Friday, 19 November 2010

Perfume Collection: Past and Present

For her birthday last December I gave my friend Sophie 'Perfumes: The A-Z Guide'. Thankfully she agreed with me that it made for absorbing reading. I loved looking up my favourite scents before discovering which others I might also appreciate.

I've been lucky enough to receive several gorgeous perfumes lately, so in order to give you an idea of whether we might share similar tastes, I'm opening up my current collection for your perusal. I don't know much about top notes and dry-down and all that jazz. These are my emotional reactions to these scents, why I like them and what they mean to me.

My ex and I were shopping in Cheltenham one year when he nipped off on his own and came back with this  boxed and gift wrapped. I felt like I was in Paris with a romantic Frenchman! I look back and realise how lucky I was, although at the time I didn't know any better. I find this scent mature and elegant. It's a lot stronger than my usual perfumes, with incredible staying power. I once smelled it on a woman in the audience at the theatre and wondered if it was too old for me. I'm starting to grow into it now.

Eau Ressourçante by Clarins
My second bottle of this and I also have a spare waiting in the wings. Another Christmas present originally but one that mum picked out for me. After initial reservations it became a firm favourite for a couple of years (subsequently superseded). It's described as 'rebalancing' and that's absolutely spot-on. Refreshing without being sharp. You just have to smell it. Buy it in January when the gift set of perfume, body lotion and body wash goes in the sale – all three products are to die for. 

Aqua Allegoria in Mentafollia by Guerlain
I squirrelled away a sample of this and strung it out for a long time before finally tracking down a bottle to receive as a Christmas present. It's an unusual scent  quite minty and aftershavey but feminine not masculine. I still like it but don't often wear it. The bottle's terribly pretty but the metal flakes off beneath the stopper.

Truth by Calvin Klein
Another present from the ex and one that I asked for based on those little fold-over perfume tabs you get in magazines (there seem to be less and less of them these days – gutted – I love them!). This is so old it's changed colour. It still smells fine and I don't care if it has gone off, I'll never throw it away. Another fairly strong scent but infinitely more interesting than the other CK offerings in my opinion. Very much an 'evening' scent. I never wear it as it transports me back in time about 10 years, which is far too disconcerting.

Ralph by Ralph Lauren
Another signature scent from years gone by, this smells very young and fruity without being cloying or sickly. I think we discovered this at the same time but my best friend Casey has been wearing it ever since and at this point I'd say it's very much 'her' perfume.

Kelly Calèche by Hermès (Eau de Toilette)
I love this so much that I almost don't want to tell you about it, lest you all go out and procure a bottle. It's not like it's my secret, but I don't know anyone else who wears Kelly Calèche (and I don't wish to!). The scent, oh the scent! It does things to me. I seem to remember it described as floral with a hint of leather. It's heaven. If I designed a fragrance for myself, picked the bottle, chose the box, picked the brand... this would be it. This is my second bottle and it's almost finished. I need more. I MUST HAVE MORE! 

Deep in the midst of my obsession with the Eau de Toilette version I started thinking 'Eau De Parfum? Stronger? MORE?' and thus found myself on eBay buying the biggest bottle of Kelly Calèche I could get my greedy hands on without ever having smelt it. Turns out it's not simply a stronger version of the Eau de Toilette – it's different. Still good, but not as good as the original. The base is the same but there's a little something extra in there too. More of a berry element. Anyway, I sometimes wear this alone or combined with the Eau de Toilette for additional depth and staying power.

It's amazing the affect a perfume can have on you. In smelling and describing the meaning of these scents I feel as though I've just shown you a piece of my soul. It smells like Kelly Calèche. Don't leave me out here on my own: tell me what you think. What are your favourite scents? Which perfumes take you back in time to another version of yourself? I'd really love to know.


  1. Love this post - I feel the same about perfumes - one whiff and you're right back to 5-10 years ago! Scary! I used to use CK Truth and Ralph also. I think I had a bottle of Allure as well, but it always seemed too grown up for me. I am now loving Chanel Chance and the L'Eau version for summer.

  2. Great perfume collection. Funny because I don't think I've tried most of those fragrances. Must give some of them a try.

  3. LOVE this post & I'll definitely be checking out the book. Am a massive perfume addict & went to Grasse this summer.
    Kelly Caleche always reminds me of my mum (in a good way!) & I adore Hermes perfumes, although I don't yet own any myself. My favourites are orientals, particularly those by Miller Harris.

  4. they say that the sense of smell is the strongest trigger for memories.

    Tommy Girl perfume INSTANTLY takes me back to being 16 and the flirty fun girl that I was in high school. I came across a bottle of it the other day in a store and had a huge smile.

    Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier is an instant turn on. I love men with it on, something about that scent screams handsome sexy guy. I've almost broke my neck from whiplash when I turn towards it in a club.

    coco mademoiselle is my mom all of the way. i smell it and totally think of her.

    I Love Love by Moschino was my signature scent in Miami with it's wonderful citrus scent and it brings back memories of sitting at the Rock with my friends and flirting with football players.

    fun times



I love reading your comments!