March 23, 2011

Rainy Days and Fragrance

Confession: One of my favourite things to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon is to curl up in bed with a slice of chocolate cake or something equally indulgent (Hot Horlicks doesn't cut it) and read about perfume.

I am not a perfume person in the sense where I have a lot of perfume and wear a lot of it. Heck, I don't even know what notes I am smelling half the time! But I do wear a spritz or two on an almost daily basis and have a few perfumes to pick from -- not a large collection, only 3 bottles and a few samples -- but it's enough to keep me from getting bored.

And enough to make me think about buying more.

I am not a big impulse shopper when it comes to perfume. I sniff, I sample, I walk around for a few hours, deliberate and think really hard before I decide on a fragrance. Friends can tell you that it can take me years before I decide on actually purchasing a perfume, driving them absolutely bonkers in the process.

Some of you must be sitting up and going "What the -- ?" after reading that last line. But really, choosing a perfume to wear is somewhat similar to choosing a husband. Fragrance is like wearing an extra layer of skin or having another dimension of your physical appearance. Not only are people going notice and remember how you look like but your scent as well.

Not only do I have to like the scent, but I have to be able to wear it as well. Case in point: Mademoiselle Coco by Chanel. I enjoy this scent on other people and enjoy sniffing it on myself at first spritz, but it gives me a headache after 3 hours or so. It reminds me of the chatty, lively friend whom you enjoy having tea with -- but no longer. Stretch your outing to dinner and you will end up with a headache and a bad mood. I have no idea what is in Mademoiselle (other than perhaps roses) but it's such a busy scent, I can't handle it personally.

There are some scents which I really like but would hold off on buying until I move (permanently or semi-permanently) to a cooler climate. Stuff like my sister's favourite Diptyque perfume, Tam Dao, is something I might consider wearing but is too overpowering for me in Malaysia to even try.

I stick to not-too-complicated scents which won't confuse my nose while I chow down a plate of fried noodles in a busy food court for lunch. This is where I miss my supply of Jo Malone samples. JM makes such uncomplicated and lovely colognes. Lime Basil and Mandarin smells like Lime Basil and Mandarin. Not very romantic or inspired but you know exactly what you are getting. Plus, JM always feels fresh.

I also try not to wear anything too cloying or annoying in the office just in case it annoys my male bosses or gives one of my pregnant colleagues morning sickness. Overly sweet scents are another no-no for me. I enjoy occasional sniffs of some but it's not something I would choose to wear.

I don't go for celebrity perfumes either as they usually smell quite homogeneous and I don't fancy wearing the same perfume as Britney Spears or J. Lo. That said, one of my colleagues actually wears J. Lo's Glow quite nicely although it does make us feel like clubbing for the initial 5 minutes of her entering the office.

On the other hand, I might consider Sarah Jessica Parker's line if I were in a spring climate and had the right hair. (Believe me, hair matters)

My staple for the month has been Christian Dior's J'adore. Not too floral, not too warm, it feels just right with all the heavy rain we have been getting in Sabah lately. Plus, I have been travelling up into the Crocker Range quite often recently and catching whiffs of this on my clothes keeps me warm.

How do you pick your scents?


Steph said...

When I was in Paris and feeling all posh, Mitsuoko was perfect but now that I'm back to my 30 minute meals and denim skirts rather than gourmet cheese and silk scarves I still prefer my l'eau issey. And you know me, can't smell a thing unless you shove it under my nostrils. Sigh.

Eli said...

L'eau Issey is actually on my "Perfumes I Might Buy" list. Apparently there's a Mitsuoko Lotus version but I have no idea where to sample it.

best eye cream said...

fragrance and scents that I like are some of those that are not so strong on the nose and smell.