Musings of a self-confessed beauty addict from the heart of London!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Fragrant offerings

aka.... my perfume collection.

Pandora's perfumes
Recently I've really loved reading about perfume, especially other girls' perfume collections.
Perfume is one of those incredibly subjective things, but the market is so swamped that I always find it useful to find out what others like too, so that I can organise my 'sniffing' trips accordingly! 

My journey with fragrance began when I was about 12. I bought a tiny bottle of Joy by Jean Patou on a school trip to Boulogne. I barely spoke French but I somehow managed to walk into this very posh department store and come away with an exquisitely gift-wrapped bottle of what was once heralded 'the most expensive perfume in the world'. I made that bottle last for years and I still have that gift wrapping, treasured in the back of an old diary as if it were made of gold leaf.

Precocious... moi???

So on to the here and now and my current collection is, I think at least, quite modest. Most of my scents of choice are quite light, fresh and floral. Boring? Maybe. I'd like to be one of those people with eclectic taste in perfume, the kind of perfume that costs about £150 a bottle and contains essence of leather, tobacco, rare Amazonian wood, extract of burnt power cables, and antelope flea musk. But thou must be true to thyself and I would be lying to myself if I said that I actually would wear most of the fragrances sold in an 'haute parfumerie', although Mr P is quite partial to a bit of antelope flea musk.

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle - Moisture Mist
Some fragrances I like to wear in other incarnations. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle is a prime example. I find the perfume too strong sometimes, it hits my nasal passages like a bullet as an eau de parfum, but as a body spray, like this moisture mist here, it's just gorgeous. It smells instantly like the perfume dry-down which is much, much nicer than the somewhat abrasive top notes you get at first spritz of the perfume itself. I love wearing this. It makes me feel sensual and polished all at once. 

Bulgari Omnia Crystalline
 If I had one signature scent then this would probably be it. Bulgari Omnia Crystalline. This also happens to be Mr P's favourite. In fact he bought me my first bottle of this for my birthday many years ago. I loved it instantly. I ask myself how on earth he managed to find such an amazing perfume, amongst the myriad of scents out there. But he did, bless him. This I would describe as an 'aquatic floral. There is a fresh crispness to the smell with a slight woodiness which is prevented from being too masculine by the presence of a floral note, which according to the description must be the lotus flower. It was apparently designed for the Japanese market where fresh, light fragrances are extremely popular and at one time it was the best-selling perfume there (my source for this info is here). On me this dries down to what I can only describe as smelling like me but better! Like I'm always shower fresh. I know I will always buy this.

Elie Saab Le Parfum
 This was a birthday gift and the newest perfume I own. It's actually very different from any of the other scents I have. It's much, much stronger than I'm used to but it's perhaps the most interesting and complex perfume I have. There are so many different elements to this. To me it's a leathery sophisticated floral with hints of tea. Yes, I smell tea in it. I'm weird though, so you will probably not smell tea. This is sex in a bottle. It's very heady and must be used with a light hand. I would put this on the nape of the neck and behind my knees and in the crease of my elbow. This is for special evenings, to be worn with jewellery and heels.... and possibly nothing else ;)

Jo Malone - Nutmeg & Ginger and White Jasmine & Mint
Ah, Jo, how I love you. I don't think there is a fragrance of yours I don't love. Except Pomegranate Noir, that one just gave me a headache. Here we have Nutmeg and Ginger, and White Jasmine and Mint. This is my 3rd bottle of White Jasmine and Mint. I wore it on my wedding day layered with Nectarine Blossom and Honey. Nutmeg and Ginger is perfect for cooler weather days, it's spiciness and warmth being a great comfort to me. White Jasmine and Mint I'm currently on a break from but will embrace once more with open arms in the spring. 

Zara White
Here we have one beauty rule broken: Don't buy cheap perfume.
Zara White is cheap, but it doesn' t smell cheap. Honestly. It's very fresh and crisp, citrus and ozonic at the same time, but it dries down to a more floral base. The packaging is very meh... but for freshening up quickly without offending anyone then this is more than fine. It fades over a couple of hours but at €4.99 who cares. NB, most of the Zara perfumes are lovely! White Jasmine in particular, that will probably be my next cheapo fragrance fix.

The Sanctuary Body Spray - patchouli bliss

So it's not strictly a perfume, but The Sanctuary's classic body line has that signature smell which they have developed into a fragrance line in itself. You either love it or hate it. I used to hate it with a passion, but something happened to me in the last year or so and now I can't get enough of the soft powdery patchouli smell. The body butter is divine and I top it off with this lovely body spray which is much lovelier than the actual perfume that they also have in the range.

Baby bottle of Viva La Juicy
Look at this! Innit dinky??? Juicy Couture 'Viva la Juicy' is my wild-card. I didn't commit to buying even a 30ml size, but I do really like this fun, floral gourmand. The balance of sweet to floral is just right. A little goes a long way so this 5ml bottle of cuteness will serve me well. I'm not likely to want a bigger size of this after it's gone but for now it's my night-out scent of choice.

So those are my simple offerings to the temple of scent.

What scents do you all like? Are you more Duty Free or Haute Parfumerie?


  1. Ahaha, Antilope Flea Musk is my go-to!

    I fell in love with Escada Taj Sunset, because it smells like candy. Really. Very sweet smell. But I still like it a lot! So too bad it is limited edition :(

    And then there's Jil Sander Pure. Which I've worn for years, but I don't know how I feel about it anymore. I still like it, but after taking a break it's just not the same!

    ... And that's it... Does that means I fail? I only got two :(

  2. I heard that too, that Escada perfumes are all limited edition. I've not sniffed either of those perfumes... I'll make a mental note to check them out next time I'm in a department store.

    And no, you do not fail with two! :)


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