Saturday, 26 September 2009

Pepper & jasmine

I wish I was one of those people who find a signature scent. There's something very classy about it, and with smell being such a powerful memory trigger I do love the fact that I can always associate some of my friends with a particular perfume. But the fact is that I am a perfume whore - at the present count I appear to have 2 pillow sprays, 1 eau de cologne, 3 body sprays, 2 body splashes, 5 scented oils and 11 perfumes - not to mention untold scented unguents (or 'smellies' as my unimpressed family would call them) and a tendency to borrow my husband's aftershave...

I can at least pride myself on a certain consistency of unusual taste. In the collection above, there are only a handful (courtesy of Chanel, Calvin Klein, Clarins and the Body Shop) that most people would recognise, and they'd be the first to go if I had a cull.

My favourites in type are probably the scented oils, which last better, especially the body shop's old 'woody sandalwood' (bought in Italy after they stopped selling it here) and the Egyptian lotus oil. Hakansson's curious lotion-perfume 'The Scent', though too leaky to take on holiday any more, will always remind me of my wedding and honeymoon with a cheerful, light formula of bergamot and flowers. The kings of odd perfume are of course Comme des Garcons, and I am proud to have converted at least one of my friends to their lovely and subtle rhubarb confection, though not surprised to have few supporters for the industrial no.73. I have winter scents by Lalique, Anna Sui, Kiehl's and Korres, with a preponderance of exotic woods, fig, pepper and jasmine. In summer the winner is alway's Fresh's 'Hesperides', by far the nicest citrus scent I have come across, or one of the floral oils. Maybe I won't provoke strong memory triggers in other people, but at least I have a smell to associate with every place and season.

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