Friday, February 25, 2011

Ode to Perfume*

 A woman's perfume tells more 
about her than her handwriting.
-Christian Dior

Perfume, for me, is about more than the scent. I love the whole experience: the big, glassy counters at the department store**, searching for just the right scent, the beautiful bottles that are brought home and displayed.
Images courtesy of This is Glamorous
I was taught early by my mother that finding that perfect scent is a deeply personal, unique journey. We take it very. seriously. For example, the women in my family almost all wear the perennial classic, Chanel No. 5.

And it smells different on all of them. On my mother, it is powdery and crisp. On my grandmother, it is earthy and warm. On me, it is God awful. Really just smells very bad. So, I've been searching. At the tender age of 14, I settled on Fragile, by Jean Paul Gaulthier. I had saved up my pennies for years in anticipation of a trip to Harrod's in London where I bought my first fancy bra, lipstick and this beautiful bottle:

I've loved it ever since, but they recently stopped making it in the states (and I neglected to buy it in Paris, which I am seriously regretting), so I've been forced to look elsewhere. Now, when I buy perfume, I smell dozens of options before settling on two, one for each wrist. Then, I leave them both on all day before buying one. In other words, I am a salesgirl's worst nightmare. But it means I haven't yet bought a perfume that I didn't love. Like this one:

And this one, by Guerlain which, to be honest, I'm not totally sure how to pronounce. It's called Cuir Beluga (Beluga Leather) and has notes of leather and tobacco and just a hint of orange and I think it might be Love.
But we'll see. A lifetime leaves a lot of room for perfume.

*See what I did there? Fucking clever.
**Although I could do without manically agressive salespeople waving sample papers in my face and signing me up for credit cards.


  1. I once had a custom perfume made and it was delightful as long as it lasted. Then the company went out of business. I'm still looking for a signature scent.

  2. I need new perfume... and it is always so difficult to choose! I also feel like I always want different ones for different moods- a sexy one, a fun one, etc.

  3. You also forgot to say that Coco Mademoiselle has been MY go-to, nightime, Vegas scent for YEARS and I rock it... just sayin.'
    And yes ... I freely admit that it smells nothing like it does on you....;-)