Pursuant to the quote by Olivier Creed, a sixth generation perfume dynast, that every woman needs three perfumes, one to make her feel brave, one to make her feel beautiful, and one to make her feel comfortable, here is a discussion of the beautiful perfume.
Perhaps contrary to expectation, I will not suggest a particular scent family here because – and the caution is important – you have skin in the game. Or you may, possibly have skin in the game later, because as the French say, love is largely a question of skin and always a game. Anyway, as you have already guessed, the beautiful perfume is all about your skin and what sets it off.
Unlike the office (I mean the brave ) perfume, which can perfectly well consist of soap or a cotton ball soaked in cologne in your pocket, the beautiful perfume is something you’re going to wear even if you’re not wearing anything else. That retiree under a cloud, perfumer Jean Paul Guerlain, has remarked that a woman who chooses her perfume well retains an advantage over a woman who doesn’t, because what is left when the light goes out? Her perfume.
So, in the matter of choice the beautiful perfume is the most tricky, and must be based on honesty. Here is where you’re going to have to take your time and lots of samples, and never mind what your best friend wears because this is an individual choice par excellence. Never pick anything that doesn’t smell wonderful on you. It should get you compliments, and those compliments should come from men (unless of course you are looking for a lady in which case you are looking for a Chanel masculine). The idea is to make you feel that you are gorgeous. Meaning you and just you, other women are irrelevant to this discussion.
Someone is sure to suggest that the boyfriend or date’s preferences should be taken into account. I don’t think you should worry about this. Men of the heterosexual persuasion do not sit there and analyze just what it is about their date’s perfume that strikes them as over the top. No. Negatory. However they do have an unerring instinct that tells them when a woman has gotten it right and when she has gotten it wrong. They like taking out the girls who get it right. So choose that perfume for yourself correctly, and then if it suits you, to the guy, it’s just your perfume. That’s how you smell.
Places to start, and remember this is just a start:
Estee Lauder’s Sensuous Noir,
CB I Hate Perfume Cradle of Light,
Caron’s Parfum Sacre, Puredistance Antonia,
Van Cleef and Arpels Gardenia Petale,
Montale Aoud Queen Roses,
Parfums d’Empire 3 Fleurs, (or its predecessor Houbigant’s Quelques Fleurs,
Guerlain’s Plus Que Jamais (hard to find but worth it),
Coty’s Les Muses *(not quite so hard to find but also worth it)
Or, if you are a bolder, muskier sort, try
parfums d’Empire Cuir Ottoman,
Serge Lutens Daim Blond,
Miller Harris’ L’Air de Rien,
L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Dzing,
Parfumerie Generale’s L’Oiseau de Nuit,
vintage Rochas Femme (very sexy this),
Guerlain’s Oriental Brulant (a vanilla amber but a man magnet)
Micallef’s new Vanilla Orient ( a husky sensual little number) from this year’s Collection Vanille**
Creed’s Fantasia de Fleurs (like something Lily Bart might wear in the House Of Mirth) and Hilde Soliani’s CiocoSpesizissimo which takes gourmands in a snuggly direction and ends with frankincense.
All my choices are for close encounters, whether that’s just with you on your own skin or to share with someone else, because beauty may be more than skin deep, but even beauty has to start somewhere, and it usually starts with skin.
*My decant courtesy the generous Meg at Parfumieren.
** My sample was sent me by the company and tested very well.