Scent of the Day? or in which I profess my love for perfumes

(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?

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13 comments

  1. Thanks for your post! … I was quick in leaving a cinema once, & the girl sitting behind me had chased after me, out into the street to get the name of the perfume I was wearing “La Chasse au Papillons”. … I get confused with some & would like to try for a time, before buying, as to buy a few full bottles & not be so keen is a lot of money wasted. Could you let me know where I could get/buy samples. Also, what are decants? Do you take your own receptacle? … I had bought ‘the butterfly perfume’ & Grand Amour, as I believed then to be less synthetic/more natural; so you have any that you highly recommend that a more pure? … Thank you kindly & thanks again for your post!

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  2. I was raised by a mother who didn’t use perfume or make-up. Right now, I sometimes use some perfume, but I have no clue about the right fragrances etc. Luckily, my boyfriends mother owns a store that sells it and thus helps me out from time to time. I still don’t use it often though, but more than I use make-up, because with growing up with my mother I just don’t have a clue how to apply it!

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  3. Hi Kinna – what a great post! It’s fantastic to hear about other people’s perfume discoveries. Funny that you mention La Chasse aux Papillons – it’s one of my favourites too. It’s great to be in love with perfume as the discoveries go on and on.

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  4. What an incredible post! I know pretty much nothing about perfumes. My mother is allergic to scents and so never wore perfume and we couldn’t wear anything in the house either. Now I am just used to not wearing any though every now and again I will put on some – I can’t even remember what it is now though!

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  5. Interesting post! I know next to nothing about perfumes. I rarely wear one. How do you find out about all these different scents? Perfumes cost a fortune, so it isn’t feasible to buy that many – or is it?!
    Do you go into shops and smell them all? I’m not sure I’d be able to remember individual scents from a brief smell in a shop. Thanks for giving us an insight into your passion!

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    • Regarding the cost: I only buy full bottles of perfumes that I absolutely love. I buy small samples and decants a lot. It’s much cheaper that way and you can try, wear the scents for some days before you buy a full bottle. Always, sample before you buy. You can get samples from department shops and niche shops and from online retailers. Visit the blog Now Smell This. The link is in the article. It’s a good source for all things perfumery.

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      • Hi Kinna 🙂

        Would you be so kind to give me the link to the On-line site that you buy samples?
        My Daughters birthday is coming up and I would love to give her a gift bag of fragrances.

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