I love the IDEA of perfume. The glamorous ladies, both sophisticated and sexy. The celebrity endorsements. The gorgeous bottles and heady scents. However, I don’t actually wear perfume. I own some perfume, and occasionally will spritz a bit, but I have some overall problems with perfume.
Fortunately, I don’t have to cover bad smells. Nothing that deodorant can’t handle. I’ve been told that I smell good naturally. So it’s nothing that I feel is necessary to add. But I think it would be amazing to be a woman with a signature scent. The problem is that most perfumes overwhelm me, and after smelling them for hours on end, they start to make me sick. On the opposite end, other scents wear off too quick and I wonder why I even bothered.
I’ve tried a few options over the years. In college, I was pretty convinced that they were putting some kind of man crack in Davidoff Cool Water cologne. I even had a kooky TV- style moment where I was walking down the street, smelled the cologne on a man, and stopped in my tracks to turn and follow the smell as he passed. Don’t blame me–I was 21 and thought I was charming. So when they came out with Cool Water Perfume for Women, I had to try it. I used it for a while, but some of the undertones that I loved in the men’s cologne didn’t work on me.
My aunt, before she passed away from cancer, was very interested in filling in the gaps she perceived in my life. A wonderful lady, she never had children of her own, and was the epitome of a gracious Scandinavian woman. She took me to designer shops and tried to buy me things that never quite worked for me. And she bought me one of those “classic” women’s perfumes. I can’t even remember which one she bought me. But it was so musky I felt overwhelmed by it every time I put it on. My aunt used to smell exotic and spicy when she wore perfume. I smelled sharp, acidic and musky. But for a long time, just because it was from my late aunt, it was my “special occasion” perfume. But I spent more time smelling the bottle to remember her than wearing it myself.
The last perfume I received was several years ago. It was Par Amour Toujours by Clarins. I don’t even know if it’s still available. The majority of reviewers call it “sugary” and “candy-like”. But on me, it was light, delicate, yet long-lasting. It was a fruit and floral smell with my body chemistry. My mom bought it for me. Yet I haven’t used up the whole bottle. The problem is, I rarely think of putting perfume on. Even when I dress up and go out, I don’t think about it. I don’t travel with perfume, I don’t even have room to display it or put it in the medicine cabinet. It’s currently under my sink, waiting for the next time I think of it.
So, should I give up on perfume all together? Should I go all the way and be one of those people who layers their fragrance so it never wears off, like my mom? I’ve been toying with the idea of going on a perfume hunt. Looking for something very green, fresh, and natural. Or possibly one of those one-note fragrances, like the ones sold by Demeter. I’ve always been fascinated by some of their scents, and wonder how they would work on my skin.
What I’d really like to do is go to France, to an old-fashioned parfumerie, with a specialist who mixes perfume note by note. That person and I would work together to develop my perfect signature scent. It would be unique, and perfect. Wonderfully chic. And all my own, never to be reproduced. Anyone want to come with me?