I used to think perfume was superfluous. A rather expensive and odorous nuisance that I have mostly encountered through its overpowering application. I am definitely not of that opinion now, how I have changed since then.
So why perfume?
A perfume gives intimacy. It offers a relation. It evokes a memory.
It can feel like an embrace. A perfume is deeply personal, if you let it be.
Which is why I now have an interest and love of perfumes. It’s not for the smell per se; but what it brings forth in me: some history, a glimmer of time, a certain person. The feeling of a place. A fantasy, even. That indescribable thing I am searching for…. If a scent is a key that open your minds (the stimulation of the brain by scents, olfactory archives), then are not the possibilities endless as to the limits it can incarnate itself as, the things it can dredge forth from your soul, your mind and memories? Could you perhaps, smell like a Mondrian? Feel yourself standing in Rothko chapel? That Sunday morning with the scent of her skin on the sheets?
I find comfort in that which has been summoned by olfaction, and that is the power and glory of scents for me.
As I have mentioned before, I favour warm and spicy scents. I desire the idea of embers in me: a slow burn releasing heat through my pores. Here is a short, but complete, list of my personal perfumes currently.
- Rose of No Man’s Land by Byredo
Imagine turkish roses and a dash of pepper. The name of the perfume derives from its tribute to the nurses of WWII, often referred to by soldiers as rose of no man’s land. As such, a portion of this perfume’s sale goes towards Doctors Without Borders. This is a unisex perfume, though personally it tends to unfold as very sweet on my skin.
- Ambre Maquis by Bastide
Simply a beautiful amber scent with rich notes of sandalwood. On my skin it is pure warmth, heady and humid like a hot summer’s night. It is worth reproducing here how the company describes the ‘soul’ of this perfume:
Warm, sensual, and mysterious, this fragrance is complex, evoking the delicate dance between strangers and lovers. During a candlelit dinner on the terrace of the Bastide, two individuals are sitting across from one another. A loving couple, a growing passion, or an eternal friendship – we will never know… All we feel is the steadfast force of their connection.
3. Journey Woman by Amouage
Think cardamon, jasmine, osmanthus, honey and tabacco. Think film noir, then transpose that thought into 1920’s Shanghai. The city’s golden era glamour interpenetrated with shards of smokey, gritty speakeasy bars. On me this is pure exotic spiciness.
4. L’eau by Diptyque
An old favourite of mine. Inspired by potpourri of the middle ages, this perfume is homey and comforting. On me the cinnamon notes shine, and goodness do I love cinnamon. Like a warm bowl of oats with a generous spoon of honey and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
5. By the fireplace by Maison Margiela
My absolute favourite perfume of the moment (which is also unisex). I told a certain Mr. C about this. I said it made me smell like a fireplace –wood and smoke and ash –and by the gods do I simply love that. I cannot describe it better than the maker themselves, because it truly manifests as such on my skin:
The sun rises across a wintry landscape. A fire crackling in the hearth emanates fragrant warmth. Outside, boundless snow-capped mountains shiver resplendent in the quiet dawn. ‘By the Fireplace’ captures a quintessential winter morning.
Thank you for reading,
ciao for now xoxo