Growing up as a young girl all I knew about perfume was my underarm deodorant ‘Ballet’, by Yardley. My mom would buy my can every few months after pay day. If I finished it before then, well I would have to wait. I have memories of primary school where I still recall a teacher taking us girls into her back room to discuss personal hygiene. They obviously knew little people would rather have a finger cut off than have a bath. Especially when an episode of Third Rock from the Sun was on. So every morning I would do a quick spritz so I smelled pretty! So for quite a long time, I used my Ballet, by Yardley.
Nowadays we know about the designer brands such as Gucci, Dior, Tom Ford or our good ol’ faithful Estee Lauder. Thanks to beauty and fashion magazines, partnered with the help of advertising. We’re educated on what is out there.
Though there is one other thing I must explain about my Yardley deo. I used to be a ballet dancer, I even danced up until the tender age of 21. Though life gets in the way and now I make the odd appearance at my local dance studio where the class is more of a reminder of why I should rather have stayed home. As a young woman, I loved ballet and when I saw the advert on the box telly. I knew I wanted that deodorant. Quite cute! Obviously a clever marketer used the ballet theme for the deodorant and knew that most young women did ballet and that we all wished that we could do the perfect arabesque. I still remember the advert, a beautifully poised ballerina danced across the screen and sprayed her ballerina body with her Ballet, by Yardley. Actually pretty cheesy! I still believe that men and women still buy perfume based on an advert. Considering what they are feeling at that very moment (emotionally), they will go buy a perfume despite what it smells like or what they are feeling because of an advert.
When I started working at Makeup Forever, now Metropolitain Cosmetics. I wore a fragrance called Ame Qoquine by Chantal Thomass. I was 19 and I enjoyed the fragrance because it was fresh, fruity and floral. I knew nothing of the perfumer! Chantal Thomass she is a lingerie designer and she still designs. A French woman with a wicked stare that sports a dead straight black bob and nerd glasses. Now I liked her fragrance because it was pretty and I liked pretty. Not because I knew Chantal designed naughty pin-up style nickers and was famous for her demeanour and style. (Ps Qoquine means naughty) Though I can tell you know that there are women out there that wear fragrances by Chantal Thomass because of who she is. She encourages women to be flirtatious, naughty and feminine. I personally think if I had known this I would have worn her fragrance with more confidence or maybe I would have chosen something else..
So now that I am at the right full age of 28, I wear a perfume called ‘Serge Noir’, by Serge Lutens. The fragrance smells of ash, pepper and oak. The fragrance is dry and arid. No fresh, flowery notes, no pretty. I go mad for most of the Serge Lutens fragrances. The brand has transformed the fragrance industry. Not Tom Ford. I promise you even Tom has a bottle of Serge hiding in his closet of “inspirations” along with Gullian Moore, his other muse.. Bit weird really. Now I want you to picture a bottle of Serge Noir. Its rectangular, black simple label, looks like a book actually. Actually it’s pretty boring. Though it isn’t, it’s classic, understated and contemporary. And believe me, I do not recommend this fragrance to a women who are understated. I recommend it to women who understand fashion, quality and walks with a confidence that some of us shy away from. This perfume creates a feeling of warmth, security, confidence and when I wear this perfume I demand that people look when I walk into a room. This perfume creates all of those emotions. Who knew that perfume could do that!! Now when I wear a pair of tight denims, black heels and a well-tailored blazer I feel that way. (Cleavage allowed, though not too much!!)Now does your perfume create such emotion? Do you feel love, memory, summer, sex or power when you wear a fragrance? Do you allow your fragrance to affect your mood and to change with your fashion? Now the reason I am talking about Serge Noir is that we are heading into winter, my style changes from light, casual, bronze and peach to black, denim, boots, khaki and military during the colder months. My perfume must change too.
I have rated and suggested some Serge Lutens fragrances for you. Some are bold but take time to smell, understand and then appreciate.
Datura Noir (my summer perfume, smells like Coconuts and almonds) 5/5
Feminite du Bois (great beginner fragrance, contains cedarwood, 1992 cult fragrance) 4/5
Fleurs d’Oranger (fragrance of happiness, floral but power. Perfect for your first buy or for Mom) 4/5
Nuit de Cellophane (most commercial of the lot, lovely and floral. Easy wearing perfect for summer) 5/5