At the risk of appearing shallow, self-absorbed and self-indulgent …

You love me already, I can tell.  Hopefully you’ll come around once I’ve explained.  What you’re looking at, right here, is a photo of a bottle my perfumeof perfume.  Alas, a virtually empty bottle of perfume.

A perfume with a scent so heavenly, so unique, so intoxicating, so irresistible, so evocative, so absolutely divine I get asked, all the time, by total strangers, men and women alike, what I’m wearing.  One time a woman followed me for two blocks, until I had to stop at a red light, just to tell me how much she loved my cologne; and to ask for the name.

This is not my ego speaking, honest.  I am someone who has a really difficult time finding a fragrance that doesn’t turn on me.  You know, isn’t so sweet it makes you gag or even worse, just goes rancid the minute it hits my skin.

Several years ago, when I was reeling after the perfume I was wearing back then which, Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Day 126. No Thanks

Quite a while back I wrote about my adventures, and misadventures, with perfume.  I’m on the hunt again, as it turns out.  The store where I found my last, great Sfragrance is now out of business; and it’s not available anywhere else in Toronto.  Woe is me.

This being the season when men buy perfume for women (and vice versa), yesterday’s Toronto Globe & Mail had a special section on fragrance.  Perfect timing for me.  Before I get too far along in this story, I’ll just mention I’ve written about fragrance in my careers as both a copywriter and publicist.  But never, ever, have I written, or read, a description like the one I’m about to share.

The fragrance is “Black Saffron”.  It has been created by Byredo Parfums, a Stockholm-based fragrance house, founded in 2006.  What you’re about to read is verbatim.  It is exactly what was said in the newspaper.  I mean it:

“Always expect the unexpected from this Sweden-based niche label with Canadian DNA (founder Ben Gorham grew up in Oakville, Ont.).  Black Saffron gives off spice and leather and if you inhale deep enough, you might even smell rubber tires.  Finishing with a delicate veil of violet.  It proposes a striking variation on sexy.”

Rubber tires?  A striking variation on sexy?  No kidding.  Yours, by the way, for a mere $235 for 100 ml (3.381 US fluid ounces). For the record, I went and gave it a sniff yesterday.  It smelled exactly like tires.  Insane.  Gross.

Forget the price for a minute.  What woman wants to smell like a BF Goodrich all-season radial?  And what man wants his Continue reading

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