Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's Your Scent Style?

Do you remember your first perfume? I do; I vividly remember receiving a bottle of Malibu Sun and Old Navy for my 13th Christmas (hope I haven’t dated myself too badly *tee hee*). It felt so grown up to have my very own perfume—even though it was one that wasn’t at all “grown up!” (But what did I know, right?) A few years later, when my middle sister moved out, she gave me her bottle of Lady Stetson and Charlie, and even though I don’t recall ever wearing either of these, just having them on my dresser made me feel ever so mature *smirk*.

Now my tastes have developed quite a bit, and I find myself drawn to floral and oriental scents. I particularly enjoy trying out vintage perfumes, and generally seek them out over modern creations. Chanel and Guerlain’s famous creations don’t agree with my chemistry (sadly, as I adore Shalimar on others—on me it smells of acrid powder), but as I’ve learned what scents suit me (both in style and chemistry), I’ve found a few that I love. One of my favorites is Tabu; this one was created in 1932, and though it has a negative rep these days (it is not a perfume that can be applied heavy-handed), I enjoy its spiciness. It’s a “man-magnet” too; whenever I wear it men seem to go crazy!

For something a little sweeter, I adore violet fragrances, particularly those of the candied variety. Two favorites are Violetta di Parma (created for Napoleon Bonaparte’s second wife) and Violettes de Toulouse (created in 1932); both are delicately sweet and perfect for spring and summer. My only complaint is that neither is very long lasting, but one can’t always have it all ;-)

I do wear a couple of modern perfumes as well—I’ve recently discovered two that I enjoy very much: Kenzo Flower and Caron Aimez Moi. Kenzo Flower is a delightful bouquet with a soft powdery tone; it has a definite vintage feel and I think that is one of the reasons I am drawn to it. It is a fragrance that people—both men and women—always comment on, and it’s fairly unique as well. Caron’s Aimez Moi was inspired by one of their famed scents, N’Aimez Que Moi, a perfume created in 1916 for soldiers to give to their sweethearts before they went off to war (. The latter is no longer readily available, and is said to be a more complex version of the Aimez Moi. However, I am quite taken with the warm, sweet rose and violet bouquet of the new version. The original is on my “someday” list though!

So, now that I’ve told you my scent style and history, do tell me about yours! What perfumes do you love, and what was your first perfume?

Amanda Lee


  1. I don't remember what my first perfume was called. I got it from a girlfriend on my 12th birthday but I remember the way it smelled and I too felt so grown up wearing it! When I was a teenager, I wore Lucky You a lot but now, I love Nina. It has a sweet flowery scent but not like a girl's locker room, like a lot of perfumes. I love the pretty Apple shaped bottle too!
    For special occasions, I love Quierda by Wiggle Perfume and when I'm feeling down in the winer, I love that cheap citrus scented body spray from walmart! Silly, but something about it always cheers me up! :)

  2. Serge Lutens has created beautiful oriental scents. My two favourites are Ambre Sultan and Arabie. They are long lasting too. Here's a review of the first.

  3. My first perfume was a small little bottle that came with a Barbie (I was around 6 at the time). Ironically, years later there was a rather expensive perfume that had the exact same scent (although I have forgotten its name).

    My body chemistry reacts badly to a lot of perfume so I have problems finding ones I like. I wear Burberry a lot but I am still searching for the perfect scent. I tend towards "edible" smelling perfumes (like vanilla).

  4. This is a fantastic post! As for me, Chanel No. 5, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, and Angel are three of my top fragrances. I prefer orientals and sandalwood based-scents.

    When I was in 8th grade in the late 80s, every girl wanted Love's Baby Soft! The popular girls wore it but it was so powdery and heavy! When my sister was in high school in the mid-80s, everyone wore Jovan Musk! Lol! And in the late 70s and 80s, my mom wore Jean Nate Body Splash! LOL!! My sister would sneak some and wear it! She thought she was so grown-up!

    I used to love Yves Saint Laurent Opium when I was in my senior year of high school. I wore it for a while but after breaking up with a loser boyfriend before going off to college, I threw it out because it reminded me of him! He wore Ralph Lauren Polo and to this day, if I smell it, I get annoyed!

    I discovered Chanel No. 5 in college and I bought my first bottle at 20. It is my go-to fragrance. I feel like a classy, true vintage lady wearing it!

  5. Wow... now you've got me thinking... I *think* it was an Avon perfume called Breathless. hehehe so cheesy! The name, not the scent! It reminds me of going to see bands at bars and feeling very grown up.
    Now I prefer the classic scent of Joy by Jean Patou. I originally became interested in it because of its history, but you really can't argue with "10,000 jasmine flowers and 28 dozen roses" in every 30ml of the perfume. :0)
    I also love Insolence by Guerlain because I bought it in Hawaii and whenever I smell it, it transports me straight back there.

  6. I'm so glad everyone enjoyed this post--I enjoyed reading your comments! I'm trying to post more discussion-type items on this blog, so I'm glad to hear your positive feedback :-)

    Crimson Gardenia--Joy is a wonderful fragrance with a great history! Insolence is another violet scent, right? I think I liked that one as well. Some time ago I tried Guerlain's L'Heure Bleu, which smelled wonderful in the bottle (and it has a fantastic WWI history behind it) but could not pull it off. It's sadly discontinued, but worth seeking out if you like Guerlain perfume :-)

  7. Lady Betty--I remember Love's Baby Soft and Opium too! They were still pretty popular in the 90s :-) Isn't it funny how fragrances become attached to memories? There are definitely perfumes that I despise now because of a breakup!

  8. Kate--My body chemistry is the same way. So many perfumes smell divine on others but horrid on my skin. I do enjoy vanilla scents as well--I haven't found a favorite though, so I would love to hear any recommendations that you might have :-)

  9. Marie Ann--I have yet to try any Serge Luten creations! I will have to check out the review you posted :-)

  10. Brittany--I don't think I've smelled any of your favorites! If I happen across one I will check it out. Oh, and I love the grapefruit body spray that Ulta sells (I think it's their brand)--it's so refreshing during summer!

  11. I think my first perfume was probably Red Door by Elisabeth Arden... I can't remember any before that! It shows how recently I started wearing scents as I just finished the bottle this year! I wear Coco by Chanel, or Coco Mademoiselle when I want a lighter, fresher feel.

  12. It's so interesting to hear everyones comments! My absolute favourite fragrance ever is CHanel No 5, I feel special when I wear it, I've tried others for evening wear but always go back. Day wear perfume changes with season. For summer nothing beats Clarins Eau Dynamisante for me it is the smell of summer and holidays, then for autumn winter I'm currently wearing Euphoria by Calvin Klein

    I really wanted to like Notorious by Ralph Lauren as that is the name of my company but it just didn't work for me!!

  13. I'm not sure what my first perfume was but I have happy memories of a certain perfume...Love's Fresh Lemon from the late '60s-early 70s (yipes, yep I'm an oldster). My best friend's older sister had this perfume and I remember the wonderful smell (we probably snuck in her room and used some for ourselves). Somewhere along the way it was discontinued and I only had a memory of that wonderful scent...until I told my husband about it several years ago and he found some online (I think when the internet was new)! I was so excited and couldn't wait to smell it again. Well, it was similar but not quite as lovely as I remembered but I have a few small bottles of it that I still take out and sniff and it takes me right back to those carefree days. I wish they would make it available at the stores again, as I see that they have for Loves Fresh Baby Scent.
    I actually don't wear perfume since it bothers hubby's sinus' so much, but my favorite scented body lotion is Victoria Secret's Jeweled Citrus (oranges)...I must have a thing for citrusy scents...although I grew up in the Midwest as an adult I moved to SoCal where the scent of fragrant lemon trees in the Spring is one of my fave things here. Anyway, so this was also discontinued and again hubby gifted me with several bottles - I use it sparingly so I have it always (think I better check to see if they brought it back).
    The only other perfume I remember using way back when was Musk. It was a new thing and the rage back then...weird. My older sister used Evening in Paris in the early that is a true vintage perfume that is highly sought after for the nostalgic. And, my sister in law always wore White Shoulders back then. Thanks for the trip down fragrant memory lane. :)

  14. I remember my Nana giving me various bottles of avon perfume when i was very young but that was more for the cute bottles than the perfume:)
    I think i was about 10 or 12 & my brother gave me Charlie by Revlon for my birthday.I loved it & yes i felt very grown up lol.
    I love Tabu ,i wear it all the time:) I love all the older perfumes by coty & dana & L'aire de Temps (sp?) is beautiful also.
    I buy alot of perfumes from a lady who makes her own.She is based in Cincinnati & her company is called Possets.She makes some devine scents,i highly recommend trying them ,some of them are just unbelievably good.One of my favourites is Crie de Couer(cry of the heart) which she made to benefit the ppl of Haiti.It is just stunning!!
    Thanks for such a great post Amanda & such a lovely blog too:)

  15. My mum doesn't wear anything but Tabu! (Unfortunately, the scent disagrees with my lungs a little ;]) So, it will always remind me of her. =]
    I like the Chloe signature scent - lots of roses! - and Coco Mademoiselle. =D
    -Andi x