Can you remember when you first began to wear perfume? Which are the ones that personify you best? Memories are bottled with the scent and for me, when things are a little ‘untoward’ which seems to have been for a pretty long time … it’s my favourite perfumes that transport me from feeble fairy to fabulous self. Perfume, music, candles and wine … and a great love.
It’s five thirty and I know there will be days like this, but the pain of black outside is not a good sign. So, let’s deal with it. Christmas packed up, trees wilting on the side walk, done. Bye, bye sugar.
It’s summer on my mind. In all the packing, one thing staying close is my ‘Beach‘ perfume by Bobbi Brown. Alas, no longer making it and you should have seen the reaction to the news. ‘Beach’ brings back so many of the loving things:
- Summer. Of course.
- The beach. Holidays and permanent cozzie time.
- Smell of sand and sea – you know what I mean.
- Thick beach towels to wrap the body after a swim, and you nestle.
- Pool games. ‘Marco … Polo.’
- Barbecues in the evenings.
- Cold wine (when I was much more grown. And still now. With ice)
- Dogs swimming with you.
- Mermaid parties with mom’s garden furniture at the bottom of the pool. Not impressed.
- Cooking oil when sunscreen was done. Sure, we did it.
- Keeping the LP’s from melting outdoors.
- Melting ice-cream.
- Walks on the promenade with my parents, and now my children.
One scent can take me to all these special places. So I nurture her like a wilting rose, hoping to prolong the feeling I get for as long as possible. And find again.
A little spray and I am immersed in the scent of summer. A true love.
If you can’t be where you want to be, find something that gives you joy and reminds you of it and make a commitment to be there again. Some more of my favourites.
Angel by Thierry Mugler. My sister introduced me to this one and since then, fascinated by the chocolate note. Back in the nineties, this was the going out to dinner choice, the evening wear choice and still today my children associate me as a mum and Angel. Face it, we all need angels in our lives and even though this scent may be a little passé, she is still a go to when I want to feel angelic. With chocolate and vanilla.
- Young mum with her gorgeous brood
- Loving my husband and when we went out for dinner
- A lazy evening on the veranda, good wine, just us and the stars
- Baking and birthday parties
- Dinner parties
- Packing to leave on a family holiday
- Planting annuals in the garden
- Trips to the farm
- Christmas eve in the summer
- My home
I think my first perfume love had to be Babe by Fabergé. Think my sister had it first and followed everything she loved. Huge crush on Margeaux Hemmingway, the idyllic 70’s model. Strong, bold scent, made me feel all grown up.
Babe represented the teenager into twenties years.
- Seventeen magazine
- Best friends talking on the corner of the street
- School and University
- My first car
- My first job
- Endless notes in the diary
- Dreaming of becoming an actress
- Dreaming of my wedding dress
There was a time when in the later twenties, that heavier perfumes such as Cinnabar and Opium were the objects of desire. Heady stuff, very distinctive. Think it may have been to laden for me at the time but what did I know – all about feeling even more grown up and must have doused myself in them. Estee Lauder was more about Karen Graham, another iconic model than the actual scents for me.
Mademoiselle Chanel – a gift from a lover one and loved still. Always special that first gift.
Monsieur Hermes – and Paris.
Love all Hermes perfumes. Hard to choose just one, but the personification of Grace Kelly, and Paris.
24 faubourg Saint Honoré.
Passionately in love with Paris. 24 Faubourg Saint Honoré is in a street I walk along with stars in my eyes and love in my heart. Parisienne chic, deep romance and longing for the beautiful in the world. The scent reminds me of that love, the passion of art, of fine dining, of architecture and fashion. Elegant desire.
- Taking the Eurostar
- Gard du Nord
- D’Orsay and the Impressionists
- Coffee and croissants
- Classical hotels
- Divine restaurants
- Luxumbourg Gardens
- The left bank and Ernest Hemingway
- The lights reflected in the Seine
- Pretending to understand the French music I’m listening to
- Pretending I can afford anything in Printemps
- Bittersweet good-buys
This is my adult perfume. The choices I made and life I have now perfume. More mature, wiser and when love is deep and satisfying even if life is far too layered now. This is the personification of me at this moment and Paris beckons.
Perhaps it is time for a new perfume du jour? Perhaps. Have tried many of the new scents and maybe it is this time of my life, but the memories associated with my lovelies is what I want right now, to compress a life well lived, not only in photographs but in the smells and scents of the perfumes that travelled in my suitcase. If I did choose something new, what do you think it should be?
Oh, and a little admission here. I never fall asleep without a spritz of Kiehl’s Musk
Images: cafleurbon, hermes, babe, Thierry Mugler