Perfume is one of those things that I couldn’t do without. I’ve always associated certain smells with memories and certain people – for example, my Mum loves Angel and Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely, my Granny loves Diorella, and my sister loves YSL Babydoll perfume. My Dad loves his Joop and the Body Shop’s White Musk for Men aftershave. For as long as I can remember, whenever we were going off to family gatherings or somewhere special, the car smelled slightly of my Dad’s aftershave and my Mum’s perfume.
Although I don’t always stick to one perfume, I do have my favourites. Certain perfumes remind me of moments and periods of my life. There is Elizabeth Arden’s Sunflowers which reminds me of going on holiday to southern France, camping with my family and passing fields with sunflowers turned up towards the sun. Every time we went on our holidays to Europe (usually camping in France), we would go by car ferry and I remember that duty free shopping was a big thing on the way back to Dover. I would browse the rows upon rows of perfume, literally in fragrance heaven!
I tend to shop for discounted perfumes, and there are some places that do amazing perfume discounts, like Cheap Smells (please don’t be put off by the name – it just means the prices!!) in the UK. For the past two years I have generally been buying my perfume and perfume presents for friends and family from them. I used to shop in Sephora, but they’ve mostly disappeared from the UK. Whilst I was at secondary school (aka High School), Sephora was the ultimate candy shop for a perfume and beauty junkie like me! Since I didn’t have so much of a choice with clothes, make up, perfume, accessories and shoes were my big thing.
My recent perfume crushes are Narciso Rodriguez’s For Her, Paul Smith’s Floral (Limited Edition), YSL Cinema and YSL Young Sexy Lovely. In between those fragrances I also absolutely love L’eau d’Issey, Angel (which I’ve run out of), Euphoria (Calvin Klein) and Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir (running on empty too!). I tend to either like sweet/fruity and musky fragrances or darker musky/woody fragrances. I never really seem to warm to extreme floral smells or smells that are too far on the other side of green/woody.
I find that perfume gives me the confidence I need when I’m meeting people or going somewhere unfamilar – it brings me back to myself and reminds me of all the good things in my life. In person, I can be quite shy and it takes me ages to get to know people properly. Since I’m deaf, smells are also one of those things that affect me in a big way. I don’t know whether this is the same for all deaf people (since we’re all different), but smell is important to me. I’m seriously affected by, for example, passing a farm or smelling something iffy – when I was a kid, I used to dry heave, very embarrassing! I can identify certain smells that other people can’t (or can’t smell at all – sometimes I think its a bit spooky!).
Anyway, back to perfume. Narciso Rodriguez’s For Her perfume was recommended by Gisele Scanlon in the Goddess Guide and The Goddess Experience (both lovely books to browse through), and I was intrigued to find out what it smelt like. I pretty much fell in love with it and now wear it for those times I want to remember. It is normally quite expensive so I got this at Christmas, and since I don’t drown myself in it (it doesn’t need a lot and lingers for hours – it stays on scarves so a few days later it will still be on the clothes you wore), it is lasting a long time and is still more than half full. Its a strong smell to start with and I can’t describe it well enough to do it justice. According to the description: ‘the heart of musk is enhanced by three pulses: flower honey, amber light, and tactile woods. The result: delicate, elegant femininity.’ It has a beautiful musky and slightly powdery dry down, but has a sparkling fresh note above it.
Paul Smith Floral is a limited edition fragrance, that my sister bought me last year for Christmas. Again, it was a bit of a surprise because I’ve fallen for it and wear it nearly all the time – a bit of a worry since it doesn’t seem to be easily available anymore. I managed to bag myself a 50ml one when I was on a ferry from France for my sister’s birthday in June, so once the old one is finished, I’ll still be able to wear it! Its a lovely smell – it opens with a fizzy but musky fruity floral smell, and dries down to a musky, yet still slightly fruity/woody scent. Being a parfum, it is more intense than an eau de toilette, but not completely overpowering, When it dries down, it is quite subtle.
These are the two that I wear most often at the moment. YSL Cinema is a very full bodied floral and amber fragrance, but it isn’t the kind of floral that I hate (aka gives you a headache). Its a sensual perfume, but I find it comforting. The description says: ‘Yves Saint Laurent’s Cinema is a sensual floral harmony with notes of almond tree blossom, amaryllis and amber.’ On the other hand, YSL’s Young Sexy Lovely is a fresh explosion of fruit and light florals – for me the fruity notes seem unusual, because they include peach and pear. The floral notes are balanced with a dry down of amber, musk and cedarwood. Its a light and happy perfume and definitely makes me feel more light hearted.
I also want to mention Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir because it is a beautiful harmony between fruity and woody notes. It can be described as a masculine fragrance, but it isn’t overpowering. On the website, it is described as ‘Inspired by the deep sensuality of a daring, red silk evening dress and the intriguing character of pomegranate, Pomegranate Noir combines the sweet fruity notes of raspberry, plum, pink pepper and pomegranate with patchouli, frankincense and spicy woods to create a scent that is sensual, totally sophisticated and utterly compelling.’ It is definitely one of the more sophisticated fragrances I’ve tried, and I will be saving up for another bottle.
If you’ve managed to get through all this – bravo! I would recommend any of these perfumes – they are all lovely for different reasons, and I’ve been through a few different scents in my time!