Some scents can evoke our sweetest fondest moments. For me, there are a few that take me back to my childhood.
The smell of the sea makes me feel at home, whether I am in Valencia, where I grew up, in Cornwall or California. It is such a familiar smell for me that it comforts me straight away.
Although my grandma would have never used this, the scent of The White Company's lavender and citrus linen spray (sadly discontinued) made me remember getting into bed at my granny's when I was a child. I bought it in bulk for years, and the last bottle I bought back in 2009 is just about to run out. Sad times!
During my time as a beauty buyer I read somewhere that depending on where you are born/grow up, you are drawn to particular scent families. Apparently, people in northern Europe are more attracted to floral and sweet scents, whilst Mediterranean natives prefer citrus and woody scents. This is a huge generalisation, but there tends to be a bit of truth (even if it is tiny) in most. I grew up drenching myself in Royal Ambree, which was incredibly citrusy. My dad used to wear Armani's Eau pour Homme, which has a delicious lemon or lime undertone. Every time I smell it, it takes me back to my teenage years.
Probably my exception to this rule would be my very first perfume, Anais Anais by Cacharel. Oh, how I used to love it, from the beautiful bottle to its strong scent. When I broke up with my boyfriend at the time, he asked me to spray a hairband with it so he could wear it around his wrist and remember me. Awwww, the first love!
My favourites now
I went through a minimalist stage when I wore one fragrance 24/7. I think I thought it made me special, to have "my" scent, ha ha. However, (and thankfully) in recent years I have discovered a handful of perfumes that I really love. There are no surprises there and they are all either fresh or woody, like the good Mediterranean girl that I am :)
I am on my fourth bottle of this and I absolutely love it. It is fresh, has a subtle floral fragrance and I have worn it so much that I can't smell it anymore, which is the saddest thing. It is a scent that I don't think anyone would ever get bored of and a firm favourite of so many people that it is often raved about on the internet.
Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet
This isn't currently in my possession, with the exception of a small sample size tube, but if I had to choose one fragrance for the rest of my life I think this would be it. Despite its masculine look, it is actually a unisex fragrance. It was created in 1902 by Penhaligon's, named after Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, where I coincidentally used to work, and the reason why I smelled this in the first place. Its head notes are lime, lemon and lavender, and then black pepper gives it a punch and some depth. Quite an expensive one, but if you are into fragrances, such a treat.
Tom Ford Santal Blush
This is a very special perfume, and one that may not be for everyone, as it is quite intense. I try to see past the packaging, but perfume bottles are decorative items in our bedrooms and bathrooms, and this is a beautiful bottle to look at. I only wear this in the evenings, and never in the summer, and although it was expensive (I bought it at the airport duty free), you only need three sprays: one behind each earlobe and one on your wrist.
My brother, who has an obscene perfume collection, recently introduced me to Dyptique, and has given me samples of Tamdao and Eau Duelle, both of which I love. The first has sandalwood and the second a very sophisticated vanilla fragrance. I am not as into sweet scents as he is, but I would definitely make an exception for Eau Duelle.
What are your favourite perfumes?