Industrial Perfumes The Perfumed Dandy’s Unusual Weekend Break


The Dandy was away at the weekend.

Though this time I found a succour in an unusual setting.

Not the countryside where I normally seek repose, but amongst the great rusting remnants of the original epoch of industrialisation.

To Manchester.

Cradle of the first wave of the factory age, which they tell us may now be coming to an end.

It’s viaducts, locks and piers, great mills and brick warehouses, unwanted freight railways and miles and miles of canals are the Roman ruins of the future scattered about us today.

If only we take the time to look…

Then it got me thinking, something I once read… could there be such a thin as Industrial Perfume?

Purple Under Sides


Estee by Estee Lauder

Shop bought glamour for stolen kisses and unwise fumbles under the freeway flyover.

Oakmoss. Aldehydes. Coriander.

Steely hearts and unheard squeals.

Something Old, Something New


Calandre by Paco Rabanne

Aluminium stiletto heels grind make up powders made of sacred glass into disco floors in warehouse clubs.

No one cares. They dance till dawn.

Hidden Green, Never Seen


Futur by Robert Piguet

Antique idea of l’avenir that never came to pass.

Chartreuse no parts chlorophyll three parts chlorine.

Toxic temptation.

Flash car, fire escape...


Mitsouko by Guerlain

Petroleum and decaying peach. The high life and the backstreet.

Perfectly tuned engine. Runs like a dream. Ride anything but smooth.

Castles In The Air


Eau de Campagne by Sisley

Grab a bit of country air where you can find it.

Canalside, you can be lord of the manor, raise tomato plants and basil bushes.

View your lemon trees from castellated towers. Sundays only.

The Sea, Wholesale


Womanity by Thierry Mugler

Crude humour. Blue joke.

Well told. Widely copied.

In questionable taste.

Games Without Frontiers


Les Jeux sont Faits by Jovoy

Rum for Dad. Gin for Mum. Mother’s ruined already.

Heady, fruity cocktail consumed in a smoke filled bar.

Followed by a curry.

Saturday night on a production line.

Once More Under The Bridge, Dear Friends


Higher by Dior

Merry on perry for the first time.

Electric shell suits fizzing static.

Zips slip easily, tongues entwine.

French kissing in a Northern style.

Printers’ Ink, Queen’s Cream


M/Mink by Byredo

Liquid words with raw honey.

Crude oil of the mind.

Hot metal. Cool fumes.

An eclectic Monday to start a somewhat unusual week *he winks*.

Hope you like the snaps and scents.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy



Filed under Uncategorized

21 responses to “Industrial Perfumes The Perfumed Dandy’s Unusual Weekend Break


    hm. I wonder if you know eccentric molecules. hard to find scents more detached from all things natural!

    • Dearest Calypse
      Yes. I am aware of their work… but have only tried a few. Indeed I thought about including them, but as everything in Manchester is really quite post-industrial, with nature taking back bit by bit, it seemed that these perfect pieces of aroma chemical experimentation might be more South Korea than Northern England if you see what I mean…
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy


        I understand. Does it have a sublte post-apocalyptic feel then?
        (South Korea feel? Oh don’t tell Gesa…)

      • Dearest Calypse
        Yes, in (small) part I suppose it does. Thirty years ago much of the city felt abandoned, but the fabric is slowly being woven back together… sometimes just by allowing the ruins to become that in the midst of parkland, Quite majestic really.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  2. Lilybelle

    I love those pics of Manchester. All that monumental decay is so strange, sad, and appealing. I’d like to visit some day. But I think I’ll just stick with my BaV edc this evening.

    • Dearest Lily
      The decay is slightly sad, but then one remembers that these were awful places to work and the lives of many people were mean, miserable and short.
      Today Manchester is crafting a place for itself in the modern world as a centre for art, culture, sport and (what else) service industries! Fortunately many of the former buildings are finding new uses ranging from museums to stores, restaurants to apartments. It’s a vibrant, exciting place and though it may never be the centre of the world as it once was, it definitely has a future ahead of it.
      As for those fragrances… they are quite a handful and, with the exception of my beloved Mitsouko, I’m not sure I’d turn to any for comfort! Better off with your BaV as you say!.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  3. Now that’s a scented letter! I’ve never seen (sensed) Manchester so well. I’ll take a vial of “liquid words with raw honey” please.

    • Dearest V
      Have you been?
      You know, there are (climate aside) similarities with LA… both were the primary cities of their industries, the latter arguably still is. Frontier towns too.
      Caution though M/Mink is quite a thing… imagine a beehive in the middle of an old fashioned hot metal newspaper print room. Oh yes.
      Hope you’re feeling much better.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • My sister-in-law is from Manchester, so I’ve heard a lot about it, but never have been.

        Wow… M/Mink sounds like a must! I find that very intriguing. One of the Kid’s favorite scents is something by Commes des Garcons, industrial minus the honey.

        Feeling a million times better! xox, V

      • Dearest V
        So the kid has an industrial Comme des Garcons as his signature scent… that’s very much as it should be!
        I wonder which one…
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  4. Joan

    Those photos are perfect. The associations are perfect. Even Mitsouko, which I would have pictured on the floor of Max de Winter’s burned down mansion as a representation of ruins. But the car looks like a comparable time period and also a similar mood.

    I live in Western Maryland. It could be considered part of the Rust Belt. Parts of it are bittersweet like those pictures but a lot of it is just pathetic. If I could match a perfume to images of once-proud buildings around here it would be Scentsate’s life work.

    • Joan

      Example: I’d pick White Linen for this. This train station must have looked kind of like a Norman Rockwell painting at some point. It was accessible to everyone and a comfortable place to be. And it was never lonely. It probably still isn’t because I imagine there’s homeless people living in there now (I hope so anyway!).

      • Dearest Joan
        I love these photographs and love too.
        Those buildings are so handsome! We have many many redundant railway stations in the UK too after a disastrous hacking back of our network in the 1960s.
        Of those buildings that survive quite a lot (on lines that didn’t last) are homes or pubs or restaurants or offices, even schools or leisure centres.
        Better still, as in Manchester, they have been restored to status of stations as metro systems have been established to make up for the errors of past transport planning.
        The idea of the station as a welcoming, public place of social discourse is so relevant to our fractured, often fractious world… bring them back says I.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

    • Dearest Joan
      Decay can be sad, but beautiful too… it’s often a question of time. The Coliseum in Rome strikes us more for its haunting beauty than its dereliction now, perhaps one day too the same will be said of these behemoths of a past industrial age.
      Behind the scenes change is afoot… the fish market walls contain a new urban quarter of houses, design offices, restaurant, independent retailers and bars. That strange glass house in the shadow of the glass tower is the magnificent Museum of Science and Industry, gradually being lovingly restored to something approaching its original beauty.
      Fascinated by your Maryland parallels, now would I have travelled through that part of the world between DC and NYC on the train, I want to say I might have done, but don’t want to commit a geographical faux pas.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • I just joined a landscape photography meetup group that goes to obscure places to take photos. I’m looking forward to it if I have the time. You inspired me!

      • Dearest Joan
        Now that is great news. I shall be in mid Wales next week and hope to find some even more obscure scenes of former industrial greatness to explore and capture on camera.
        I do look forward to seeing the fruits of your labour on line.
        Happy snapping!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  5. rosestrang

    A series that touches my heart Sir Dandy!
    Though I’m from Edinburgh which is viewed as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe (though described by a Hollywood star who’s name I can’t remember as ‘an elegant graveyard’!) I feel a connection with the Midlands and industrial towns and cities of the North. My grandmother was from Ripley in Derbyshire – a small mining community just 10 miles from Eastwood, where DH Lawrence grew up.

    It’s difficult to express why I feel this emotional connection to these (sometimes ugly) industrial towns, but the feeling is maybe best captured in DH Lawrence’s ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ – most remembered for its naughty words and the kerfuffle in the 60s – but to me it expresses everything about the loss of rural landscape, and yet at the same time, the rise of a collective working class that gradually gained a voice.

    The interesting thing to me is that these cities and small towns retain much of that warmth, or community spirit, despite the decline of industry. I could go on about this, but I’m remembering I’m actually in a perfume forum! So, a quote from Lady Chatterley’s Lover: “the colour flew in her cheeks, and burned blue in her eyes. She walked ploddingly, picking a few primroses and the first violets, that smelled sweet and cold, sweet and cold”
    ‘Violetta’ – Penhaligons?

    • Dearest Rose
      Yes. Perhaps it is The Dandy’s rural upbringing, just to the north of the fringes of the Welsh coal field, but I share this affinity.
      Communities like this can be stifling of course, but at their best they are rich and welcoming networks of support and comradery that are still very much alive today, despite what some might have us believe.
      Pehaligon’s Viloletta… now I’m a sucker for violets, I’m trying to think if I ever wrote a piece in them… Yardley’s candy-shop sours April Violets, Van Cleef and Arpels ones that transform magically into roses, those in Jolie Madame that form the sombre, seen-everything accord with leather.
      Yes, violets will do very well for the post industrial.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • rosestrang

        Violets are a bitter-sweet accord, appropriate yes. Talking of violet accords I must have raved about James Heeley’s Iris de Nuit – do try it Sir Dandy. I’m currently wearing it with the remnants of earlier Cuir de Russie and am in perfume heaven!

  6. Alice

    I love industrial architecture, so enjoyed the photos and associations. Work last year that took me to Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield, Liverpool – fabulous buildings in all of these cities.
    And Estee! My favourite lauder perfume, such character, yet you hear so little about it. One of the very few that has produced a compliment from a total stranger. I don’t currently have any, as I’m not sure how much I’d wear it, but would love to hear your views!

    • Dearest Alice
      I’m so pleased so many of us seem partial to a slab of industrial architecture… it puts pay to the idea that perfume appreciating types should only like rococo swirls!
      Huddersfield I don’t know but Leeds and Liverpool are cities built on a vast scale.. as for Glasgow ‘Second City of Empire’, outstanding.
      Estee, is a treasure… that reminds me, it’s owed a scented letter… soon to follow rest assured.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s