5.3.08

In Which I Get All Sniffy

I've never been much of a girl for what I call 'done-upness'. Despite the fact that the name of my blog features them, I've never yet met a stiletto I liked, and pencil skirts can sometimes be a pain in the arse for anyone who, like me, likes to take her stairs two at a time without getting scared that something will rip*. However, my general apathy towards old-school beauty rituals is rather lost when it comes to perfume.
Nine perfumes out of ten (probably more, if I were to be honest), smell more or less the same. And it doesn't help anyone's case that they just get sold so much, to the point that they become more easily identifiable by their ad campaigns/endorsers, than their topnotes. One shiny glass bottle after another, it's so easy to get bored...except with a very tiny handful of perfumes that, for me, seemed to work just fine. The first among these was (no surprises, if you looked at the picture above)
Anaïs Anaïs. I got my first bottle when I was thirteen, when the kick of owning it came as much from the fact that this was one bit of frippery I could get away with wearing to school because it didn't count as makeup, as from the smell itself (which was amazing...I may just have a weird nose, because more often than not, Anaïs Anaïs smelled more than a little like wet dust to me- a pretty awesome smell if I say so myself), and the bottle- I loved its old-fashioned look. There's never been anything quite like it- it was my first experience with scent of any kind, and too many of the so-called 'fresh, floral' scents I sniff on occasion are just so...generic in comparison to it). I don't use perfume quite as often now (bad experiences with a broken bottle had something to do with that), though I did briefly try Miss Dior Chérie, which smelled like toffee pudding, and Lanvin's Vetyver (I didn't know it was a guy's perfume! But I do like vetiver..) but nothing quite matches up to it.

*this doesn't mean that I don't wear them. I just like my clothes with a bit of room to maneouevre around in, that's all.
Image from www.johnlewis.com

12 comments:

Y said...

You're right about women's perfumes -- so many of them smell the same. Some of the fancy ones my dad would get for my mum used to make me sneeze!

As a little kid I would mix up perfumes from the testers and ask my mother if my invented perfumes smelled good!

I liked the colognes my dad used to buy: Dune, Hermes, and Armani.

[I take stairs two at a time too. And I like it when they end on an even number. Hehe.]

enc said...

Perfume . . . so powerful. The olfactory sense is said to be one of the strongest, scents returning us to specific times/events in our lives. Small wonder that you are attached to your beloved AnaïsAnaïs. And I don't think it matters if you like and/or wear a men's scent; many women do it.

Suzanna Mars said...

Oh, there is a whole world out there beyond the generic scents that all smell alike.

Cacharel is an interesting brand, because they were so European (Lou Lou!) and quite different to what was being aimed at the same demographic in America. Even the discontinued Gloria was a risk-taker. This was a mass-market brand that did not pander to the LCD.

I'm going to direct you over to luckyscent.com, where you can browse away at all manner of very idiosyncratic scents that contain dust, sunlight, dried grass, voodoo mosses, and violets that tough out hard concrete pavements.

riz said...

I too will visit luckyscent.

I am afraid I have no clue about the art of perfumery...i'm so lame about it. Coco Chanel once said a woman who doesn't wear perfume is "hopeless" (harsh!)

Stephie said...

As with shoes, bags and dresses, my obsession with perfume goes a pretty long way from what I can afford. I currently have ralph lauren romance (my favourite), chanel mademoiselle (i blame that damned keira knightley ad for being so alluring...), YSL babydoll (lovely scent!), marc jacobs by marc jacobs...

I did a little calculation and if you divide a Chanel perfume by its contents amount, one spritz is SGD2! That's a lot of money for beauty...

susie_bubble said...

I think ppl are very careless when it comes to perfume and a lot of modern scents are really not very interesting at all.. I love more evocative/intense scents...Guerlain does some nice ones as does Nina Ricci....

I've never smelt Anais Anais but it sounds lovely...

headmistress said...

anais anais is one I've always looked over precisely because of its old fashioned look - I do like pretty packaging! But the smell of wet dust! ah, next to old books, that has to be a favourite and must take a sniff.

I agree, so much smells the same, sweet, fruity, tacky stuff... then you have this huge splurge of 'celeb' perfumes - I can't understand who would buy them. They all smell like the deodorant I used when I was 11.

Perfume is such a personal and evocative thing though - people should choose them with care and sincerity.

Designing Millie said...

My favorite Aunt use to always wear Anais Anais. I'm in love with the scent. One time she bought my sister a bottle. I was so envious(Being five years younger, I wasn't quite old enough for perfume yet).Mmmmmmm...I can smell it right now. I wonder why I've never bought myself a bottle?

Elisabeth said...

I love perfume; I did have a phase of wearing Anais Anais, but as with all perfumes I found something I liked better!

And I like to have an excuse to not use the stairs - so it's pencil skirts all the way!

MASALA CHAI said...

It's my mum's favourite perfume :)

I think I tend to pick vannila-esque fragrances. I like to smell like cake. :P

Now I use Ferragamo's Incanto Charms (blue one) - apparently I don't mind smelling like mangoes either.

evie said...

anais anais is one of my favourite perfumes. i have one and a half (!!) bottles on my dresser to prove this

berenike said...

Issey Miyake, or Kenzo's Le Monde est Beau

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Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.