Saturday, April 16, 2011

Making sense of scents

I'd like to think I'm just a typical woman.

Sure, maybe there's a strong tomboy streak in me, I have none of the social etiquettes befitting a proper lady and I have yet to get a grasp on that pesky line, but deep down, I'm just as girly as the next girl. There's something that feels right about painting my nails unnatural colours, I like pretty things, if I didn't have gargantuan German feet, I would most likely have a hundred pairs of dainty shoes and I love perfume.

One of the best parts about being a little girl was when your Mum would give you her perfume bottle with the last few drops left in it. Back in those days, chemists and posh department stores would hand out little tester bottles of scent that would grow into a clinking pile on my dresser. I loved having something so grown up and it didn't take long before I discovered my own unique taste in scent.

Overall I love floral scents but every now and then something a little spicy. My mother wore Tabu for years. It was the only one she would wear. Some years ago now, she changed to a different perfume (how bad is it of me that I can't remember which one?). I'm a little more flighty when it comes to perfumes though. I couldn't imagine wearing the one scent for years at a time. I have a chest of drawers in my bathroom and the top drawer is absolutely stuffed with glass bottles and aerosol cans. My taste in perfume changes with my moods or the weather. And I have always been fond of scents that come both as a perfume and in a spray. I use the perfume after my shower and then take the spray with me to refresh during the day. If I can't get a spray, I make sure I have a bottle that is small enough to take in a handbag.

Also, one thing that defines my taste in perfume overall is that I don't go for the expensive stuff. It's not that I'm a cheap skate, it's just that I have never found an expensive perfume that I've liked well enough to buy. I find that cheaper perfumes smell just as nice and since they're cheap, I can afford to have a dozen or so of them so I can chop and change my mind as often as I like.

And so, here are my favourites :)

Urban Rituelle Cheery Blossom, Lychee Berry and Rosehip. I bought this first from a little fairy shop and then when they no longer stocked it, from online. It's not showing up on their website anymore so I'm guessing they no longer make it :(
This is my ultimate summer scent, so so pretty, I just wish the webbernet came with a scratch and sniff component!

So...? The original one, sometimes called So...? Red. One of the first perfumes I tried that spoke to me and told me we'd be together forever. This one I'll wear at any time but it has a very much 'going out at night' feel to it so I do wear it if we're going somewhere special.

Avon Imari. This, as well as the So...? is one of my usual suspects. If I'm not feeling in a particular mood, I'll wear this as an everyday perfume. I love that it's slightly spicy and oriental but also still very floral. I first got this when I was working as a relief manager at KFC and I remember the first day I was wearing it. Whenever I smell Imari I always have a momentary flashback to KFC Ascot.

White Satin. This was my sister's favourite perfume and I fell in love with it. Very feminine and girly, just gorgeous. The only issue I've ever had with it is that I have so many tiny bottles of it, I don't bother buying the spray, but just take one of the bottles with me in my bag. I cannot count the number of times they have leaked through my bag. My bad though. You'd think after the fifth time I would have learned my lesson...

The Body Shop Vanilla Oil. By far, my favourite scent of all. Like the White Satin, introduced to me by my older sister. I guess she had two years on me and used that time well to make some fine fragrance discoveries. The bottle of oil is tiny and compact so I always have one in my bag. I took this with me the first time I went to Edinburgh and now, whenever I wear it, I always have very vivid memories of my time there.
The only perfume Christian has ever bought me. He has trouble smelling anything (his nose was broken when he was a child, long story) but this one, he can faintly smell and likes.
I am wearing this one now.

My drawer is full of many other fragrances as well, these are just my favourites. I have bought bottles of perfume in the past when they were on sale and I liked them well enough but apart from once or twice, I have not worn them again. One day I'll go through and clean out the drawer and my nieces will have a field day.