December’s issue of Vogue has a rare little glimpse into the world of Kate Moss. A collage of snap shots of her home and favorite things. These include a classic 911S black Porshe, a portrait that Mario Testino took of her and her daughter, more Louboutins than you can count (including a pair he named So Kate) some Playboy bunny ears and a dog named Archie. What caught my attention though was that Kate mentions how she will always put Chanel No 5 on after a bath or before bed! I can’t decide if that is lavish and over the top or fabulously glamorous!
I have often heard people say that they think Chanel No 5 smells like ‘old lady perfume’ and frankly those who say that probably don’t ever deserve to wear it. Chanel No 5 is the ultimate in fragrance, the epitome of elegance. I imagine the woman who wears it to be confident, beautiful, intelligent, sashaying through the streets of Paris layered with class and sophistication. Apparently the depth, complexity and vastness of the notes used in Chanel No 5 make it an enigma for even the most distinguished of noses. The holy grail of fragrance that every woman should wear at least once in her life, non? (insert French accent.) Not that you should need any more convincing but this clip “Train de Nuit” with Audrey Tautou is perfection.
A friend of mine recently wrote a wonderful post on perfume (read here) and has impressively tried her hand at making it! I cannot wait to see and smell the results, I think it is such a wonderful and fascinating process. I can’t think of anything more evocative than perfume? There is such art and beauty in fragrance, just one sniff can transport you to a time, place, person or memory and for me it’s one of the best ways to feel nostalgic, so much so that sometimes a certain fragrance can stir up some serious emotion. We all have our favorites and for me it doesn’t ever really get better than Chanel (just generally) but 2014 saw me try out a couple others which I really enjoyed and wanted to share with you as well as the old faithfuls…
Allure – Chanel
This is a long time favorite and reminds me of my sister, Kim, rummaging through her closet and “borrowing” her shoes in our London days. I find Chanel perfumes difficult to define, they have a sophistication and uniqueness about them that I just don’t ever find in other brands. Allure has a warmth and creaminess to it with base notes of vanilla and amber. Layered with fine floral middle notes of jasmine, rose and iris, feminine but not too sweet. Then there are those top notes of bergamot, mandarine and pink pepper which make it fresh, lively and wearable anytime of day or night. It really is just heavenly.
Coco Mademoiselle – Chanel
A fresh patchouli, oriental scent and a nod to the spirit of the young Coco Chanel. Notes of Patchouli, vetiver, musk, lychee, rose, jasmine, orange, grapefruit and bergamot probably tell you nothing about the overall smell of it so I’ll say that it is gorgeous, sexy, fresh and romantic. My only problem with this fragrance is it is too popular and when you begin to smell a perfume everywhere it loses it’s Allure (see what I did there ; )). I will always love it though, I got more compliments from people when wearing this than any other fragrance but a little time apart will be good, I have no doubt we will rekindle like old flames in the future…
Narciso Rodriguez for Her
Beau bought this for me last Christmas and not only is it stunning but it is a special one for me because I met him once (unabashed bragging) back in the day before he had his own collection and fragrance. I worked for a Boutique on Bond St called Loewe, he was the Design Director for their ready to wear collection at the time. He popped in once and chatted to us mere mortals on the shop floor for a bit…if only I knew then what I know now! I am going to be bold and label this fragrance a ‘modern classic’and this is another one that has showered me in many a compliment. (I will repurchase this in the future but will opt for the pink bottle which is the parfum as opposed to the toilette as I felt it lacked longevity.) Here we have a velvety musk undertone with softer fruits and flowers and yes I do detect the warmth of amber and vanilla. It’s definitely ‘clean’ and conjures up the clean lines and minimalist palette of his designs whilst managing to keep threads of softness and femininity running through, reminding me of something wrapped up in soft ballet pink tissue paper…
Golden Delicious – DKNY
I must confess, I am not a fan of DKNY fragrances and don’t like the other flavours in this range (there’s the original one, a pink one and this golden one) and it should also be said that I wouldn’t have bought it if it wasn’t half price at the time but it turned out to be quite lovely and I really enjoyed using it when I went away to the beach. Sandalwood, tuberose, Casablanca lily, apple and orange flower make this a very fresh and easy wearing scent, a little sweet and summery, uncomplicated but perhaps that’s the problem, nothing too ‘evoke worthy’ means I won’t ever repurchase this but we did have some laughs together…
The wonderful world of perfume, it’s such a personal thing isn’t it? I love how our skin and chemistry can alter a fragrance. Two people wearing the exact same perfume can smell different, each reaction creating something completely unique. Choosing a fragrance is a arduous and daunting task, here are a few pointer’s I’d like to make when buying perfume;
1. Have a think about what kind of smells you enjoy – sweet, spicy, musky, floral, fresh, earthy ect. Ask a perfume shop attendant to put you in the direction of a couple of those that you like. 2. If shopping for perfume don’t wear strong lotions or other fragrances (obviously)! 3. Have a sniff at some perfume bottles, establish a couple that you like and spray them on a paper stick, then go away and smell them after a little while. Being in the shop can be overwhelming and confusing on your senses. 4. Once you have a couple favorites, spray on your wrist, a different one on each wrist but no more, then see how it smells on your skin in an hour or so. 5. Samples! If they have available take them home and try the scent over a couple days. Perfume is expensive and one shouldn’t buy it on impulse. 6. Take your time, perfume is not only expensive but a personal thing you want it to inspire and accentuate your personality not overwhelm it.
A word of caution: overly sweet sickly or spicy perfumes can make those around you want to gag so it’s also a good idea to be considerate.
And now that I have both feet firmly in 2015 (the transition took me a while) what fragrances are on my radar for the year ahead you may ask? There are so many possibilities but a few that have been making me swoon are: Chanel’s Coco Noir, Tom Ford’s Black Orchid, My Burberry, Giorgio Armani’s Si and perhaps a little throw back to the 90’s – does anyone remember Dior’s Dune? Now we’re talking memories… a little girl stealing spritzes of her sister’s perfume far to desperate to be all grown up all too quickly…
A very happy (and fragrant) 2015 to you all!