(Today’s post is part of my 2010 Blog Improvement Project Bingo assignment: The Personal Post)
I love perfumes. Like most perfume-lovers, or perfumistas, my earliest memories of bottled fragrance revolve around my mother. During my childhood, she wore Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew. That heady, bold oriental. A dab behind the ears, between the décolletage, a kiss goodbye. The sorrow of my mother’s departure lessened somewhat by the trail of Youth Dew wafting through the house. My very first bottle of perfume was a light, flowery scent by Laura Bagiotti. It was the first of many “signature scents”, a fragrance that defines and captures one’s essence! From my teens to mid-twenties, I used Knowing, Volupte, Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Classique, Oxygene and DKNY.
By this time, I was living in New York City. I don’t recall the actual source that led me to niche perfumery. Whatever it was triggered a latent obsession with fragrance that plagues me to this day! Gone was the belief that one had to have a signature scent. I started choosing scents based on olfactory groups; citrus, floral, oriental and chypre. Really chypre, how does one pronounce the word ? I was sank. I frequented wonderful stores such as Aedes. And bought my first bottle of niche perfume: La Chasse aux Papillons by L’Artisan Parfumeur. Who names a bottle of perfume The flight of butterflies, anyway. And what’s in this bottle, a mixture of white florals, you mean tuberose and orange blossoms? White florals; did I say I was sank? In quick succession, I started buying samples and decants to feed my new habit. I was testing classic and modern scents. I found while I admired Chanel’s No. 5, the scent was just not me. I tested scents based on notes; rose, iris, tuberose, musk, leather. Leather!!!? Oh, and this takes the cake. I started name-dropping the greats of classic, modern and niche perfume house. The Carons, Chanel, Guerlian, Serge Lutens, Editions de Parfums, Robert Piguet, Annick Goutal, Jo Malone, Patricia di Nicolai, Andy Tauer. On and on. Oh, the sheer pretense of it. Of course, the advent and explosion of perfume blogging did not assuage this new habit. On the contrary, the beast feed on Now Smell This, Perfume Posse, Perfume-smelling Things, Bois De Jasmin and just grew bigger and more ravenous. Now, I chose scents based on the author, the perfumeur, the nose. I joined the online forum Makeupalley where on the fragrance board we talk of “scent of the day, top 10 scents of winter/spring/summer, favorite perfume houses, scents with skank, what scent should I wear to my dog’s vet?” What did I get myself into? What a journey, where does it end?
I hope it never ends. Perfumes are more the scents. I cherish the effect that the right perfume mixed with my chemistry has on me. The emotions that they elicit; comforted, confident, strong, dreamy, happiness, sexy, joy. Joy – now that’s a perfume to die for. Perfumes just make me feel good. Period. Most mornings will find me wondering which of the perfumes in my small but growing collection I should wear. Maybe Fracas, Carnal Flower, Sacrebleu or Parfum Sacre ? Or maybe I should sample something new?
Did I say I love perfumes?