On this cold and windy morning, I invite you to take a look into the past…
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
Le Feu d’Issey
Narciso Rodriguez For Her
Prada L’Eau Ambree
This is a list of perfumes I was wearing regularly over years, in the times before I was interested in the deeper machinations of fragrance. Yes, there was a (dark and cruel) time, where perfume was nothing more than a “one bottle a year, maybe an extra at the duty-free ” kind of thing for me. I wore it almost daily, but without thinking about it, it was an automated gesture, necessary for making myself presentable, like brushing my hair or applying mascara.
When I look over this list, I still like most of these, no truly bad choices among the lot. (I dimly remember some Benetton concoction in my teens, but surely we don’t have to go back that far, do we?)
For some time now, I have been reading, writing and living perfume, day in, day out. I know a lot more now, my taste has evolved alongside my broadened horizon, but I still like these fragrances.
I thought looking back would be a little like these horrible class pictures from the eighties and nineties, that make you cringe and want to hide in shame. The hair, the clothes, my God, that is how we ventured out?
Not so with my old perfumes.
That shows me, what a good fragrance is about. Not fashion, not spur of the moment, but a deeper reflection of our sensibilities and tastes, of what we like, of what suits us, what stays with us over the long haul. I simply did not have access or even knowledge about the perfumes I know now (Puredistance anyone?), but I knew what I liked and I need not be ashamed of that years later. I feel proud, that I can trust myself to know what I like, what suits me well and compliments my personality and appearance. A little self- appreciation now and then can’t be a bad thing, can it?
I wish the perfume industry would acknowledge the still existing desire in many people, not only me, I suspect, to find and keep a fragrance for a lifetime. The current (bad) habit of launching and discontinuing perfumes in quick succession, destroys memories and cheapens the emotional as well as the economical value of perfume dramatically. Even if I test several scents a day now, even if I am constantly on the prowl for obscure and interesting perfumes, I would still be devastated to lose any of the above. They are a part of me and my life, they take me back to times otherwise long forgotten in just a whiff. They would be sorely missed.
Perfume is precious, I wish it would be treated as such, one would think that to be especially true for those who create it.
What a great list! I really like the original Prada, and just bought myself L’Eau Ambree (un-sniffed even!)—in fact, there’s nothing on your “pre-perfumista” list to embarrass a card-carrying fume-head (I love Ms. Puckrik too), unlike my early choices, which I will never, ever, tell anyone about. 😉
Thank you! I still love Eau Ambree, it is so comforting in winter, isn’t it?
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