Over on her blog, Sarah Lulu has a post about perfume, and it set me thinking about perfumes in my life.
When I was young, a teenager, I loved Elizabeth Arden's Blue Grass and Nina Ricci's L'Air du Temps. I still do love them: they're light and flowery and make me think of summer, but they don't have any staying power. Not on me anyway.
When in my older teens and early twenties I babysat for a woman who was beautiful, slim, glamorous, and who wore Estee Lauder's Youth Dew. Hoping some of her glamour would rub off on me I began using it too. Was there ever such a perfume/wearer mismatch?! Once smelled, never forgotten.
Then came children and for a while I smelled of baby sick and playdough. As they grew and left that stage behind I moved on to White Musk, a warming fragrance from the Body Shop.
A few years ago, Daughter heard the inventor of a new perfume talk about it on the radio, describing it as a cereal and milk sort of smell. She straightaway thought of me and bought me some, and I wore Simply, by Clinique, until they stopped making it. I guess women preferred the smell of Poison to corn flakes.
At airports, once I've done the bookstalls and been banned from buying any more books as I 'have a caseload already!' I head for the perfume. I board the plane smelling like a tart's boudoir. Not that I know what a tart's boudoir smells like. But none of them ever grabs me. Not enough to make me say, 'yes, I must spend £30 on this.'
So now I'm a Chanel No. 5 woman, and I splash it on every day wherever I'm going, even though I can't smell it on me except when I do the dishes. Sometimes of an evening I'll use Chanel's Allure, which is stronger but not asphyxiating. I don't want my perfume to be overpowering but I do want it to be present.
One last memory: when I was in my teens, my mother bought me a bar of Chanel No. 5 soap. She died soon after that Christmas. I still have the soap in my underwear drawer.
Now, what's your signature scent?
P.S. I've edited this post to include White Musk, after Amanda reminded me of it.