I love having a signature anything. When you're late meeting a friend, a signature drink means there is one waiting for you when you arrive. A signature lipstick can make you feel like Gwen Stefani, only truly yourself when your "face" is on. A signature shoe makes shopping quite easy - your shoe is available in a new color or fabric? You dont even have to try it on. I will never not like a skinny jean (usually Lucky Brand or Gap),
a mongram canvas Louis Vuitton Speedy,
Adidas Shell Toes
A signature scent is an entirely different animal, though. It's not something that you're just covering yourself with. When it's right, it seems like a part of you. It just becomes your smell and the future memories it will trigger in you and in others means you really must love it. I think most of us treasure our high school and college scents as the memories they conjure recapture our youth so exquisitely. Mine are Colors by Benetton, Kors by Michael Kors, and the first Anna Sui.
It requires no psyche-shattering dressing room experience, but it may be more difficult than bra shopping. It's not just trying on a few thing or finding the coolest looking bottle. It takes time. You cant smell ten fragrances at a time - well you can, but your nose quickly becomes numb and you run out of exposed skin on which to test. Find one or two that seem promising, a spritz on each wrist, then spend the rest of the night sniffing. As it settles, is it boring or nauseating? Do you find that you cant stop yourself from sneaking a sniff? You're probably on the right track. This weekend I did a quick scout of Sephora - looking for both a men's and women's scent. I found not a single men's scent that excites me, but found two very promising women's. Jimmy Choo (I so did not want to like this one!) and L'eau de Chloe. Throughout "The Great Gatsby", I could not decide and could not stop sniffing. As we walked up Wisconsin on this hot night, I finally settled on my right wrist, exactly at the moment I was struck by what it reminded of. My college boyfriend (now husband) had a giant bottle of Costco brand shower gel, of which my right wrist now smelled. It was uncanny. It doesnt sound complimentary to say that $75 bottle of perfume smelled like bulk purchased shower gel form the early 90s, but we have been searching for this scent for years. It's so clean, fresh, a little sexy, and a lot nostalgia. Strangely, it doesnt seem dated. It smells like summer, hot sticky nights, laying in bed and talking until sunrise. It's definitely my scent for now.
I am definitely a snob about certain brands, but with perfume, that Roberto Cavalli might be tailor-made for your body chemistry. (Please god, no). I would never consider myself a fan of Juicy Couture clothing, but their perfume on one of my girlfriends is just intoxicating. It is perfect for her - memorable, but not off-putting. Even though scent is so personal, some of my most favorites have been gifts from friends. A lovely floral from Bendels, a spicy and sweet Burberry, a sexy Dior Addict. I save all of the bottles. Not really because I'm a packrat, but because even though the fragrance has aged and is no longer wearable, the essence of the scent is still there. Just enough to savor a few memories. How can I get rid of that?
scents are so hard. I was recently reading in a travel mag about a trip through the middle east focusing just on smells - perfumes and unctions and oils for home and body. It was so interesting - there's this idea of layering scents to achieve different purposes. I'll have to send you the article.
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