No. 5 Eau Premiere
Allure Sensuelle Parfum
No. 5 Eau de Parfum
Parure, my favorite fragrance ever which has been discontinued
Mitsouko, another favorite chypre
Aqua Allegoria in Rose
From Jean Patou:
Joy Eau de Toilette
Forever and ever
(And a random shot of Roger Piguet’s Fracas, as well as Hermes’ 24 Faubourg, a scent my mother wears beautifully; it is her bottle given to me.)
Well, this could be embarrassing, to show such a collection of fragrances and this only in part. But I’ll just forge ahead with telling about this particular passion of mine, and you can reveal any passions of yours in the comments if you so choose.
I have often thought how lovely it would be to have a signature scent, a fragrance that upon smelling one would straight away recognize the wearer. Alas, that is not my fate. There are far too many beautiful perfumes to limit myself to one. Even though I do have a few favorites.
I began wearing Cristalle by Chanel when I was seventeen, and everyone else in high school was wearing Charlie. But, fitting in has never been my strong suit so I blithely carried on with Chanel rather than Revlon. I had long wanted to wear No. 5, but it smelled too serious to me. I had to work up to that “now and forever” fragrance which has become my son’s favorite.
There have been many, many others along the way. After Cristalle I wore Anais Anais by Cacherel, Magie Noire by Lancome, and when I went to teach in Europe after college, Poison by Dior was all the rage. From Europe to now, I have had a steady accumulation of fragrances and still find it impossible to choose one. The fragrance I spray on in the morning depends on the day, the event, or my mood.
How does one go about choosing a fragrance? Quite simply, the best way is to spray it on and wear it before buying. What smells good on some people, can smell rancid on me. What starts out lovely and fresh can turn sickeningly sweet by the end of the day. But, there are also books which can also help tremendously.
Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez is invaluable in learning about perfume. This particular edition is older, and missing some of the reviews found in updated editions. But, it has a five star rating scale, and description, of hundreds of perfumes. Even if you didn’t buy a single one, the descriptions alone are interesting reading. For example, here is what Luca says about Poison (although the photo is from a different book; I can’t show you my bottle because I have given it away):
“Reviewing Poison is a bit like road-testing an Abrams M1 tank in the evening rush hour. People seem to get out of your way, and if they don’t, you just swivel that turret to remind them you’re not kidding. This is the fragrance everybody loves to hate, the beast that defined the eighties, the perfume that cost me a couple of friendships and one good working relationship. It is also unquestionably the best dressed-up, syrupy tuberose in history, and in my opinion it buries Amarige and the first Oscar de la Renta in the “make it a night he’ll never forget” category. Every perfume collector has to have this but please never, ever wear it to dinner.” ~Luca Turin
I am planning a post specifically on Chanel No. 5 for July 26. You may wish to come back for it, as I will also have a simple give-away in accompaniment.