Powdery Perfumes, Beautiful & Comforting.

I love powdery scents. They are comforting, and harken back to simple sweet times. I always loved the scent of baby powder and wore it when I was a pre teen as a sweet “perfume”, along with my Love’s Baby Soft. I have also used J&J Baby Lotion, for its light moisturizing and soft powdery scent. My daughters use it sometimes and it takes me back to when they were babies. I recall giving them little massages with baby oil after their baths, and giving them a light dusting of baby powder to keep heat rash at bay in hot weather. So who wouldn’t associate that scent with sweetness and innocence? I still like the scent of Love’s Baby Soft, and it was the first perfume I got for both my daughters when they were old enough to spritz on their own perfume like “grown-ups”.


Powdery scents have been around forever and are either baby/talcum powder-y, or a little more adult and more cosmetic or “face powder” powdery. Some notes contribute to a powdery scent- floral notes like violet, iris, heliotropin and rose are often powdery, and resins like amber have a sweet powdery feel, and even white musks. Certain soapy scents can be powdery, and my favourite powdery scents are also “clean” smelling. Notes like amber can warm and sweeten a clean scent, making it less cold and detergent-y. As with any category of perfumes I review, there are usually MANY that don’t make the list. I either think of them later, or just pare it down to a few in the interest of brevity. But I also love to hear your ideas and faves, as this is the best way for me to find new and wonderful perfumes to try! Yes, we are all enablers ;)So here is my list, such as it is….

Lorenzo Villoresi Teinte de Neige The name of the Villoresi perfume means “the colour of snow”- quite poetic really. This one is a powder bomb, and is so concentrated that a little goes a long on my skin. The notes listed include jasmine, rose, tonka “powdery notes” (duh) heliotrope and musk. I am not sure what amps the powder up in this but it is magical. I really like the way Teinte de Neige is a dry powdery perfume and not overly sweet. I get baby powder but some reviewers get face powder. Perhaps they are smelling more of the floral notes than I can detect. I think the musks in this perfume can read stronger for some, meaning the florals melt into the background a little more. This is the case for me. But there is something very soothing about this perfume, giving one the sense of being pampered, bathed and powdered, making it wonderful for hot weather. Yet, it also has a warm and cozy sense which makes it a lovely shape shifter for cool weather, like a cashmere wrap. Gorgeous, and really the Grande Dame of powdery perfumes- if you like this category, this one is a must-sniff.

Il Profumi de Fireze Talco Delicato Just as the name would suggest, this one is a soft and delicate powder scent. It has the musk, vanilla of Teinte de Neiges but no floral notes, and has added some spices (just spices, nothing specific..) which give it a slightly sweeter and less “dry” feel that the Villoresi scent. The musk is sweet and innocent, and I pick out a J&J Baby Shampoo vibe- the same one I get from Jovan Musk. I think I find this a bit easier to wear than Teinte de Neige but to be fair, they are pretty different, but if you found TdN too “much” and still want a powder perfume, you really should try Talco Delicato. No violety face powder here, just soft and innocent clean fresh-out-of- the-bath powder. If you enjoy sweet simple scents and also like white musks, this one is a must try. The dry down on this just gets softer and lovelier. Very pretty.

Guerlain Vol de Nuit I am always afraid to throw a classic Guerlain into the mix due to the reformulation issue. So, lets just stick to current versions, and in this case, the eau de toilette. The notes include bergamot, jasmine, galbanum, woods, vanilla, iris and amber. So this would be in the face powder category, and in the most elegant and delicate of ways. It never gets too sweet and wears very softly on the skin. There are some “spices” in there, and with the woodsy notes you get an effect that could really be a masculine or feminine. This is a cool weather favourite of mine, and the sweet vanilla-amber dry down is really quite sexy. So yes, Vol de Nuit not a baby powder powdery perfume, and it has the classic Guerlinade base that makes you very happy this is not a modern fruity floral. No one does perfume like Guerlain and I am reminded of their genius every time I wear one. I’ve said that I could live happily with only Guerlain and Chanel perfumes for the rest of my days but I suppose I’m happy I don’t have to. Vol de Nuit is like a creamy velvet powder perfume, and one I often like to wear to bed. I love getting a hit of it on my sheets when I get into bed the next night as well. Beautiful. Added bonus: this Christmas, Guerlain is releasing Vol de Nuit as a softly shimmering scented powder in a teal green bottle:

I must own this. Must. Own. Swooning.

L’Artisan L’Eau d’Ambre This is my hands down favourite amber scent, and one of my faves from the L’Artisan line. There is the L’Eau and also an Extreme version (which is sort of the eau de parfum version) but neither one is actually “extreme” and it is a very soft and powdery scent. It is quite interesting, and includes notes of rose, cardamom, geranium, vanilla, sandalwood and amber. The geranium adds an interesting aspect that perhaps contributes to the dry sense of this perfume. It is a soft sweet powder that wears very close to the skin. It is dry and warm and again, easily a unisex scent. If you are an amber fan, you must try this one. In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful amber scents on the market. It melts into your skin as the day goes by and is really quite sexy. L’Artisan has Ambre scents in their home line too. I do not suggest sniffing them unless your wallet is wide open. The Ambre candles are simple the most gorgeous candles I’ve tried. You do not even have to light them to enjoy the scent, but when you do, the throw is amazing and your whole home will smell divine. And then, there are the Ambre Boules….finely carved vented terracotta balls that contain an amber scented resin (refills available) that are nothing less than swoonworthy.

They radiate amber deliciousness throughout the home and simply look gorgeous. They are, to me, the ultimate ambient perfume for the home.

Bill Blass Nude Ok this is an odd one, but a lovely one. Nude has been discontinued for years but is still available for a song online (like, under $35 kind of song) and is well worth it. Nude is a skin scent with a blast of sinus clearing aldehydes in the top notes that makes you go “SKIN SCENT? HUH?”. As soon as they disappear, which is quickly, you are soon left with a soft powdery sweet perfume that smells like pretty sweet soft skin. I would call this one Love’s Grown Up Lady Soft, as the woodsy base notes elevate this from girly to grown up in a fabulous way. The vetiver and sandalwood combination is really different. I wouldn’t call this unisex but nor is it especially “girly”. It is different, and lovely. A beautiful review for Nude by a perfumista on Basenotes described it so wonderfully. She said her family and friends always thought that she just smelled wonderful, herself, and never guessed it was her perfume they were smelling until she switched it. And the perfume was Bill Blass Nude. It was that review that convinced me to buy it, unsniffed, and I have not regretted it. Another compliment getter, Nude is easy to wear and always makes me feel pretty.

Abdul Kareem Baby Powder Oil From the sublime to the ridiculous- that’s just how I roll. As much as I love the fabulous artistic Italian perfumers takes on powder, sometimes I just want to smell like, well, baby powder. AK has managed to recreate the scent of J&J Baby Powder perfectly in their Baby Powder Oil perfume. It lasts for hours and hours on the skin, and smells perfectly powdery and pretty. I wear this one to bed a lot, and also layer it with floral and woody perfumes for a sweet powdery foil. It is low on the sillage scale and is one of my huggable perfumes, ie one has to get close to smell it. It is simple and pure and every powder lover should own it. I have heard it is being discontinued so get it now while you can. At around $15 for a 15ml bottle its worth it- very concentrated, and a little goes a long way.

Tiger Beat magazine ad from the 70s. How was this ever ok? Oy.

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