Of all the senses …

… the one I think is the most seductive, even more than ‘touch’, is our sense of smell. It is certainly the most evocative, at least it is for me. And it’s the most smelldifficult to capture with words. Which is why writing copy for a perfume can be so challenging.

Last week I wrote about memories and some of the triggers that cause them. A friend of mine commented on how scents trigger memories for her. She’s so right. They do. Powerful ones, at that. And then when I was at the market last week one of my first stops was for bread. No sooner did I idle up to the counter, then the sales gal helping me
inhaled deeply, sighed gently, smiled broadly and asked me if I was wearing patchouli.

She was referring to my perfume.

Indeed, it does have patchouli in it.

In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s rather woodsy, or musky. Earthy. I happen to love it; and every fragrance I’ve ever been attracted to has had patchouli as an ingredient. Not that I knew that until I dabbed the last few droplets remaining in my bottle of eau de toilette behind my ears.

Quite a while ago I blogged about the horror of having to find a new perfume after Gucci sold the Saint Laurent

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Day 72. Sniff Sniff

“Two things make the woman unforgettable, their tears and their perfume.”  Sacha Guitry

No, I’m not crying.  And I don’t have a cold.  But thanks for asking.  It’s much worse, actually.  I’m afraid I’m about to have to search for a new perfume, again.  Which can be very traumatic, especially if you’re trying to replace a ‘signature’ fragrance, like I am.

My love affair with perfume began long ago when, as a very little girl, I’d spray myself with my mother’s.  All of them at the same time, usually. Liberally.  Too liberally.  So liberally, it would take more than several scrubbings before I stopped reeking.  At sixteen I discovered Miss Dior.  Its light, citrus, floral scent was perfect for a young woman.

At eighteen I fell in love with Caleche, by Hermes.  Although it had many of the same qualities as Miss Dior it was more sophisticated, more womanly, more worldy.  It was the first fragrance that I considered ‘mine’, and I wore it for years.

It was so important to me, that when my purse was stolen while I was visiting a friend in New York one weekend, the only thing I replaced was the bottle of perfume that had been in it.  Never mind about the cash and the credit cards and even the make-up.  Or my I.D., which I needed to get back across the border to Canada.  Or the handbag, itself, for that matter.  All I wanted was my ‘parfum‘.

That’s what made ‘me‘, feel like ‘me‘.  Even to myself, let alone to others.

I remained loyal until many years later, when a fashion designer I worked with, Leo Chevalier, created a fragrance.  I still remember the day I Continue reading