A Perfume Self-Portrait

July 23, 2016 Just for Fun 4

One of the more interesting features I’ve seen around the more fragrance-centered parts of the blogosphere is the concept of a “perfume self-portrait” (or selfie, I suppose, if you’re worried about being old-fashioned). It’s basically a snapshot of one’s perfume habits at a point in time.

Perfume is a bit like wine. At first, you might only know if something tastes yummy or gross to you, and many people are happy to just stay at that stage; it’s only after extensive-but-fun experimenting that you start to be able to taste the different flavors, learn terms like terroir and corked, and so on.

collection_perfumesamples

I have a small army of tiny sample bottles…

I’ve only recently — like in the past couple of years — started regularly wearing fragrances more sophisticated than scented soaps and lotions and stuff (if we ignore that period of overambitious fruity glitter body splash in my teen years, which we are definitely going to ignore). So, I’m still learning about perfume and haven’t ventured entirely into “fumehead” territory yet, but I’m certainly learning to appreciate all kinds of stuff that I never had a clue about before!

Without further ado, here’s my current perfume self-portrait….

Scents I reach for by default on the daily:
  • Burberry My Burberry Eau de Toilette — This is my “summer scent” this year. I think the slightly-citrusy peony note is youthful and feminine, but not too girly. Usually light florals like this don’t last long on me, but the rosey musk it dries down to sticks around for at least a couple hours.
  • The Thymes Lavender Cologne — I wear this when I want to feel particularly calm and uncomplicated. I like having a single-note scent that isn’t too flirty or bold to turn to on days like that.
  • Chanel No. 5 Elixir Sensuel — This is a discontinued formulation of one of the most well-known classics in perfumery. It’s kind of a gel that you apply to pulse points instead of spraying on, and I think it smells simultaneously gentler and sexier than the regular version. Sillage (basically “volume”) is low but longevity is impressive. It’s honestly my absolute favorite fragrance right now, but since it is discontinued I’m trying to make the bottle last as long as possible, so I don’t wear it every day.
Scents I’ve sampled and want a bottle of:
  • Dior J’Adore Eau de Parfum — I think this must be one of the most popular perfumes out there right now; it seems to flatter most and offend few. I can see this becoming my “everyday” scent after I’m done with the Burberry and Chanel perfumes above.
  • Miu Miu Eau de Parfum — It starts out as a green-woodsy floral, but dries down into something rather peppery. At first I didn’t like it! But I kept trying it again because it was just so intriguing, and in the end I’ve decided that this one is actually interesting in a good way.
  • Gucci Bamboo Eau de Parfum — I got a sample set that included this one as well as the Burberry perfume, plus a certificate to redeem for a full size version of any of the scents included in the sample set. I nearly got this one instead of the other, but my husband said it reminded him of his mom (a perfectly lovely woman, whom I’d prefer not to smell like all the time). It’s kind of a warm floral with a sandalwood background, and fantastic longevity.
Scents I have to be in just the right mood for:
  • Chanel No. 5 Eau de Toilette — This is supposed to be a more “relaxed” version of the original perfume, but I honestly find it quite a bit more in-your-face than my prefered Elixir version. I wear this when I want to feel sophisticated or, honestly, when I’m feeling a bit bitchy. This is what I wear when I want to project, “Don’t F with me today, or I will (sexily) tear your heart out.”
  • Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Heavenly Eau de Parfum — Bluntly put, this is my “slutty” perfume. (It does not get used so much these days.)
  • Hermès Terre d’Hermès Eau de Toilette — Yeah, it’s supposed to be for dudes. In fact, it smells very similar to my husband’s usual cologne. But it’s just androgynous enough, with a greeny-citrus start and a spicy-incense finish, that I can get away with wearing it when I’m feeling a little outlandish.

4 Responses to “A Perfume Self-Portrait”

  1. Jenni Elyse

    My mom loved perfume. My older sister used to tease her that she smelled like dead petunias. I always liked the smell of her perfumes, but I don’t wear perfume, really. I’m just in the body sprays by Bath & Body Works. But, I’m very picky. I’m very sensitive to smells and they often make me headachy and sick, especially if they’re too strong, so only certain ones work for me.

    • Louise

      B&BW has some really delicious scents that don’t tend to bother folks w/ sensitivities as much as strong perfume! I get sinus headaches from allergies all the time and therefore have no patience with people who think it’s cool to walk around in a cloud of sneeze-making stuff. Fragrance should ideally be worn just for the wearer and their intimates, IMHO.

  2. Kathy @ Kathy Reads Fiction

    I love perfume and wore it frequently in the past. Liz Claiborne was always my go to. I love the clean and crisp scent it offered. I stopped wearing it because of so many allergies my students have, but will dab a little on when going out other than work. I have a small army of samples, too.

    • Louise

      It’s cool of you to forgo the perfume for your students — lots of people have no clue how their fragrances can really bother people with sensitivities. Not much worse than being trapped in a limited space w/ a scent that makes you sneeze. Thankfully there are plenty of times/places where perfume IS appropriate if used conscientiously… it’s just so much fun to experiment!

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