Perfume and Me – my longest love affair

When I’m asked the question do I leave my house without make-up my answer often surprises people. I’m happy to leave the house without make-up but I absolutely cannot leave the house without a good few spritzes of fragrance. I am officially declaring myself a fragrance addict with a collection of over 100 bottles and counting. For some perfumes I even have one ‘on the go’ and one in my stash.

My earliest memories of perfume are of Avon – namely Pretty Peach and Sweet Honesty. The perfume of choice for my mum was Avon Timeless – I loved their little catalogue of treats. I also had the Max Factor plastic dome with a velour black cat and a tiny bottle of scent – I don’t recall the scent but I loved that cat. Next came Miss Dior and then the rites of passage perfumes of the eighties including Lou Lou, Paloma Piccasso and not forgetting the delightful perfume oils from the Bodyshop. My favourite oils were White Musk and Patchouli. Fast forward to the present day and perfumes are more important to me than ever. I liberally fragrance myself and our house and I have an abundance of candles and room sprays but I’ll save those for another post. I’m also often caught sniffing fabric softeners in the supermarket like a mad woman!!!
My wardrobe of fragrances varies but is certainly more weighted towards the heavier, heady scents. I have adored the Middle Eastern style Oud perfumes ever since I worked in Harvey Nichols in the 90’s. They are now readily available from many well known brands although they always come with a significant price tag. I’ve chosen just five of my favourite and most frequently spritzed perfumes for this post.

Jack Eau de Parfum
This relative newcomer to the world of perfume was created by the actor Richard E. Grant. His obsession with sniffing everything – be it flowers, fabrics or books led him to launch this unisex bottle of gorgeousness! As a child, like many of us, he had soaked rose petals in water with the hope he was engineering a great odour – like all of us he was left with a rank smelling, slimy mess.
Jack by Richard E. Grant
Jack by Richard E. Grant
I believe this is a seriously sexy fragrance in an earthy, non-perfumey way. Citrus notes of Lime and Mandarin lead to Pepper and Nutmeg. The base notes are Oud, Vetiver, Tobacco and Olibanum resin. This is truly an unusual scent that has been created from Richard’s life-long passion for smells and is happily shared by both of us in my household.

Tom Ford Sahara Noir Eau de Parfum
Mourning the discontinuation of Mr Ford’s Amber Absolute I snapped this up as soon as it was launched. Similar in strength and staying power, I instantly fell in love. The juice inside this gold bottle reminds me of churches, warm wood and long hot summer evenings. Inspired by the notes of incense which permeate the air throughout the Middle East. Notes such as Frankincense, Rose Absolute, Jasmin, Oud and Amber give a multi-dimensional long-lasting perfume. Although this is one of my heaviest fragrances I do not keep this for evenings only. I wear it when I want to feel enveloped, protected and in control.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Piment Brûlant Eau de Toilette
This perfume is truly original and I have never inhaled anything exactly like it. Inspired by the Aztec xocotatl which is a bitter cocoa and chilli drink rumoured to be imbibed by the warrior king Montezuma.  A blend of Cocoa, Vanilla (but not overpowering as I generally don’t like Vanilla), Clove and Poppy with a fiery shot of Chilli. This juice is fiery and sharp when sniffed. I am generally quite good at picking out individual notes in perfumes but I think very few people would be able to identify the notes in this wonderful concoction.

Laboratory Perfumes Amber No. 001 Eau de Toilette
This was the first perfume to come out of this English perfume house. This by far is my most ” Ooh what perfume are you wearing?” scent. Initially I was attracted to this brand for their laboratory glass containers – so stylish and simple but I have totally fallen in love with this perfume. Not as heavy and heady as the other Amber type fragrances in my collection, this is powdery and long lasting. It reminds me of the smell of vintage powder compacts and is as comforting to me as the biggest, softest cashmere jumper. Green spicy top notes, earthy notes, layers of woody notes and Ambergris give this perfume it’s ever evolving sensual scent. Although this scent is the newest into my fragrance wardrobe I am already on my third bottle.

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne
Who knew that Pomegranates could smell so good? I’ve never really been a fan of fruit-based fragrances but this expertly blended juice is rich and sensual. A blend of Pomegranate, Raspberry and plum are present in the top notes, Clove is the main middle note that I can smell and some of my favourite notes appear on the dry down, namely Patchouli, Cedar and Amber. I can’t even begin to tell you how many bottles of Pomegranate Noir I have used and let’s not talk about the number of Pom Noir candles I’ve burned.

I’d love to hear if any of my choices are your favourites or perhaps now you know my perfume profile you may have a new recommendation for me. After all there’s always room for one more!!!

9 thoughts on “Perfume and Me – my longest love affair

  1. ha! Loved body shop and esp Dewberry. TF my perfume of choice is Santal Blush (now on my third much loved bottle) Great post!

  2. We share a very similar taste in fragrance! I adore oud, patchouli, vetiver, Amber, cedar… I also like vanilla though, but usually when it’s nicely mingled with a sexier, more sophisticated base.

    I can’t wait to try Jack now, hoping they’ve got it in Leeds Harvey Nics!

    Have you tried Atelier Cologne’s Gold Leather? It’s an interesting one – tobacco, leather, rum… It smells like a gig, in the best way. I’m addicted to it, but have ran out. At the moment I’m using a totally different fragrance – Diptyque L’ombre Dans L’eau – its such a departure from my usual faves but it’s just so moreish.

    Faith x

    1. Faith – I also have L’Ombre dans l’eau too – how funny
      I’m not sure whether Jack is in H Nics
      Definitely Liberty and Selfridges.
      I will have to go sniff out Atelier Cologne
      Thx so much for your comments .

  3. Hi Nikki. I love this post! I am a sucker for fragrance too but with 2 girls of 21 and 15 – I’m lucky to even get to the end of a bottle before it’s swiped and I never see it again! I need to have a lock and key for my perfumes and makeup because my girls are beauty magpies 🙂 I laughed when I read about the velour black cat because that was the first perfume my brother ever bought my mum with his own pocket money! It had a little faux emerald on it if I remember? Mum still has the empty bottle of it somewhere! I haven’t tried any of your faves listed but I am a sucker for ‘beachy’ smells – things that remind me of warm days, suntan lotion and cocktails…my happy things! Currently wearing Clarins Eau de Jardins and also love Rodrigo Narcissus Essence which is divine. Great post! xx

    1. I’m lucky to keep mine to myself – I’m so glad someone remembers the max factor cat !!! And yes I remember the emerald and I think they had different colour stones.
      I presume you’ve tried Bobbi Brown Beach perfume – it’s perfect for you !

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