How Perfume Boredom Led To i smell great™

How Perfume Boredom Led To i smell great™

Regular readers of my blog know that I can count the number of times I’ve written a rave review about a newly released perfume on one hand. I love perfume, and I love writing about perfume, but the only perfumes that have interested me enough to write about have either been niche, which often means expensive and/or hard to find, or vintage and vanished from the market. I hoard my vintage perfumes that will never be made again, and I resent having to pay a fortune for some niche brand that uses the same ingredients as everyone else.

By now everyone knows about i smell great™, the perfume brand created by Randi Shinder and myself. Randi created and launched three beauty brands that were so groundbreaking they formed new categories in fragrance and skin care. And, we are both perfume junkies, in the truest sense of the word. We eat, sleep and breathe perfume. We obsess about scents and flavours all. The. Time. Stimulate our sense of smell or taste, and we are already dreaming about how this or that would work in perfume. Both of us have been obsessive “noses” since we can remember. Scents haunt us, and they haunted us until we captured them and bottled them, like perfume ghosts.

Randi and I would often get so excited about a scent we would hear about. Then, we’d try it and find it was pretty much exactly the same as many many perfumes before it. Cue the sad trombones. Newsflash: the industry is full of imitation. If one perfume has commercial success, wait for every other designer to release a perfume that smells “similar”. They copy the successful one, maybe tweak it a tiny bit (and maybe not) and then call it something else. Just wander around any perfume department and smell all the top sellers. A well developed nose will be able to find the sameness in everything.

The names are often ridiculous and have nothing to do with what the perfume smells like. Reveal, Downtown, Encounter and how about 18 different editions of Eternity for women and another 14 Eternity versions for men? Oy. Sorry, Calvin, but you aren’t even trying anymore. Talk about phoning it in.

Then there is this business of “notes” in perfume. It used to mean a lot more, and still does with some niche and artisanal perfumers. But for most mainstream perfumes, that cacophony of  top, middle and base notes aren’t really telling us what the perfume smells like. It’s ad copy. It’s a romantic idea of the scent. Yes, yes, some of those synthetic molecules are meant to smell like certain things, but that doesn’t mean assembling them together as if you are Jacques Guerlain (SPOILER ALERT: YOU ARE NOT) is going to create another Shalimar. It’s like a habit that the consumer thinks they need to know. Do you? I know I don’t care. I want to know if it smells good, and those vague and random recipes and notes rarely tell me anything about the scent.

So. Why not make perfumes for the masses, why not make perfumes for those who really just want to wear an uncomplicated scent that just smells great? Why not make perfumes that don’t cause headaches, perfumes that don’t choke everyone around you with chemical scent enhancers that elevate perfume projection to nuclear levels? Yes, lady who bathes in Angel before getting on that elevator, I’m looking at YOU. Stop. Now.

I can’t wait to share how Randi and I came to create our perfumes. How the things we loved became perfumes. How the scented products that accompany the perfumes have bases that were just as important as the perfumes. I challenge you to spray your hands with i smell great™ Wellness Water Fragrance Mist. The luxurious base of purified water and skin-healthy ingredients means you can rub it in and it will feel great as well as smell great. Go ahead and try that with a mainstream body mist. Be careful though, it will probably dissolve your nail polish.

Stay tuned for more of our story!

i smell great™ Perfume By Jane Daly & CLEAN Perfume Founder

i smell great™ Perfume By Jane Daly & CLEAN Perfume Founder

our story

i smell great™ was born from the desire for a perfume line that did something different, radical, honest and simple. The hundreds of perfumes released every year offer the same thing, over and over. Trying to find a simple and pretty perfume has become almost impossible. Perfume departments have become daunting and overwhelming, turning perfume shopping into a shell game of sameness.

Randi Shinder changed the perfume landscape with her line of simple, clean and fresh perfumes, CLEAN™, out of her desire to simply smell good and to smell clean. CLEAN™ was a unique, first-of-its kind fragrance meant to mimic the universal freshly showered feeling that we all love. As it became a top selling scent, Randi knew that the consumer felt as she did, and just wanted an honest product that did what it promised.

I worked in the perfume industry and have been writing about perfume for years. As a blogger, I regularly received newly released perfumes to review, and the one thing I was noticing was….that there is nothing new or interesting, yet simple and honest, in perfume today. This led me to create my own bespoke perfume – one of the only modern scents I would wear. It’s “in the vault”….for now.

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We decided smelling good was, well, not good enough. Our combined passion for smelling good turned into something different… something “great”. Our love of perfumes led us to take the great scents of our lives, and the scents of our memories, and to bottle them. Almost three years and many scents later, Randi and I knew we were on to something. Everyone who tried our perfumes loved them and found the scents “addictive!” We loved that we could play with these perfumes and that everyone could create their own versions of Greatness.

Adding to Randi and my passion for this greatness is the skill and exuberance of Michael Nyman in Los Angeles. As Chairman and CEO of PMK*BNC™, one of the largest and most influential communications, marketing and consultancy firms in the world of popular culture and entertainment, Michael Nyman has established himself as a leading authority with keen cultural insights in bridging the worlds of entertainment and brands. He knew that i smell great™ was something the beauty and perfume world was ready for, and that consumers were waiting for the chance to smell great.

i smell great™ was born, because shouldn’t we all smell great?

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I Like My Perfume Pressed & Starched: Estee Lauder White Linen

I Like My Perfume Pressed & Starched: Estee Lauder White Linen

Sometimes I just want a simple perfume that makes me feel pretty and clean. Estee Lauder launched White Linen in 1978, way ahead of the clean perfume craze. It contains nuclear levels of aldehydes, almost at the level of Chanel No22, which it reminds me of at certain levels of the drydown, and aldehydes have the magic power to create the impression of clean breezy laundry and soap minus the industrial cleaner note. Aldehydes also make me think of breezes, or even wind. The kind that come off the water, or while driving in a convertible. You know, that breeze that feels like it is cleaning out the cobwebs in your head and making you feel invigorated.

There are a ton of flowers and leafy notes in there too. White flowers are mentioned, and I suppose I get a bit of jasmine or lily of the valley, but I smell more roses and carnations, then I gradually detect the green mossy dry down that comes much later in the development. It’s a powerhouse, and needs to applied sparingly. In wonderful Estee Lauder fashion, the eau de parfum is pretty much parfum/extrait strength and lasts hours and hours on the skin. To me it smells feminine and “pretty” and evokes clear sunny skies and warm sunshine, with perhaps some clean white linen sheets on the line drying in the soft breezes. Estee Lauder kindly offers White Linen eau de parfum in a wee purse 15ml spray size which is the one I buy. It’s as strong as parfum and the little bottle has lasted ages. I’ve never used the bath & shower gel, or the powder (which comes with a puff!) but I bet they are just gorgeous. My daughters love this one on me, and I never fail to get complimented on how good I smell when I wear it. Again- caution is advised with application. Too much doesn’t smell good to anyone.

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White Linen perfume and ancillary products are available at Estee Lauder counters, online and wherever Estee Lauder is sold.

Bobbi Brown Bath Perfume – Good Clean Fun

Bobbi Brown Bath Perfume – Good Clean Fun

I’m nothing if not a woman of broad tastes. I can appreciate vintage Guerlain Aprés L’Ondee parfum, swoon over it’s heartbreaking beauty while weeping over it’s unavailability while I watch bottles as rare as gems sell for many thousands on ebay. But, I am not a perfume snob, and I can appreciate something that makes my skin smell lovely, no matter what the price tag says. Which is both a good and a bad thing….

One of my favourite, easy, cheap and cheerful perfume is Bobbi Brown’s Bath. It is meant to evoke that squeaky clean feeling one has after the bath- obviously- and does a good of it. It’s chock full of soapy and wonderful orange blossom and neroli that blooms on the skin, with a gentle note of water hyacinth that adds a watery aspect. It is uncomplicated, like a simple cologne, and as easy to wear as a white t shirt. It is definitely a soapy perfume, and an unapologetic one at that. I would say this is pretty much Ivory soap, and I have always loved the scent of Ivory. Wet and warm freshly scrubbed skin, good clean fun…

This perfume is particularly lovely in extreme heat, as you have that just jumped out of the bath (or shower) feeling. And for a soapy cologne scent that does not cost the moon, I get amazing longevity from Bobbi Brown Bath- maybe 3-4 hours, even in the heat. It is perfect for daytime, and also lovely for a night out, maybe on a patio with a nice cool drink. This sweet little perfume has garnered me so many compliments when I wear it, one wonders if we really might be over thinking our perfumes. I’ve been stopped by strangers asking me what perfume I’m wearing. It makes me think of a line from one of my favourite movies, Amadeus, when Emperor Joseph II tells Mozart that his music “is quality work….there are simply too many notes”. 



I got mine at Murale  (it is available on their website) in Canada, and I have seen at the Bobbi Brown cosmetic counter recently as well. But I see that it is no longer on her website, and is “unavailable” on the Nordstrom site. Hm. Maybe it’s going to be discontinued? For the bargain $48 I paid, I may go buy another bottle as back up.