I can still see the bottle of Hourbigant, Chantilly perfume in its pink and white lace box sitting on the shelf of the local chemist’s. I was about fifteen and it was the first bottle of perfume I ever owned. I remember feeling both grown-up and decadent, and as soon as I dabbed it on (it wasn’t a spray,) I felt instantly sophisticated.
At eighteen I moved to London, sadly, too late to join ‘Swinging London’, the pendulum had already swung, but Biba in all its glory was the crown of Kensington High Street and
I began wearing Biba perfume in a beautiful black glass bottle with its iconic gold logo. It was the sort of bottle that should have remained on an art deco dressing table, not carried back and forth in an overnight bag. After it leaked onto my much-loved suede skirt, I decided a change was needed and started using St Laurent Rive Gauche, a modernistic spray can, which, at the time, seemed to fit my inner-bohemian. (It was the 70s). Sadly when I tried it recently, I found my ‘nose’ has definitely evolved!
Since those years I’ve dabbled with many designer fragrance brands as well as more classic fragrances. I was forever disappointed to find Channel N0 5, just didn’t smell right on me, whilst every Boss perfume I’ve ever worn has resulted in people commenting I smell amazing. And it wasn’t long ago I went out to dinner wearing Narcisco Rodriguez ‘For Her’ and the waiter very apologetically asked the name of the perfume I was wearing, before telling me a story that the moment he fell in love with his girlfriend, she was wearing the same beautiful fragrance.
And of course, fragrance is very evocative. It helps spark the brain to recall moments and memories of events, people and places and the moods of those captured moments.
Let’s face it though; it’s also about brilliant marketing. Put your hand up if you’ve bought a designer fragrance because you really hankered wearing that designer’s mostly unaffordable clothes? My hand is held high. Oh yes! My love of Armani fragrances definitely began in the 90s with a longing for a Giorgio Armani ‘power suit’. I’ve had most Armani fragrances over the ensuing years and have loved them all. Someone once said whoever they were with, if they happened to be wearing Armani ‘She’ I instantly came to mind.
Hanging around an airport duty-free is of course, the most tempting and enticing way to buy perfume and it was Heathrow Terminal 5 I blame for an ongoing passion with Bulgari. I doubt I’ll ever own a piece of Bulgari jewellery, but ‘Au thé Blanc’ has long been a favourite for ‘day wear’ and my current evening favourite is Bulgari’s ‘Goldea’.
But, if I’m honest, I’m not very faithful to a particular fragrance and I’m rather envious of people who say they’ve worn the same perfume for years.
Which brings me to Calvin Klein. Who didn’t love the concept of CK1 – a fragrance designed to work for women and men? Love the fragrance, but not the sharing bit. (I’m an only child.) But oh, it’s the names of Calvin Klein’s fragrances that get me: ‘Contradiction’, ‘Eternity’, ‘Obsessed’…. Wear these and you’ll feel like the heroine of a classic ‘film noir’…..
And now: ‘Woman’. What perfect timing! It’s the first fragrance, created by Raf Simons, since he took over the design ‘helm’ at Calvin Klein. It’s very ‘now’ with its blurb saying it ‘draws inspiration from the Spirit of Empowered Women, a celebration of women, by women’. The advertising campaign uses Lupita Nyong’o and Saoirse Ronan, as well as depicting Sissy Spacek, Eartha Kitt and Katherine Hepburn. “It’s a play of contrasts, as varied as the personas of modern women”. The main ingredients are orange flower petals, eucalyptus acorns and Alaskan cedarwood. It shouts modernity and creativity and guess who just ordered a bottle?
– Because, behind this woman is a desire to move forwards, not accepting the inevitable progress of ageing, but championing the fact that ‘age is just a number’ and being ‘the best I can be’ is about making change. My fragrances move forward with each era of my life and today I’m embracing the energy of life and the power I have and can give.
Buy it from: http://www.fragrancedirect.co.uk 30ml £33.95
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