Robyn wore Carolina Herrera. Beth wore Quelques Fleurs. Lara wore Moschino and Bijan. Mary Nell wore whatever I left on my vanity. Do you want me to keep going? I can name the perfumes of all my friends from high school and college. I bet you can name a few, too. I have been wearing perfume since the days of Jean Nate and Love’s Baby Soft. I get it honestly; my mother is a connoisseur of perfume. She has a black belt in fragrance.
What do you wear just on a normal day? What do you wear at night when you are going out? What do you wear when you are trying to cover up the fact that you didn’t shower today?
Are you monogamous to one perfume? Do you have a “signature” scent? Or, do you play the field like me, unable to commit to a single fragrance exclusively. So many questions, so little time.
Let’s get to the heart of the matter. People wear perfume to be noticed. Some people get a sheepish grin when they are asked, “What perfume are you wearing?” Others sing it from the rooftops. I, for one, am a rooftop singer.
Today’s post is devoted to perfume: what is new, what is old, what is worth trying and what is worth leaving behind at the perfume counter.
Recently, I did a little research on perfume while at a perfume store in Louisville, KY. With over 1,000 perfumes, it was a glorious one hour smell-extravaganza. I smelled all the new, all the old, all the good, the bad and the just plain ugly. I loved doing this perfume “tasting”. Instead of spraying it on you or into the air, they spray on an individually wrapped cotton ball in tissue paper with a ribbon. I love going to a smaller parfumerie rather than a big department store. The knowledge-base alone of the people working there is worth it. They know every product, inside and out and they can guide you through the very overwhelming process of picking a fragrance.
Between each smell, you “cleanse your palette” by smelling coffee beans. I’m thinking about putting something like this on my bedside table so that I can smell coffee first thing without having to trudge downstairs to make it.
After over an hour of sensory overload, here is my report. I will discuss what is new and trending for fall, what is classic and what to avoid.
For the last five years, the most popular perfumes have been fruity and floral. Perfumes this spring and summer have smelled like a “cocktail in a bottle” according to Korina, the manager of Perfumes Plus. They have the smells of coconut, pineapple and are “good enough to eat.” She then informed me (please sit down for this) that the most popular perfume in Louisville is ….Jessica McClintock. That pained me as much to write it as it probably pains you to read it. Let’s move on to better things.
The perfumes coming out this fall are falling into two categories. First is a return to the old fashioned powdery or rosy smell that was once considered “old lady.” Second, the tanning lotion smell is giving way to a more spicy scent. Spicy perfumes are unique in that they have edible smells: chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, licorice, caramel and patchouli. Just writing this makes me a little hungry.
Here are some perfumes to try this fall:
There is another movement in perfume land and that is Unisex fragrances, meaning both men and women can wear them.
Recently, Dolce & Gabbana launched their Anthropology line, geared towards men and women.
These perfume names are based on tarot cards, and obviously massive amounts of seduction are included in each bottle. I’m going to go with #10 La Roue de La Fortune as the best smelling of the bunch. Sorry Naomi and Claudia and my other shirtless come-hither men.
While we are on the subject of unisex perfume, I came across something a little surprising in my smelling rampage.
I liked a men’s cologne the best for me. I bought it and have worn it exclusively for two weeks. The secret’s out friends.My perfume sherpa Korina asked me what I wore, and what I liked and she directed me right to it. Now it is in a pink bottle, so it looks like it has been misfiled. It is Rochas for Men.
While we are at it, here’s another men’s cologne you can steal. It’s the new Chanel Bleu.
Here are some classics that you should try or revisit this fall. Some are new, and some are “vintage.”
Let’s begin with the gold standard: Chanel. All of their perfumes are great; the one below is it’s ace in the hole.
Another perfume powerhouse is Gucci. I love all their perfumes as well. This one below is great for fall.
And, you cannot go wrong with Prada. This is a spicy unique amber cologne.
Hermes makes a nice perfume selection as well. I smelled a little horse leather in this one. Or maybe I was just dreaming of my future Birkin bag.
Kai is a hometown favorite, recommended by many friends. It was an Oprah favorite.
This is my favorite nighttime perfume. Smell it and you will see why.
Advice on celebrity perfumes:
Steer clear of the Paris Hilton, J Lo Glow, Tim McGraw and Faith, Jessica Simpson, Marge Simpson, and, um …can’t keep track because everyone has a perfume that has ever been on camera anymore. There is only one “celebrity” perfume that is acceptable.
Let me leave you with these final thoughts. Think about wearing something that is not necessarily so popular, but something that you love and that smells good on you. Don’t be afraid to go back to your old classics; they will not remember that you broke up with them. I bought a perfume recently that I have not worn in 20 years and it still smells great.
Look forward to smelling all of you soon.