It’s only recently that I’ve started getting excited about perfume. Up until less than two years ago I’d worn Vera Wang’s signature fragrance for most of my adult life, if I wore anything at all. It’s what I wore on my wedding day and when I smell it’s notes of lily and rose now it reminds me of the Christmas I received it, which was spent in Cornwall (a place that holds many dear memories itself). I had just started going out with my then-boyfriend-now-husband and it conjures memories of those giddy early days and standing on a hill trying to get signal on my phone so that I could speak to him. Later, we got engaged on the same beach in Cornwall; one whiff of Vera Wang takes me back to a whole collection of happy memories.
It’s the power a scent has to do this that draws me in and more recently I have become a little obsessed. It started when my husband’s mum gave me a huge box full of samples, which I poured through eagerly. This opened me up to a lot of brands I hadn’t heard of before, like Frederic Malle, Les Senteurs and Annick Goutal. Also in the box was the book Perfumes by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, which I read cover to cover, fascinated.
Around the same time I watched this video from A Model Recommends, which introduced me to Aqua Di Parma Fico Di Amalfi and Escentric Molecules Molecule 01.
From here, things got a bit out of control. I think this will work best as a list:
Aqua Di Parma Fico Di Amalfi
Just so delicious. It smells of summer. Of lemons, grapefruits and fig trees warmed by the sun. I’ve worn it on my last few summer holidays and, to me, it is pure sunshine.
Escentric Molecules Molecule 01
The idea of this is that it’s the single note that is usually used in perfumes as a base note. It’s the ‘sexy’ part of a scent. It’s woody and musky and smells different on everyone. When I wear it on it’s own I do get lots of compliments but my favourite thing to do is to layer it with a fresher scent like:
Liz Earle Botanical Essence No1
A lovely everyday scent with bergamot, lavender and rose. With Molecule 01 it’s more intriguing and unusual, I love combining these two.
Adore. I think of this as my grown up, special occasion perfume, but that may only be because of the price tag. It’s fruity (it packs a massive figgy punch), but also very mellow. I definitely prefer the eau de parfum over the eau de toilette. I love its creamy, green, almost coconut-y scent.
Shay and Blue Blood Oranges
Shay and Blue are quite a new boutique perfumery. Their mission is to uphold the traditional art of perfumery and they use real flowers, fruit and spices. Blood Oranges smells like they have squeezed the juice straight into the bottle. After a few hours it’s woodier and muskier. I love wearing it on summery evenings.
Clarins Eau Dynamisante
The original treatment fragrance, I love that this is as good for your skin as it smells. Straight after a shower, its zesty-ness is genuinely uplifting and it can be layered with most other perfumes too.
Clarins Eau des Jardins
Another treatment fragrance, I recently took this on a flight and put it on pulse points to freshen up before landing. It reminds me of a cologne but has notes of rose and blackcurrant too. It makes me want to breathe deeply.
Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay
I love this more and more every time I wear it. Perfect for a ramble through the countryside followed by a Sunday roast with plenty of red wine. Or a pub in South London, which is more likely.
Le Soft Perfume Rock
This is my current favourite. So much so that I’ve asked my sister to buy me more for my birthday. Le Soft Perfume is a range of solid perfumes with a shea or monoi butter base which are kind and nourishing to sensitive skin. But that’s not why I like this so much. Rock smells musky, leathery and a bit citrusy. It’s described as a bit ‘rock chic’ which could almost put me off if I didn’t love it so much. Either way, it’s just as delicious on my husband as it is on me and I can’t get enough of it!
Homemade Eau de Caravan
My mother-in-law made this and no one liked it except me. It reminds me of childhood holidays spent in a caravan (Cornwall again), hence the name we gave it. I’m not sure what the ingredients are but it’s a potent, dusty, warm, polish-y sort of smell. I don’t wear it but occasionally will have a comforting sniff from the bottle.
Homemade solid perfume
Another from my husband’s talented mum, this reminds me a little of the Liz Earle perfume, it’s fresh and flowery and a little bit soapy. Perfect for pottering-around-days.