Do We Adopt Our Perfumes?

 

new Bottle of Anne Pliska from Luckyscent

new Bottle of Anne Pliska from Luckyscent

Long ago when I first started this blog I asked the same simple question, and in the years since then have become more convinced of the reply: we adopt.  This may not be the experience of my readers.  There may be several people out there who find that when making a selection they choose simply the best made, the most beautiful perfume, not the trendy one or the one their best friend wears so well.  Still I’d make book that for most of us there is something in certain perfumes that takes up residence on our skins and we scarcely know why. Continue reading

Florals that Define Us

freesia for spring post

Is there a particular flower scent that is your signature floral? Something you return to over and over and find addictive, something that speaks to you on a molecular level especially in spring time?  Of course I know we’re supposed to be lovers of orientals, or florals, or chypres, and identifiable by all sorts of methods, but really, all of us have a floral that does a lot of our self definition for us even more effectively than pant cuts,  skirt lengths, or color choices, and that we return to with the warm weather, just like swallows to Capistrano. Continue reading

Counter – Intuitive Cool

parasol5Currently it’s about 95 degrees in New Jersey, and outside of life-guards, boardwalk hawkers, and beer sellers, not many of us are happy.  “97 tomorrow!” the librarian moaned to me this morning.

This was not cheerful news.

Of the various options for beating the heat, not many are currently open to me.  I can’t leave town for family reasons, and my house is a plastic shrouded mess while the sheet rock crew who were supposed to be here four days ago make themselves conspicuous by their absence, and the construction makes air conditioning a non-event. The cat has disappeared for the day- presumably heading to the Antarctic, or else snoozing under the neighbor’s hydrangea- either way she’s cooled off.  If anyone ever needed a cold perfume, I do, right about now. Continue reading

Ante-Meridian

Sleeping womanGenerally, I don’t mess with perfume until the afternoon.  This is not a hard and fast rule so much as it is habit.  There is simply no point in trying to get yourself completely turned out at seven a.m. or earlier-which it often is around here-unless you have to catch a plane or something.

Still there are times when the morning fragrance is a helpful prop, literally, when you have to get up and get going pronto.  I have written about this phenomenon before, and then my choices were distinctly prickly perfumes, things that got you up and held up up at an early hour. But there are gentler ways of waking up as well. Continue reading

Airy Intellectual Fairy

Have you ever come across a perfume or a perfume house that despite stellar reviews, and several tries, and everyone else’s kudos, just doesn’t succeed in your wardrobe except for a couple of months a year?  This was my entire experience with Parfums de Nicolai.  It is a hot weather perfume house in my opinion, and I never even try to smuggle de Nicolais past the borders of summer.

Many people will disagree with me perhaps but I say this with a good deal of PdN experience under my belt.  You see, I kept on trying to live with them, but it was rather like a dysfunctional marriage.  I broke up with them, yet I always came back, thinking well, everyone says they’re such a catch – French, subtle, intelligent, sophisticated, and did they mention, French? Continue reading

National Floral?

Is there such a thing?  In considering all things Italian in the scented world, I tend to bump over and over again into the orange blossom.  Italians love their orange blossom scents.  Anyone who was raised in or near places where oranges are grown tends to love the smell.  Italians are no different.

There is hardly a perfume house in Italy that does not offer an orange blossom scent, usually called a Zagara*.  Santa Maria Novella does, and so do I Profumi di Firenze and the whole notion of the Aqua di Parma’s is predicated upon the orange flower and back in the day when I had a complete set of the Borsari perfumes and of the (French) Rances , they had their Zagaras too. Continue reading