I’m often asked the question: ‘how to I go about building a collection of fragrances?’ In short, there is no simple answer because fragrance is so deeply personal (and what is right for me will certainly not be right for everyone).
I have a great admiration for those women who are able to pull off the single signature fragrance and make it completely their own, but I’m somewhat more schizophrenic in my olfactory tastes. If, like me, you like the idea of having a wardrobe of fragrances, then this is how I go about it:
1. Embark on a fragrance treasure hunt. Whenever you pass by a department store beauty hall, beauty boutique, duty free counter or while on your travels, have a sniff of the bottles which you like the look of (this isn’t as shallow as it sounds; fragrance developers invest a huge amount in ensuring the bottle symbolises the mood of the scent inside). Try a few on a card and spray your favourite on your wrist (it will smell different as it reacts with your own ph levels).Light/summery scents, L-R: Annick Goutal Petite Cherie, Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau so Fresh, Chanel Les Exclusifs Gardenia, Margiela Untitled L’Eau, Annick Goutal Petite Cherie, Stella McCartney Lily, Marc Jacobs Daisy.
2. Follow your instincts. Try and ignore the hype of million dollar marketing campaigns when choosing one to buy. The only thing that really matters is: do you smell gorgeous when you wear this fragrance? Does it complement your tastes? Also ensure you try everything a few times before you buy it. Try those you love on your skin and check it again a few days later (we react differently to scents depending on our moods and hormones, so you want one you’ll always enjoy).
3. Make it special. We attach more memories to scent than any other sense. Make fragrance-buying a special occasion; do it in a place you love, when you’re in a good mood, or when you’re on a particularly wonderful holiday so that you always associate their smell with good feelings. It may sound silly, but it really works!Warm/wintery scents, L-R: Diptyqye L’Ombre dans L’eau, Stella McCartney Stella (limited edition print bottle), Jean Paul Gaultier Classique (limited edition bottle), Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs, Chanel Les Exclusifs Gardenia, Stella McCartney Stella (limited edition print bottle).
4. Match your moods. I prefer to have several different scents to call upon, depending on the season, my mood, the time of day, and the occasion. By way of example: for the first days of Spring, I want something light, pretty and floral which echoes the optimism that rings in the air at this time of year (Margiela’s Untitled or Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau so Fresh have been on rotation the past few weeks); warm summer days to be spent lazing on the grassy banks of the River Cam call for something sweet and fresh (Annick Goutal Petite Cherie, Marc Jacobs Daisy); and for winter or evenings, only something warm and comforting will do (Stella McCartney Stella or Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau). When I’m in the office, I call on clean, sophisticated scents (Marc Jacobs original or Stella McCartney Lily fit this bill), and when I’m feeling nostalgic or sad, I’ll seek solace in a precious spritz from the bottle of my Mother’s Jean Peal Gaultier (which was her fragrance signature and which to me always smells chic and pretty and like her warm hugs).
5. Find your signature. Even once you’ve built a collection you adore, there is something to be said for finding your failsafe favourite; your ‘signature scent’ if you will. This will be the one you reach for time and time again (in any number of situations), and which triggers an immediate sensory response whenever you spray it on. In case you’re wondering, mine is Marc Jacobs’ original scent; I distinctly remember the first time I sprayed it on, for I instantly (even irrationally) felt like a better, more appealing version of myself. The first day I tried it was a wonderful day filled with happy moments, and it’s accompanied me on so many glorious holidays, travels and special occasions ever since that it is now bound up with feelings of happiness and loveliness and fills me with a flicker of joy whenever I wear it.
I don’t know about you, but I think every woman should find a scent that makes them feel like a knockout version of themselves!Do you have a wardrobe of perfumes? I’d love to know what your favourites are!
Love, Miss B xx