Scent of a Woman

A women who doesn’t wear perfume has no future – Coco Chanel

My future is uncertain but I certainly have a past when it comes to perfume. The first perfume I called my own was Diorissimo, given to me by my mother as a birthday present when I was twelve.  It is the perfect scent for a young girl; very crisp and fresh with lily of the valley as the predominant note.  I adored it and wore it every day, which was a bit extravagant for the local primary school.  I then graduated to the classic Chanel No. 5, a fragrance I have worn on and off for most of my life.

On my 19th birthday a friend of mine gave me a bottle of Angel by Thierry Mugler.  I wore it throughout my early 20s and I think it is the scent most people associate with me.  My boyfriend at the time had to have his pillows dry cleaned when we broke up as they were completely permeated with it.  But then Angel became very popular and every third girl was wearing it and so it was time for a change for me.

Since then I have tried a few different perfumes but none of them truly suited me.  I wore Opium for a while but my mother has worn this for most of her life and so I felt like an imposter.  I tried Douce Amere by Serge Lutens but it was too sweet.  Another boyfriend bought me a bottle of Amber by Marc Jacobs, but it’s only available as an eau de toilette and has little staying power. I tried Prada Parfum but again it became too popular.  I am in danger of becoming the Goldilocks of the perfume world; I want one that’s just right!

A couple of weeks ago I was in town with my sister, both of us in a jubilant mood as she had just bought her wedding dress.  (As as aside, she will be the most beautiful girl in Ireland on her wedding day.  The dress is stunning, made even more so by her beauty.)  We passed the Chanel section in Brown Thomas and stopped at the display for Les Exclusifs, a range of eight perfumes. And there, I fell in love. Unlike Bono, I think I have found what I’m looking for.

It’s called Coromandel.  It strikes just the right balance; oriental with amber notes, a hint of something fresher on top, perhaps citrus.  I wore it all day and eventually my sister and I made the trek back to Chanel to find out how much it cost.  €200, which is rather more than I had anticipated.  I think my ever-evolving shopping list now needs to be recalculated with Coromandel taking the top spot.  I just have to smell like that every day.

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8 thoughts on “Scent of a Woman

  1. Paul Chillage

    Sad as it may seem, this post is all too familiar with me. I have my own lineage of scents and am strictly monogamous till as you’ve outlined, an outside factor breaks the spell of that relationship.
    I also thought this lineage of scent would be a good way to tell a life story as you’ve pointed to with your own tale.
    I don’t know whether this has been done before but it’s certainly romantic and a good idea.
    Like the blog. Keep writing.

  2. Paul Chillage

    Well, let me see… as a teenager it was all about Drakkar Noir as it was affordable and wasn’t Old Spice! A brief flirtation with Kouros quickly ended when my cousin bought it too. Calvin Klein then brought out the milestone that is Obsession and I can’t forget those cool, moody b&w ads shot by Bruce Weber that are still relevant today, oh and it smelled lovely! I got bored of it though, because everyone seemed to be wearing it, so it quickly tired. Then I discovered Gucci and a love affair (of sorts) began. It all started with Envy which whilst being fresh had quite masculine overtones but it was ditched when Rush came out. Oh Rush, I miss you! The best mens cologne ever. Anywhere I went I was asked what I was wearing? Even complete strangers would stop me and enquire and swoon. It was heady and masculine and musky and just said “sex” to the nose. Alas, it was discontinued and I don’t know why. Pity.
    So at the moment I’m wearing Terre D’Hermes which again is heady and masculine and musky and while it isn’t Rush, it’s close.
    I can’t stand fresh smelling scents for men – all they say “I’m clean” which is boring. You’re a man not Daz Auotmatic!!!
    Anyway, there you have it – my potty history.
    Oh btw did you know about the FiFi Awards? No neither did I. I stumbled across them when I was trying to find out what year Gucci Envy came out.
    Here ya go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FiFi_Awards

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