I’m not a perfume snob. You might not believe me by the time you reach the end of this post, but really, I am not a perfume snob.
A few years ago I was walking by the office of a co-worker and smelled a striking and lovely perfume. It made me think of women who have a ‘signature scent’.
How wonderful to have a go-to perfume. A scent that reminds people of the wearer every time they smell it. A scent that makes the wearer feel pulled together, confident, feminine or even beautiful. How wonderful that something that comes in a bottle could make a person feel those things.
Since I don’t want to smell like anyone else, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect ‘signature scent’ for me. I fully realize that any commercially available scent is probably being worn by lots of other people, and I am delusional enough to believe that I’d find something special anyway.
My ideal scent, I thought, would not be too flowery and would remain close to my body. It would not be something that I left in the elevator for others to enjoy or not. It would not smell of hippie, stripper or Justin Bieber fan.
After doing a little searching, I found a web site to help me figure out at least what I like. Basenotes.net provides reviews and notes on ‘notes’.
I enjoyed reading the reviews on Basenotes.net, but much of what these connoisseurs of scent had to say was lost on me. I did what any good impulsive person would do. I decided, scent unseen, what I might like. I went to theperfumedcourt.com and ordered some samples and decants.
As it turns out, I like a lot of things that I didn’t expect to enjoy, and hated some of the things I expected to love.
Today my favorite scents come from Frederic Malle (Carnal Flower and Dans Tes Bras) and Comme des Garcons (Series 2 Red: Harissa and Series 8 Energy C: Lime).
These four scents couldn’t be more different.
The Frederic Malle scents are big and very bold. Carnal Flower is a giant floral, and Dans Tes Bras is a giant synthetic. I love them both, but don’t wear them during the day.
The Commes des Garcons scents stay closer to the body and are perfect for me in the daytime. Lime is almost what you’d imagine, and Harissa is spicy and peppery, in an entirely wearable (for me) way.
A bonus is that I have never, ever noticed even a hint of these fragrances on any other person I know.
What I’ve learned in my search (and yes, I’m still searching) is that scents are different on everyone. I like to try scents at home, over the course of a few days, to see what suits me. I do not visit the perfume counter of my local mall stores.
I now have a nice idea of what I might like, and a true appreciation for the perfumers who make scent discoveries and share them with us. I’ll never have the ability to appreciate scents the way a connoisseur would, and that’s perfectly fine with me.
So, what’s your favorite scent?