Perfume, for me, will always come back to florals. Roses, Jasmine, Lavender, Orange blossoms – you name it. For centuries we’ve been spritzing ourselves with spring-time scents and exotic blooms.
It’s said that originally respectable, high-society women, strived to bottle the scent of a single, elegant garden bloom – while the racy and exotic courtesan-types sought heavier fragrances with more depth and muskiness.
My favourite perfumes have always been mostly gourmand, white florals. The classics. Something timeless, with a story to it. So I thought it only natural that my first Scent Spectrum post be on florals.
Starting with something simple, I begin with the true floral – a perfume that’s based around a key floral scent. For those who don’t want a complex cocktail and prefer something more minimalist, look no further than your local pharmacy for affordable, infallible French perfume. Roger & Gallet produce a carefully curated range of perfumes, eau de toillette, soaps and body lotions; which all centre around a key floral note. A particular favourite is Fleur de Figuiere; fig is always a winner for me, but rather than smelling like a summer salad, it’s a soft, fruity scent, with a subtly musky cedar base and sweet mandarin top. If you’re not sure which floral floats your boat, might I suggest popping down for a spritzing session.
Moving on up, we get the classic floral. Like most little girls, my first introduction to perfume was stealing a sniff of my mum’s and grandmothers’ collections. It’s where my love of powdery, soft, white floral scents comes from. Something like Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle reads to me like a modern-day incarnation of the subtle signature scent. For years, new perfumes assaulted my senses with synthetic vanilla and saccharine jasmines, which don’t get me wrong, I love – when they’re done right. La Vie Est Belle was love at first whiff. Soft, delicate, sophisticated and modern; based in white flowers, what’s not to love? It begins with notes of fresh magnolias, irises, and pachouli; rounded off with sweet nutty scents of almond and praline. It’s so easy to wear; a wonderful starting point into sophisticated perfume, without getting smothered in a cloud of heavy, old-fashioned florals.
Of course, it would be me without something a little edgy. I’m all for the classics, and Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium is no exception. But while the dusky, oriental-inspired classic is an icon in its own right, I can’t deny that there are times when it feels a little too “old” for me. Enter Black Opium. A scent I swear was made for me. Edgy but girly, chic without having to be too sophisticated. Truly contemporary while routed in the classic. To those of us who can’t be without a dose of Rock Chick in our lives – be still my heart, this scent has it. There’s a hit of caffeine, a note of sweet tobacco, a heart of white flowers (of course there is, you’re probably saying by now) and then, out of nowhere, a sprinkling of pink pepper. Seasoned to perfection. Anyone looking for a new perfume should stop by YSL for a sniff, you won’t be disappointed and will probably end up hooked.
In the words of Christian Dior “A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.” Here, here, I say.