Yeah alright smart arses, I know I normally write about fashion. But fashion and beauty all come under the same expensive umbrella of being a woman, so today, I'm talking perfume. That elixir in the glass bottle that can evoke such powerful memories so spontaneously!
So there I was, storming through Boots the other day, on a mission for Sudafed or something as equally as sexy and I caught a waft of Anais Anais in the air. I was back in 1986, hair like someone had let a fire cracker off in it, puff ball skirts galore and Whitney on repeat. This was my first ever perfume, bought for me by my Mum for passing my exams. I wore it until it ran out and never bought it again, but oh do I remember that smell and how it felt to be a whole heap of hormone.
Since my late teens, I've been a total perfume addict. I do fall in and out of love though but there is a core perfume wardrobe I can go back to for the last 28 years. My nose has got more refined as I have aged, a bit like my taste in wine (who knew Liebfraumilch would end up tasting like water when you're over 30).
Chloe makes me think of nights out dancing in clubs, rather worse for wear and too skint for a cab home. It reminds me of high shoes, sore feet and chips with gravy.
Givenchy Ysatis reminds me of my Mum, and also of when I met my husband (I'd borrowed my Mum's perfume) and I still sometimes wear it now. Hubby takes this as a sign he might be in for a good time... His memory isn't what it used to be, bless him.
Aromatics Elixir by Clinque is a powerful smell and it takes me back to my early twenties, of starting to feel grown up, of starting work in the City. It's a Winter smell and it's perfect for this time of year. My Mum also uses it, so if I ever smell it now, her face pops into my head and both my kids will comment if they smell it on me. 'You smell like Nana' could be taken all sorts of ways.... (no piss jokes please).
Chanel No 5....what can I say.... I wore this to death for most of my twenties. It's also the only perfume my step mother wears, so it reminds me of Sundays, of visiting my Dad, his wife and my Grandparents, of Sunday roasts, of walking my Granddads' dog and probably of feeling a little bit sad when I was little. It used to make me feel sophisticated once I used it myself aged 23.
My wilderness years came in my early thirties. I drifted from perfume to perfume like a scent-slut. Never really settling, trying anything and everything but struggling to find 'it'. I'd get half way down a bottle and have drastically gone off it.
So what now? Well, I'm quite the perfume connoisseur. I layer my perfumes and I rarely wear only one. Sometimes, I'll wear one scent in a body cream then layer a different perfume over the top which just means, no one quite smells like me and I LOVE that! I'm a huge fan of mens colognes too and often steal my husbands to layer over whatever I'm wearing. I'm totally in love with Terre D'Hermes for this.
My favourites for the last few years have been by Jo Malone, Acqua di Parma, Hermes and Creed, all wonderfully different and fabulous. But this Christmas, I am hoping to receive some scents from Jo Loves - I have just purchased her 'Shot Box' so I can try layering and see what is going to work best on me.
Husband. Take the hint....