Seductive Objects and Smoky Scents

Crushing on Carly Waito and her profound love for perfume

Toronto artist Carly Waito is well-known for her dazzling paintings of mineral specimens. Each of her pieces focuses on one in particular, and is rich with detail and demonstrative of a creative mind keen to the wonders of the natural world.

What most Waito fans don’t know is that this talented painter comes with a very discerning nose. Which is to say: Carly Waito loves perfume. She really, really loves it.

WORN had the privilege to chat with their Toronto-art (and perfume) crush Carly Waito about falling hard for fine fragrance, letting her nose travel, and the scent gurus that have been her guide.

When did your interest in perfume start?
I didn’t really think I liked perfume in general for most of my life (I still dislike plenty of it). I had been half-heartedly searching for a signature scent for a few years, and finally found one that really clicked in 2011 (Terre d’Hermès). Then, about a year and a half ago, while browsing at the Hermès counter at Holt Renfrew, a conversation with a salesperson about Terre d’Hermès led to him showing me some other fragrances by the same perfumer (Jean Claude Ellena) and the Frederic Malle line. It was revelatory. Down the rabbit hole I went. I started reading perfume blogs and ordering samples online. The more I’ve tried, the more curious I have become. Now I can’t imagine my life without fragrance.

What about perfume appeals to you?
On one hand it functions as an extension of your personal style, adding an aura to your presence. But it can be so much more than a fashion accessory. The perfume you wear can change the way you feel. Smell is such a powerful sense; the way it connects so intimately to our memories and emotions. To be more actively conscious of scent adds a whole other dimension to life. I get so much enjoyment from just smelling different perfumes, even without actually wearing them. Good perfume can be as interesting, beautiful and moving as visual art or music.

What’s your favourite perfume to wear and why?
I have a few favourites, but I think my ultimate cool weather perfume is Cuir de Lancome (which seems to have been discontinued before it even made it to the stores, but can be found online). It is a slightly smoky, cozy, but sophisticated floral-leather scent. In the heat of summer, I adore Carnal Flower from Editions de Parfum Frederic Malle, which is a sensual and glowingly fresh tuberose.

You have a collection of vintage and dead-stock perfumes, where have you found these and what drew you to them?
I kept reading about these classic fragrances, and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. In some cases it cost about the same to get a vintage mini bottle on eBay as to get a sample from a decanting website. And once you start browsing on eBay for this stuff, it can get dangerous. Vintage perfume bottles are such seductive objects. Add to that the possibility of the bottles containing gorgeous scents, and they can be hard to resist. Luckily for my wallet, my vintage perfume phase was pretty short-lived. Some of my favourite acquisitions are an exquisitely packaged trio of Balenciaga perfumes from the ’50s, and an adorable mini of Mitsouko by Guerlain.

What perfume is on your current wish list?
I’ve cut back my perfume budget significantly since my initial rush of buying last year (which was a little insane, to be honest), so I’m being super picky about what full bottles I invest in. Frederic Malle just did a lovely, cozy sandalwood and saffron fragrance for Dries Van Noten. I’m also contemplating Seville a l’Aube from L’Artisan Parfumeur, which is a gorgeous, sultry orange blossom and incense fragrance. But I might not buy any more full bottles this year, if I can help it. There are a couple of online shops where you can order small decants of just about anything, so I’ll be going that route for the most part. There are entire lines that I haven’t even tried yet, and so many notes I want to explore in more depth (tuberose, tobacco, saffron, iris, orange blossom—the list is endless), so I’m excited to do more sampling.

If you could make your own scent, how would it smell?
It would smell natural, yet sophisticated; sensual, but smart; slightly sweet, warm and cozy, with a slight edge and a quiet strength… woods, smoke, skin… Actually, Cuir de Lancome comes pretty close to fitting this description.

Have you found anyone else in the city who shares you love of scent?
I have a few friends who appreciate perfume, who I’ve been pulling into my obsession with me. It’s so fun to play fragrance consultant to friends, either with my own collection or in a store. But, the best way to indulge my perfume nerdiness is chatting and sniffing with my favourite sales guy at Holts. He’s hardcore.

photography // Paige Sabourin

interview // Emily Whalen

It’s All About the Labels

A Dandy Guide To Dating Vintage Menswear From WWI to 1960

Sue Nightingale’s process for dating vintage is simple: look at the label. Most of A Dandy Guide To Dating Vintage Menswear WWI to 1960 is devoted to how to properly read and identify them. Only a few pages in, I found myself interested in learning just how to date denim, despite the fact that I haven’t worn jeans in about 12 years.

The book is filled with black and white ads for Sears, J.C. Penny, and other major menswear labels from WWI to 1960. Throughout the book, we see the graphic design of labels become less ornate and more regulated as the decades pass, showing us how subtle visual clues can reveal the exact date of the piece. A Dandy Guide goes into great detail over legislation that affected the look of labels during the time—incredibly helpful and very thorough—making some key notes on this section will help this guide become more functional for the reader. A quick reading of this section will familiarize you with the decades you are dealing with, but the book is a guide and having it handy while actually dating clothing will be when it’s most useful.

The second half of the book is an explanation of the general styles and trends of the time as well as practical care instructions for vintage clothing. Nightingale outlines popular styles on the pages filled with old pictures and advertisements, then gives tips as to what to initially look for when dating vintage. An entire chapter devoted to robes and “smoking jackets” is something we rarely see in contemporary men’s fashion, and is an interesting reminder as to how much the lives of men have changed—and thus their clothing. The same can be said for men’s work clothing. Denim was functional long before it was trendy.

A Dandy Guide to Dating Vintage is a valuable resource to anyone interested in vintage clothing, men’s or women’s, as the tips and tricks are helpful for both. Above all, this book is a guide. It’s not an evening read for the bathtub, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s designed to be lugged to Value Village with you the next time you’re eyeing those velvety smoking robes in the men’s aisle.

photography // Brianne Burnell

Emily Wornette

Our newest intern didn't let a dial-up Internet connection hold her back

My interest in style and clothing started at a very young age, when my hippie parents allowed me to dress myself. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) Since then I’ve been slowly collecting all the cast-off figure skating outfits in Eastern Ontario. I’ve written for Plaid Magazine, Exclaim! and my university newspaper, The Queen’s Journal. I’m very excited to be working as an intern on WORN’s editorial and publishing boards. On any given day you can find me riding my bike around Toronto, salvaging unwanted clothing, manically applying lipstick, window shopping, and getting into trouble.

I’m so happy to have found WORN and, at long last, to be a Wornette.

Girls and Guns
This Tumblr curated by photographer Petra Collins is awesome. The photos manage to be both raw and whimsical. Collins finds stills of girls who are diverse, who confront the camera, and who are sexy. These collections of photos have helped me harvest my inner slut and make me want to move to a trailer park and shoot guns in cut-offs.

Another Mag Loves
This blog is where my dreams take shape. Can I afford this new Celine bag, Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo dress, or Dom Pérignon X David Lynch? Hi, no. Absolutely not. Do I enjoy looking at them? Of course, yes. Very much. We’re all in the ditch but some of us are looking at a $5,493.92 Fornasetti balaclava chair. Thanks, Internet.

Facehunter was my first introduction to a fashion blog. Growing up in rural Ontario, street style didn’t exactly exist—probably because there was only one street in my town. With my parents’ dial-up Internet connection I used to wait for what felt like days to see each new photo. When the pictures finally loaded I was reminded that there were other cape-wearing girls on bicycles out there. And here I am, years later, still loving that affirmation.

Thank You, Ok
I love Katie Merchant’s blog because we both live in Toronto but she somehow manages to make this city look pretty. Merchant sees the loveliness in the concrete jungle, when I sometimes just see the sullen faces of the TTC and my chipped manicure. Her blog has inspired me to put on rose-tinted glasses every once and a while and invest in some overpriced Chanel nail lacquer.

I was so happy when Hazlitt was launched this past summer. Senior Editor Alexandra Molotkow is one of my favourite writers—anyone who manages to earnestly defend Here Comes Honey Boo Boo has my attention. Hazlitt, like WORN, engages in a more personal style of writing than many other sites. It has encouraged me to work on my own writing and to be fearless in my use of the word “I.”

photography // Zoe Vos