Spirits of the Scents Past - My First Five Perfumes
There is something so nostalgic about the Holiday Season…I always find that I miss my past, my home, my childhood and my long-lost loved ones the most during this time of the year. So today, Ina of Aromascope and I decided to have a séance of sorts, to evoke Spirits of the Scents Past and to talk about the very first five scents we have owned and loved. According to the family legend, I began to stick my curious nose in my mama’s perfume bottles back when I was still a wee Soviet toddler. I am not quite sure through what, undoubtedly black market, channels my mama managed to obtain the kinds of scents she had, but her vanity table featured quite a collection: Madame Rochas, Climat, Magie Noire, Paris, Anais Anais, some others I cannot remember and, from the late 1980s, Poison…
The moment I laid my eyes on that green box and that purple bottle, the moment I was allowed to take a tiny, careful sniff…I gave my heart to Poison and has loved it ever since. The creaminess, the “roundness”, the robustness and the headiness of that gorgeous juice are incomparable. For an awe-struck little me it was the epitome of Luxury. Twenty years later, I still find Poison to be one of the most, if not the most, striking and opulent perfumes that I know.
After years of being loyal to Poison and Poison smell-alikes (like, for example, Jeanne Arthes Cobra), I was given as a present a perfume called Marina de Bourbon. Created by a real French princess (natch!), it is the only fruity-floral scent I have ever passionately loved. We’ve been through so much together, Marina and I. She was with me when I was the happiest; she was with me when I was in hell of misery and despair. Eleven eventful years later, we are still going strong. If that is not true love, if that is not a real Holy Grail perfume, than I don’t know what is. Oh, and to address the question of how Marina smells…I am not sure if I could even tell you…she smells so familiar, she became a part of me…I perceive her to be shimmery, exquisitely-sweet, soft-golden.
If you found my affection for a fruity-floral scent being rather out of character, then have I got an even bigger surprise for you…when I was twenty, I fell in love with White Linen Breeze by Estee Lauder, and I still love it, the aquatic undertone and all. It smells fresh, airy, gently feminine, a little melancholy…the way this painting by Don Seegmiller looks.
1996 has truly been a fateful year in my life, in bad ways more than in good ones…and it must have been the year when I first realized that I could not be satisfied anymore by owning just one or two scents. It was in 1996 that I first got to know Sotto Voce by Laura Biagiotti. A soft, velvety, subtly-woody, gently-powdery, delicately-sweet, the scent, as the name suggests, has a hushed quality about it. It is understated and incredibly charming. My then-boyfriend liked that perfume so much, he actually wrote a little poem about it…something about whispers and violins…a year later, actually right around this time of the year, the said boyfriend, a temperamental, if not to say rather mentally unstable character, left a huge bouquet of white roses and a bottle of Arden’s True Love (a scent I will not discuss here, because I dislike it intensely) under my door, as a means of saying sorry for something or other...but I digress… ah, those were the days…
At twenty-one, I met Coco. Many bottles later, she is still an important and deeply beloved part of my perfume wardrobe. She is my “go to” perfume when I need to impress, seduce and feel really and truly dressed-up. She is so chic, so warm, so enveloping. She speaks in a soft, husky voice, her trail is spicy and sweet. And, perhaps because she is such an old friend, I find her extremely soothing. Glamorous as she is, she does not complain when I wear her with an old sweater, sans makeup; when I feel sad and lonely, she never fails to comfort me.
Please share your First Five Scents. And then please go to Aromascope to read about Ina’s dark, aquatic past.