I must own all of these, always.

4160 Tuesdays Killer Rose

I recently wore this to an all-day wedding.  It’s my party scent and my favourite evening wear. It grew from the equally sublime 4160 Tuesdays Raw Silk and Red Roses.   Killer Rose is a version of that with the volume turned up.  There’s big red roses, earthy patchouli, a hint of peach and spice and I even get a waft of violets, which may or may not be there.  I often superimpose the smell of violets into fragrances since my brain wants to put them in everything, so it could be ghost violet!

This is the fragrance that my eight-year-old son described as “the best you’ve ever smelled”. I’ve been blogging about perfume since he was four, so that’s a huge compliment.

PS  Mini back story: After much Prosecco, we decided that Killer Rose would be my beloved sister in law’s wrestling name. It was a helluva wedding.

Ruth Mastenbroek Firedance

Firedance is the perfect Night Out fragrance for Autumn and Winter. It makes me think of festivals and dark late nights when you stay out way after the taxi drivers have gone to bed. Ah, those were the days! Firedance has roses with sepia, smoky edges and generous swoops of oud and leather, that dart around you as you move. Gorgeous bottle too- very Brothers Grimm! Firedance is Ruth’s fourth fragrance and she is working on a fifth.

Papillon Dryad

Photo by Thomas Dunckley for Papillon Perfumery

Whenever I wear this I immediately feel elegant ( and I’m not).  I feel self-assured and at home in my own skin, which is rare for a seething mass of self-doubt like wot I am.  Papillon Dryad is the ultimate  in elegant and earthy green chypres and it makes me want to strut around like I’m IT.   Dryad has notes of earthy green moss and narcissus and jonquil and herbs and all sorts of mysterious things from the forest. When I wear Dryad, I feel confident and womanly. This is a feeling that gets me in the mood more than wine and nail polish.

Le Jardin Retrouvé Tubereuse Trianon

L-R, Me, Stephan Matthews, and Sarah McCartney. Fragrances we were wearing: L-R le Jardin Retrouve Tubereuse Trianon, Le Jardin Retrouve Cuir Russie and of course, 4160 Tuesdays Mother Natures Naughty Daughters. Photo by kind permission of Sarah McCartney

I can’t resist tuberose. After sidestepping it for years, tuberose and I have some catching up to do and I try to insert any opportunity to wear it into my life.  Le Jardin Retrouvé Tubereuse Trianon was my fragrance of choice for the annual Fragrance Foundation Awards in May 2017. In a room where every scent was literally competing with another, my trusty whispers of tuberose still snaked up to my nostrils as if to assure me that my chosen scent had not been wiped out by competitors. I still smelled of tuberose when I landed in bed that night. And I had sniffed A LOT of people.

DSH Chinchilla

I love Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s fragrances.  She can turn her hand from spring flower buds to animalic retro via everything else you could wish for in Perfume Land. Chinchilla is a very animalic musky mossy chypre that smells like it was made in 1924. The name itself evokes a lost world of dark glamour and fur coats and cigarette holders and speakeasies. Now if that doesn’t make you want to go out, then I don’t know what will.

Find out what Night-Out fragrances my colleagues chose here:



A Bottled Rose

How about you?

What scent do you reach for when the bright lights beckon? Do you go for elegance? Audacity? Or do you give in to your animal instincts? Do tell!


24 thoughts on “Mood Scent Four: Night Out Perfumes”

  1. Depending on the occasion, I like to wear Amouage Gold Woman or Chanel No. 22 if it’s more formal and dressy. If it’s a night out but more casual, I like Calligraphy Rose or Oeillet Sauvage, depending on mood. Arquiste for J. Crew No. 57 and No. 31 are both great for evenings out too, with their “cocktail” vibe.

    1. What stunning choices! I am totally green eyed over your collection. I’m glad to see some Carnation love in there too. It took me a while to come round to carnation but now I’m addicted.

      I love the “cocktail vibe” you mention. i know exactly what you mean! xxx

      1. And I am green-eyed over yours! I must try DSH Chinchilla some time; it’s not really my usual (I’m normally all about greens and florals) but her work is so excellent. And I can’t wait for the Christmas gift of Dryad I’m expecting! I’m intrigued by Ruth Mastenbroek’s fragrances; is Firedance the one you like most?

      2. In answer to your last question, I like all of Ruth Mastenbroek’s fragrances, especially Signature. I have met her several times and she is elegant and witty and really warm.

    2. It’s great to hear you’re getting Dryad for Christmas. I have a 50ml bottle and i know you won;t be sorry. It’s as if the ancient mossy chypres of the 1940s and 50s have been reincarnated with an added nuance of wild forest. xx

  2. Hard to narrow it down to just one. For me, I would say anything by the lovely and very talented Liz Moores’ Papillon Perfumery, Blacks Club Leather from Shay & Blue, Ambre Noire from Angela Flanders, and finally, for a bit of tradition, Penhaligon’s Hammam Bouquet.

    1. I love the different suggestions you make there Barry: You’ve got some amber, some leather and some excellent trad cologne stuff from our friends at Penhaligon’s. I bet you smell amazing. First round’s on me!

  3. From 1977 until the last reformulation when it was disembowelled and turning into a weak shadow of Youth Dew, it was always, always Opium….it was what I wanted to be in scent form, I suppose and I loved it.

    Since then it hasn’t been so straightforward! I do love Ambre Sultan and have high hopes of Angela Flanders Ambre Noire (it is on the Christmas list) I’m also hoping that one day I’ll be grown up enough to do justice to the beautiful Mitsouko.

    Now very intrigued by Dryad thanks to that review Sam! x

    1. My Dear Laura, disembowelled has exactly the right tone of brutality to describe what happened to ye olde Opium. The new one is nice enough, but it doesn’t even smell like the same brand, let alone the same scent.

      Ambre Sultan is one I disliked at first, then revisited later and enjoyed. Isn’t it funny how your taste changes? have you ever changed your mind completely about a fragrance? (apart from the butchered Opium, of course!)


  4. Hi Sam! You really pulled it out the bag at short notice with this one. I’m very curious about Chinchilla but seeing as you describe it as “very animalic” I suspect that, sadly, it would be too skanky for me. I’m also coming round to tuberose in my old age which is very unexpected.

    1. Hi Tara, I’m sorry, but you and “old age” just doesn’t seem to compute. You are ageless and also from the 1920s. As for Chinchilla, funnily enough, it was more aged chypre than skanky on me. I very often don’t pick up civet notes at all. And tuberose does get persuasive doesn’t it? I always found it heady and cloying but now I can’t get enough! xxx

  5. Hi Sam

    Funnily enough, Youth Dew! I didn’t like it (possibly because of the resemblance to New and Utterly Unimproved Opium I perceived) but gave it more time and have come to appreciate it as a classic in its own right

    I’m currently conducting a retro experiment and using the bath oil as perfume, like ladies in ’50s America, and I love it! Warm and spicy, much more rounded than the EdP and very Christmassy, the lavender being less obvious, to my nose at least.

    (May have solved own party frag dilemma there….!)


    1. Dear Laura, you are spot on. Youth Dew was originally a bath oil. You’re in great company with your impeccable taste because Mae West wore it always. Her whole pure white apartment smelled of it. Oddly enough, I love it (I’m 47), but my Mum (aged 70) says its too “old lady”! Mums are weird. xxx

  6. Hmmm

    Very tricky to narrow this down. It depends on the event, the venue, the company, the outfit. But for the sake of argument let’s just say it’s dinner out followed by drinks and dancing (rarer than I’d like nowadays).
    JPG Fragile, lots of oomph, heady floral with amber and spices. I cannot for the life of me understand why this was discontinued.
    Frederic Malle Portrait of a lady (Well, I can pretend)
    OJ Orris Noir, this immediately conjures up an image of LBD and high heels, I don’t know why.
    And how about the grande dame of them all? Of course that would have to be Fracas.

    1. Hi cassie, always a pleasure when you drop by! I never smelled JPG Fragile, but I’ve no idea why they stopped making it. It’s not as if it wasn’t selling. Also- THAT BOTTLE! Portrait of a Lady is a funny one. Almost everyone I know who knows perfume likes it or loves it and do you know what? I have never managed to smell any! I need to put that right. I bet my friend Lisa has some. She has every sample ever. OJ Orris Noir- that’s another I haven’t smelled but I do love a bit of orris. It just exudes class. And as for Fracas ? We all bow to the master. Great choices! xxxx

  7. I didn’t know that about Mae West! Interesting, considering she could have accessed any perfume of the period, including the venerable greats

    And yes, Mums are weird-I don’t “get”the old lady thing from it at all. Perhaps one day the ubiquitous fruchoulis of today will be regarded as “old lady” perfume (and it will serve many of them right!) x

    1. let’s hope so laura. There’s only much vanilla and patchouli and overly sweet fruit I can take before I need a lie down in a dark room with a bitter green chypre!

  8. Another super selection here, Sam, after reading all the other posts in this series. Love your personal anecdotes here. These all sound oh so good, but the DSH Chinchilla beckons me the most. It sounds wonderfully vintage and powerful. Thanks. R

    1. You would totally love if it if you like the vintage vibe. I don’t know how she recreates that just-opened-a-bottle-from-the-1930s accord! Thank you so much for your kind words and your support. it means a lot, thanks Rich xx

Leave a Reply