I am almost out of my current perfume and am trying to decide if I want to give it another go or try something new.
I love perfume. Always have as long as I can remember. I love choosing a new one and deliberate forever. Is it a representation of me? Is it too sweet or too strong? Will it give me a headache?
Perfume has been around since the dawn of time, since the Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks and probably before. Below, two perfumers are expressing essences, and the woman on the left is carrying lily flowers. It was carved in the 4th century BCE!
Priestesses richly adorned,
Anointed with myrrh, perfumed with lotus,
Their heads garlanded with wreaths,
All together drunk with wine,
Fragrant with the plants of Punt,
They danced in beauty, doing my heart’s wish,
Their rewards were on their limbs. ~ Tomb of Wennefer
The Cypriots and Phoenicians were well known for their perfume vessels. The Ottomans loved to burn herbs as incense to perfume their homes. Perfuming their bodies was very important as well, and they favored the scent of rose most.
It’s amazing how memory is linked to scent, and a scent can jog your memory.
I remember my mother wearing different perfumes growing up. Her go to fragrance when I was younger was Lauren by Ralph Lauren. She mainly wore it for special occasions and when my parents entertained. I remember her being all dressed up and smelling yummy.
My grandfather wore Old Spice without fail. My Dad and his brother would get it from my grandparents for Christmas every year. It became the running joke in the family. My husband does not like to wear cologne and after several attempts, I have given up. Which is fine because too much is never a good thing, and sometimes cologne can be too much.
Growing up, my aunt wore Paloma by Paloma Picasso. I remember thinking it was very sophisticated and worldly. A friend of mine in elementary school had a very chic mother who wore Paris by Yves Saint Laurent. I can’t believe I still remember that to this day!
I went through a Jessica McClintock perfume phase in junior high. Remember that brand, and all of the lovely (cough cough) Victorian-ish 1980s dresses? I wore one for my 8th grade graduation, with my badass perfumed self, and the big poofy sleeves and skirt made my graduation gown stick out like a tent! Unfortunately (or thankfully) I do not have a copy of that photo. This is pretty close, only imagine it with poofier sleeves and more colorful big flowers!! That and my braces, oy vey.
My first boyfriend in college wore One by Calvin Klein. Whenever I would smell it after we broke up I would think of him, sometimes fondly, sometimes not so much. Then a few years later, my rough around the edges chain smoking lesbian coworker wore it all the time and ruined it for me. One didn’t exactly evoke the same memories anymore.
The first perfume my husband gave me was Romance by Ralph Lauren. I liked that he picked it out for me himself. It felt so personal and intimate coming from him.
It’s amazing how a person’s body chemistry can change a fragrance from smelling wonderful on one person and horrid on another. Sweet floral perfume does not fair well on me. A friend of mine wore Orange Blossom by Jo Malone in the summer and it was heavenly. My husband bought it for me and I had to return it. On me, it went from pretty to strong to migraine-inducing in about 30 seconds flat.
My current fragrance of choice right now is Colette by Tocca. It is described as warm, spicy and sweet (but not too sweet), which I suppose describes me as well. I never drown myself in it, just a spritz or two.
My children often tell me I smell good and I smell like me, which always makes me smile. The scent of my perfume is comforting to them. I’m sure children in the ancient world had the same thoughts about their mothers.
What is your favorite fragrance?
~ Happiness is like perfume. You can’t give it away without getting a little on yourself. ~