Fragrance. This is something that can be incredibly evocative and bring up so many emotions, whether that’s because of the formulation or even because of the memories associated with it. This can be traced back to when the Egyptians began incorporating fragrances and natural plants into ointments and other medical aids. Here’s a piece from TriedTestedLoved about how fragrances can trigger emotions.
Despite the various subtle and not so subtle pressures to keep buying new fragrances, there are still some of us who are seriously attached to some classic perfumes we’ve grown up with.
The so-called signature scent is alive and well and some people never waver from their dream perfume. Or you may have a real fragrance wardrobe – scents for going out, scents for work, a light perfume for daytime and a seductive one for hot dates. But perhaps, like me, you find that there are some perfumes you just keep going back to over and over again?
I haven’t figured out why it is – there is probably some scientific explanation, but fragrance can be like a favourite song – triggering memories or emotions every time. You know the feeling when it smells so familiar and so comfortable that everything feels better? That’s how some perfumes work for me, anyway.
“You know the feeling when it smells so familiar and so comfortable that everything feels better? That’s how some perfumes work for me, anyway.”
And on certain occasions, you may have it all planned out – the outfit, the shoes, the perfume, and then all of a sudden, you find yourself spritzing that nearly empty bottle of an old favourite! Subconsciously or subliminally, who knows. But it happens and usually its a good thing.
I’d like to think my tastes in fragrance have evolved and matured, but at times I wonder if that is true? Naturally, reviewing products and working with fragrance means there is some element of impartiality (!!) and even when I don’t love how something smells, I can appreciate a well-balanced juice and analyse how it changes in a more mature way than just thinking YUK.
But the part of the brain that gently nudges you towards or away from scents, that warns you instinctively whether something is for you or not is way beyond our personal control. So, impulse buying a wonderfully packaged product can override your natural inclination and sometimes you just have to have it. Later on, as the fragrance evolves, you may find your nose rejects this rash acquisition and by then you’re pretty much stuck. That has happened to me so many times – I bought perfumes with my eyes. But not any more!
“But the part of the brain that gently nudges you towards or away from scents, that warns you instinctively whether something is for you or not is way beyond our personal control.”
Conversely, if the senses continue to direct you towards a perfume, just go with it. Trying to understand why can be complicated, but somehow your brain knows you better than you think. I will always love Happy by Clinique, precisely because it lifts my spirits.
And Escape by Calvin Klein just reminds me of holidays and laid-back living. But a newer favourite is Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent… I’m on bottle number 3. And there are many other bottles that I love that are still half empty…
So, with Christmas coming and a whole raft of new fragrances launching soon, this is a fabulous time to search for something new!
There will be articles about the “best new perfumes for 2019” and “What you should be wearing this holiday season” coming out of our ears. I recommend we embrace the newness and see what’s out there, maybe even treat yourselves too. But even if you don’t find that amazing new scent not to worry. Remember, the love of your fragrance life might be sitting on your dressing table right now, waiting for you to rediscover it, again and again. The nose knows.