Scenting Cats

Which Perfume Would You Like To Wear? | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Which Perfume Would You Like To Wear? | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

I’ve been thinking about doing the “scenting cats” post for months. No, I’m not talking about spraying cats with actual perfumes. I’ve seen some “pet perfumes” for sale here and there but I’m not too thrilled about the idea of covering our furry companions in them.

Let me explain first. I’m an ailurophile. Cats have been my love and comfort ever since the day I had my first cat. I love everything about cats, especially their peculiar little behaviours like sitting on an open book, staring into empty space, touching my face with their cold paws… If you are a cat lover, you know what I’m talking about. But for the past 15 years or so, I’ve been moving from one country to another and I haven’t had a chance to commit myself to a long-term relationship with a cat. So to fill my craving for feline companionship, I started photographing – and befriending with- local cats wherever and whenever I had opportunities. Most of them were feral or stray, roaming the streets freely and living the lives of their own. I have met real characters along my journey. One night when I was sorting through my cat photos while sniffing my wrist (I was testing a perfume, of course), a crackpot idea popped up in my head. I suddenly thought choosing a perfume for each one of these cats would be a great idea. Call me crackers. I know. But the perfumeland is full of cat lovers. Some of you might understand and enjoy this post.

Cats below are the ones I acquainted when I was living in Egypt. We had a ground floor flat with a front terrace and a small secluded garden and it turned out to be a cat haven. Many local cats gathered there on a daily basis to play, to socialise, and to have a kip.

So here we go.


Hannibal | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Hannibal: Black by Bvlgari | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

We named him Hannibal because of his bizarre behaviour; whenever he was in a threatening mode, he would narrow his eyes and lick his mouth hungrily. He was a sleek, athletic, and tough loner. He never opened up to me, younger local cats were terrified of him, and he never socialised with others except for Princess (see below). He was a true gentleman around Princess. He used to guard her, share his food with her, and occasionally snuggle his face in her soft fur. In the presence of Princess, Hannibal was a different cat; a noble knight.

Perfume choice for Hannibal: Black by Bvlgari
A little bit of elegance mixed with a dash of sweetness. Like Hannibal the cat, Black is mysterious and gives out a sense of danger and tenderness- both at the same time.


Princess | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Princess: Datura Noir by Serge Lutens | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

What a dainty creature she was! When I first met her, she was sleeping in the flower bed in the spring sunshine. It was right next to the garden path and there were plenty passersby but she was so still; no movement at all. I had to walk up to her and hesitantly touched her as I feared the worst. Thank goodness she was warm and soft! She opened her eyes ever so slowly and looked at me straight in the eyes. There was no fear, only curiosity in her golden green eyes. She gave an inaudible meow, and went back to sleep. Since my first encounter, I often spotted her sleeping in/on odd places and when she was awake, she was usually accompanied by Hannibal (see above). I felt she wasn’t all what she appeared to be. She was resilient and always had the air of knowing.

Perfume choice for Princess: Datura Noir by Serge Lutens
Bright yet seductive. Under her sweet and innocent look, Princess had a calculated sultriness. Appearance is such a deceiving thing. Datura Noir is a cocktail of a narcotic contradiction and I think it’s pretty apt for this beautiful cat.


Marmalade and Cream

Cream | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Cream: Aqua Universalis Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

They were brothers and were always close. Marmalade was bigger and more muscular than Cream and always acted like a hormone-driven teenager. He was handsome and macho but very cautious, and always followed the lead of Cream. Cream, on the other hand, was rather feminine but curious, courageous, and smart. He was definitely the brain of the brothers. When they came across something new, Cream eagerly investigated it while Marmalade hid behind him. One morning when I was mopping the terrace, Cream decided to chase and give hell to the fluffy monster. While he was happily destroying my mop head, Marmalade retreated to a safe distance and watched his brother bravely battling against the abominable creature. Now, I’m not proud of what I did to Marmalade next. I lifted the mop and put it on top of his head while he was distracted by birds in the bush. I’ve never seen a cat jump so high in my life. He toppled the bucket over, knocked plant pots off the staircase, and managed to turn the garden sprinkler on… Pure mayhem. A moral of this story: don’t underestimate the force of a scared cat.

Marmalade | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Marmalade: Dzing! by L`Artisan Parfumeur | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Perfume choice for Marmalade: Dzing! by L`Artisan Parfumeur
I cannot explain why but the first time when I smelled Dzing!, I immediately thought of Marmalade. Maybe the cat fur like smell in Dzing! or maybe the orangey  colour image I associate with this perfume. Who knows.

Perfume choice for Cream: Aqua Universalis Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Cream’s strong eagerness to know and learn things truly impressed me. He was a great observer and he soaked up all the information like a sponge. Aqua Universalis Forte’s uplifting and invigorating qualities fit perfectly with this cat’s attitude to life.


Deep Throat

Deep Throat | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Deep Throat: Delicious Closet Queen by Etat Libre d`Orange | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Now who has a dirty mind here? We called him Deep Throat because of his hoarse and raspy voice. He couldn’t meow; it was consistently “ugh, kuh, grrh”. Deep Throat was an extremely friendly chap with gorgeous odd eyes and he used to visit us daily. He loved a fuss, purred like a tractor, and always drooled all over my hand. This fluffy giant had a big heart and he was often seen looking after younger cats. Cream (see above) had completely taken to Deep Throat and decided he was the ultimate role model and used to mimic whatever he did. Deep Throat drank water off his paws, so did Cream. Deep Throat enjoyed belly rubs, so did Cream. Deep Throat loved tapping a keyboard, so did Cream. Because of his loving nature, he had plenty patrons. He was a bit of social butterfly.

Perfume choice for Deep Throat: Delicious Closet Queen by Etat Libre d`Orange
Lovely and complex Deep Throat. Like his two different coloured eyes, Deep Throat seemed to have existed in two worlds of yin and yang. He was masculine and feminine. What’s more fitting than Delicious Closet Queen?


Ginger Daddy

Ginger Daddy | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Ginger Daddy: Herod by Parfums de Marly | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

I strongly suspected that he was the father of Marmalade and Cream. Ginger Daddy was the godfather of the neighbourhood and acted as if he had no care in the world. He was a de facto leader of the vicinity and his demeanour clearly showed it.  Autumn came, and with it arrived the mating season.  As yodelling of cats intensified around blocks of flats, Ginger Daddy’s eyes got set on Princess. Inevitably, that brought clash between Hannibal and him. Blood chilling yowls shattered the silence of otherwise peaceful afternoon. As I looked through the window, I saw two of them trading blows in a ferocious battle in my garden. Also there was Princess, tall and graceful, perched on top of the wall, watching two toms fighting over her. Ginger Daddy was older, bigger, muscular, and had years of battle experience than Hannibal. Despite all the odds against him, at least on this round, Hannibal pulled through. Suddenly Ginger Daddy dropped his stance and walked away into the bush with twitching tail, as if to say he was never interested in the fight in the first place.

Perfume choice for Ginger Daddy: Herod by Parfums de Marly
Not loud, not forceful, but Ginger Daddy exuded an air of authority with a slight touch of sweetness. Marmalade loved Ginger Daddy and on one occasion, I saw Ginger Daddy grooming this young orange cat. Assured and warm. Herod comes to my mind.


Do you love cats? Do you live with them? If you were to choose a perfume for your furry companions, what would it be?

21 thoughts on “Scenting Cats

  1. What a great post, Yukiko and what stunning looking cats!
    Unfortunately I have a cat allergy which may explain why I’m not drawn to them but I do really love my friends’ cats virtually – Rusty, Meeps and Truffle. I might match Rusty with Like This, Meeps with Puredistance 1 and Truffle with Apres L’Ondee.
    Love your choices. Can’t believe pet perfumes are actually available, but then again… Felanilla by PG really did remind me of cat fur.

    • Oh dear, Tara, what a shame you have a cat allergy! Great choice of perfumes for those famous cats in the perfumeland!
      When I first saw pet perfumes, I couldn’t believe it either. In reality, I don’t think animals would appreciate wearing perfumes…

  2. Hi Yukiko – I absolutely loved reading your post. I have never seen so many gorgeous cats all together. Hannibal would seem to be the perfect name for no 1 and it brought tears to my eyes when i thought of him snuggling into Princess’s fur… and why not – such a pretty madam. Marmalade – a hunk of a feline totally scented appropriately. And what can i say about deep throat and the throaty dribbles. Each one of them in turn remind me of cats i have known and loved – each so unique and with their own little stories.

    My cat was firstly called Willow (girly name) but i found male bits so quick name change to Mr C. No mistaking his identity then. 🙂 He was a tough nut, but soft; animalic one minute, fruity the next; musky and powdery – so i would have scented him with Narciso Rodriguez, Narciso (but wearing a leather jacket) 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your cat friends and their little stories and scents – i enjoyed every minute! x

    • Thank you Patsi! Every cat has his/her own stories and that’s one of things I love about them. They are individualistic and unique.
      I love the name Willow but, you are right, it might be too girly for a tom. 🙂 I love your choice of perfume for him. Please send me his photo one day!

  3. What a fun post, Yukiko! I enjoyed both stories and pictures. As to Deep Throat, my first thought was that he was secretly telling on other cats 😉

    I’m not too good with paring anybody/anything with anything, including perfumes. But many years ago I noticed that Rusty actually liked Chanel Beige. But on the second thought… maybe SL Jeux de Peau?

    • I love Rusty’s choice. He is such an elegant and we’ll informed cat! Jeux de Peau would be a great choice for him too.
      As for Deep Throat, I think you have a point there. Knowing his character, he could have been an infomer. Having said that, I don’t think he could have kept anything in secret. 😀

  4. I too am a cat woman. This is such a wonderful post. That is quite the bunch of cats that have owned you.
    My cat sleeps in my perfume wardrobe when she can and smells of everything. I love to bury my nose inbetween her ears and sniff her musky head. Heaven. See you soon dearest Yukiko. Bussis. xxxx

    • Replying from Geneva. 🙂 I love the smell of cat head too… Also I love burying my face in the furry tummy. Pure heaven.
      Your cat must be quite a connoisseur. I wonder which one she likes.
      Can’t wait to see you in Milan, Val!!

  5. I love this post. Such pretty cats. Cream with those beautiful eyes and old wise and tough looking Ginger Daddy. As the proud father of 3 cats, I know how distinct and wonderful each of their personalities can be. Thanks for such a great post!

    • Thank you, Mr Hound! I am glad to know that you have furry babies. Are they interested in perfumes? I absolutely love observing cats (actually, I love dogs too). Never ending entertainment. 😉

  6. I loved this post: cats and perfume! I think it’s funny there were so many white and whiteish cats, I wonder if it’s because of the heat? Like Val I just can’t resist that heavenly smell of cat-fur- muskiness between the cats ears; the best smell of earth. There’s one point in Moulin Rouge which smells like that. I wish that scent could be made into a lasting linear perfume. 🙂

    • A good point, Asali. But I guess it might be something to do with certain busy fathers in the vicinity… We had many white-ish cats in my area but in other neighborhood, many of them were variations of spotty tabbies.
      I’ve never paid attention to the particular smell in Moulin Rouge. Thank you for the insight! I need to smell it again when I get another chance. I wonder how many other perfumes have hidden cat scents in them…

  7. Loved your post, it is wonderful to link cats to fragrances. My first cat, Philippe or Felipe, could smell powdery and even better than LHB at times. Loved your choices for the cats especially Marmelade as he looks a bit like my cat Rubio. Dzing! would be a good choice for Rubio as well (maybe because he is red haired as well) or something very spicy and warm like Evody Noir d’Orient as he can be very sweet and very outspoken about what he wants as well. Cat fur muskiness, hummm off to scent Rubio:-)

    • I love seeing photos of Rubio on your Facebook. 🙂 To be honest, when I saw your Rubio for the first time, I thought of Marmalade. Noir d’Orient is a lovely choice for your cat! I guess many cats are warm and spicy at the same time. That’s one of many reasons I love cats!

  8. Oh, how did I miss this fantastic post earlier! I usually spot links on Facebook, but have now subscribed by email to make sure I get notifications in future.

    Anyway, this was such a great idea – and as ever, I love your illustration. The photos also purr-fectly capture the various cats’ characters, as do your choice of scents. I particularly liked Datura Noir and Bvlgari Black for the first two. Ginger Daddy definitely has a godfather look about him – he looks very territorial and not to be messed with.

    Am not sure what scent I would match with Truffle – maybe La Chasse aux Papillons as she is always hunting stuff, though it is a bit light and girly really! L’Ombre Fauve for when she is bigger, say. 😉

      • Thank you Vanessa! Truffle seems to be bouncy and always on the move! La Chasse aux Papillons would be a great choice for her although I really like Tara’s choice, Apres L’Ondee. I love the name L’Ombre Fauve. I can just imagine her following you around everywhere. Has she shown any interest in perfumes yet? I wonder what kinds of smells she is attracted to… besides food, of course. 😉

  9. Thank you for this post; it was great fun! Wonderful pictures, and I adore the illustration!

    I love cats, and am currently down to one elderly cat, Lizzie. I would love to expand the cat population here, but Lizzie has Made Her Feelings Known. This may not deter me for long, but it’s working for now.

    On the perfume front, there are a few things that she has tried to forcibly remove from my wrist, but I’m blanking on which fragrances triggered that response. She never seems to pick up the fragrances that I’m wearing, but Lizzie is a short-hair, and my application is generally very light-handed. My sister used to keep persians, and their fur was a scent magnet. They often wandered around wafting Anais Anais.

    • A persians with the smell of Anais Anais, how gorgeous! The half persian I used to have used to be smelled like Fleur de Fleurs by Nina Ricci – that was my signature at the time. 🙂 It was totally unfitting for him though. He was half persian and half siamese and he was a beautiful jerk!
      Lizzie sounds like a strong willed madam. I love cats with strong purr-sonality. 😉

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