“Odours have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odour cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.” ― Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Have you ever had that moment when a scent hits your nose in a sudden burst of intensity, and you now know that your life is changed forever? Scents have marked various phases of my life, I can match every milestone to a smell. My first bottle of ‘perfume’ came in a small clear plastic bag with pink trim alongside a bubble bath and body lotion. Sickly sweet and covered in tinker bell, it marked the still ongoing obsession with Disney’s Peter Pan. After the melted pot of candy became too much, for my more mature 10-year-old self, I moved onto the very austere eau de toilette body sprays. Call on the Body Shop for my scent search, all of which contained very basic notes of ocean and grass.
Christmas in my thirteenth year of life arrived and I was birthed into a full-fledged perfume wearer with a bottle of Tommy Girl from Tommy Hilfiger waiting for me under the tree. I remember just sitting and inhaling the scent too terrified to waste a single drop on my body unless it was a very necessary special occasion. My beloved Tommy Girl got me through my early teens quite nicely. The fresh fruity scent made me feel like I was beach ready, a good accompaniment to my billabong skirt and t-shirt.
Being the strange individual that I am, I then called a family meeting one year to announce that Tommy Girl was now quite beneath me and I needed a women’s perfume. Asking my parents to please take note that DKNY Be Delicious was my new smell as a sophisticated woman (yes we can all laugh now). However, I must say once you have entered into the world of perfume it is very hard to break free of its grip on you, and I can’t say I want it too. From that very first bottle of Tommy Girl to now I have been perfuming obsessed. Now a full connoisseur of the fresh scent I have tried everything from Issey Miyake to Burberry to India Hicks Island night convinced I will bring a man to his knees at one whiff of my collar bone when the right scent is one day found.
My latest obsessions have been the Ellie Saab perfumes. Unexpected in its allure once the mist has gone from bottle to skin. It’s a little sweeter in the bottle but on my skin particularly the scent comes alive. This might not be the case for everyone so do check it out before you dive in and get a bottle. The Zara scents are another firm favourite with me. One is always lurking about in my current scent collection. Zara apple juice is my top Zara perfume pick as it’s lower price bracket and fresh smell means it’s lovely for the chuck in your handbag run around scent. For the guys (we have not forgotten you). Male cologne’s seem to always be a little too heavy on the nose and leaves you gagging rather than taking a deep breath for more. Bvlgari Aqva is quite different, this scent has lead to a man delicately sniffing my brother’s neck in a Woolies aisle and ask what the heck he was wearing. It also leads girls to follow him around a bar inhaling him, as well as more of them to fight over who gets to smell his jersey that he left at the table.
In recent years, however, I have wanted to try my hand at the deeper heavier scents for evening use. This was very new territory for me as I am a fresh scent gal through and through. Having snuffled out the word on the street, I turned to Givenchy and Burberry to find one I might like. The Givenchy Dahlia range is on the heavier side when it comes to their scents. Dahlia Noir has a very strong floral note with an intense core of rose and then pops of citrus. Dahlia Divin, I would describe as having strong Mirabelle notes with white flower and sandalwood undertones. Both of these scents are beautiful and strong and they definitely hold their scent throughout the evening. If the heavy scent is really not for you, but you’re still looking to experiment with different smells Burberry My Burberry is floral and fresh yet still has the undertones of musk which make it slightly deeper, stronger scent for an evening do. Bvlgari Aqva is an undeniable win in the male scent sphere with a fresh smell that lingers beautifully long after you have passed through a room.
People tend to see their scent as an extension of who they are so perfume and cologne’s are not the most experimental types of beauty buys. You find one that works for you and you stick to it. However, I do think just like a new haircut or an experimental pair of shoes. Scents can be a way to step into another persona for the evening and try out a new you.