Perfume is such a personal thing and one which instantly evokes memories and emotions. I have always used perfume daily, and although I have chopped and changed over the years, there are some that stand out for me and that I still associate with certain periods of my life whenever I smell them. Some I still wear to this day, others I have moved on from, but they still hold a special place in my heart.
My perfume wearing started at an early age, when I was around 9 or 10 years old. I vividly remember my Mum’s heady scent of YSL Opium when I was growing up and always associated perfume with heavy sensual notes of amber and patchouli or strong floral and rose scents. It was therefore a revelation to me when I discovered The Body Shop’s , easy-to-wear fruity and musky perfumes.
Amongst my favourites were white musk and fuzzy peach. Both very simple scents but for a 9 year old, that was exactly what I wanted, just so I could play at dress up like my Mum! I don’t think these are sold by The Body Shop any more. Still, they fulfilled a purpose and instigated my interest in perfumes for the coming years.
My teenage years were a mixture of the 1990s CKone which everyone had to have, and Tommy Girl. CKone’s memorable Kate Moss advert, along with being one of the first, if not the first, mainstream scent to appeal to both men and women, was what made it a must buy for the teenage me. These days, I don't wear it but I think I still do have a bottle somewhere at the back of the cupboard for when I am feeling retro!
Around this time, another clean, fresh fragrance appeared – Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy Girl. The 90s were the time for clean minimalism and these perfumes evoked the mood and feel of the time perfectly.
University was the time when I left home and discovered more about who I was, when I was meeting new people and having new experiences in a strange city. This was the time that I discovered Gucci Rush and its sweet, almost cloying, scent which I remember my Dad used to say smelt like I had dowsed myself in a fruit cocktail! This was primarily an evening scent, for mad Uni nights out, and I wore it more of less continuously for the 4 years of my degree. It was my signature scent of the time, and some of my friends have said that they still think of me if they catch a sniff of it on someone else! It is not a sophisticated fragrance by any means and one I would never wear for work as I associate it with fun and parties and don’t think it is particularly a formal fragrance which one can wear for a meeting and be taken seriously at, for example.
I do still own Gucci Rush and wear it, although much less frequently and probably only a few times a month as my mad nights out are few and far between these days! I would say that it sticks around for quite a while but I’m not sure whether that is because it has good lasting power or because I spray on so much of it – probably the latter!
When I got married during the summer, I wanted a scent that I would remember and would forever associate with my wedding day. I didn’t want to go with something like Gucci Rush but rather for something that tied in with my identity and to avoid something overpowering. After toying with various Jo Malone’s, I eventually plumped for Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb, a popular scent that is very distinctive, but when used sparingly, is not overpowering. My photographer took a lovely photo of the perfume bottle on my wedding day along with my Mum’s pearls. Since I wore this for our wedding, my hubby says that every time I wear it, it reminds him of that day, as well as how relieved he was to see me after I turned up half an hour late, ooops!
Now, several months on from that day, I still wear Flowerbomb but have recently become more interested in different, more unusual fragrances. Current favourites are Prada Candy, which although sweet, I think smells more of burnt sugar than cocktails; Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir, which I think is probably a love it or hate it scent and one I often wear for work if I have an important meeting; and my new love which is on my wishlist for Christmas, Tom Ford Violet Blonde.
Do you associate any particular perfumes with specific moments in your life?
What are your essential everyday fragrances at the moment and what do you have on your Christmas list?