Tag Archives: scent


22 Oct

I have come across this quote from D.H. Lawrence:

And what’s romance? Usually, a nice little tale where you have everything as you like it, where rain never wets your jacket and gnats never bite your nose, and it’s always daisy-time.

So, even though the quote is contemptuous of romance (which is why it struck a chord – when it comes to writers, I am partial to a healthy dose of cynicism), it seems to designate daisies as emblems of happiness. They are dainty and pretty, rather like Daisy Buchanan, who was also lovely, but not foolish enough to be happy (“I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool”). Though not stupid, Daisy is shallow and effervescent, which is presumably what inspired Marc Jacobs to name his competent, but not terribly world-changing fruity floral Daisy. Or perhaps he came up with the name and concept first, and commissioned a suitably light-hearted scent. Whichever came first, there is no doubt that his brief was a success: Daisy is pleasant, unprepossessing and flighty, like a debutante. The rubber daisies, designed by Takashi Murakami, are a huge part of this perfume’s appeal, and a very canny marketing tool,  considering all the different variations you can buy. I have several, including Daisy I Do – a pendant that contains solid perfume.ImageImage

I have also got another Marc Jacobs fragrance, Lola, that I mainly wanted for the bottle – it came out during my polka – dot phase, when I was particularly enamoured of that pattern and bought quite a few spotty clothes (it was also especially fashionable at the time, though I like it so much partly because it is timeless). The fragrance is a bit “meh” – it is fine, really, but wearing it is a bit like eating supermarket fish roe, when what you really fancy is some beluga caviar. But the bottle, as flamboyant as a ballroom dancer (“Her name was Lola, she was a dancer…”), makes up for it.

Speaking of the real thing: so much has been written about Chanel No.5, I shall just solipsistically say that I love it. But of all Chanel scents, Coco is the one that’s most “me”: I get more compliments when I wear Coco, than when I wear No.5. I have Coco Mademoiselle at the moment, but I do prefer the 1984 original, spicy and dusky, and I don’t care if it is terribly 80., like mullets and blue mascara. As I wear neither, I can at least have a few drops of Coco.



I do like the smell of toast in the morning…

14 Oct

…but I rarely have toast for breakfast. I usually have muesli and Oatibix. Toast is an indulgence I associate with hotel breakfasts.

Now I can smell toast, as well as OF it, anytime I want. That’s because I received a free bottle of…Eau De Toast. A few weeks ago I came across information that it was available to anyone who asked, free of charge, from the Federation of Bakers. As I love a freebie (and winning competitions, of which more later), I duly applied. Eau De Toast, attractively packaged, arrived last week. It does exactly what it says on the tin and is a great piece of advertising. I feel slightly guilty, as I NEVER buy bread – we make our own. But even though I’m not going to buy the commercial bakers’ product, I certainly liked the thought that went into Eau De Toast, as well as the scent itself. It is rather ephemeral but for about half an hour the warm, homely smell of freshly toasted bread does linger. It doesn’t quite work as a perfume, as it’s not complex or long – lasting enough, nor as home fragrance, but as an incentive to buy (or, in my case, make) bread for toasting, it cannot be faulted. I love the little bite mark on the label.


At about the same time, I got an email from Reiss, congratulating me on winning their newly launched first fragrance for women, Grey Flower. As a bonus, I could have the bottle engraved. I got it this morning (thank you, Reiss!) and I have to say, it is not the usual I’ve -smelled-it-all-before, instantly forgettable kind of smell that all the big clothing brands now churn out in their hundreds. I’d be prepared to shell out my own money on this seductive, elegantly sexy scent. It is warm and enveloping, thanks to base of musk notes, and it lasted a long time – I put it on around 1pm, and I can still faintly smell it at 9pm.


The bottle is luxurious, too, and it flatters my vanity to see my name on it.

As with writing about food, writing about perfume is far more difficult than it seems. Of the two, I find it easier to write about food, mostly because I know a lot more about it. I find the realm of perfume blogs slightly other-worldly. It is inhabited by people speaking in code, who display unnerving Sherlock-like powers of deduction the moment you reveal your favourite scent. So it is with trepidation that I am revealing my all-time favourite, Narciso Rodriguez For Her.


I have been wearing it for about 7 years, and, although I regularly cheat on it with others, I do love coming back into its reassuring embrace. According to the best ever guide to the world of scent (I dare you to name a better one),  namely Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, written by the scent gurus Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, this woody oriental is not particularly original, but “give Narciso Rodriguez to someone you like, and stand at attention as she sweeps past. You then realise that some fragrances, like gravitation, reliably generate an attractive force day in and day out, without fuss or explanation, though theories abound. LT”. See what I mean – this is an absolutely, magnificently spot on description. If you care about perfumes even just a little, buy the book. Incidentally, I love Tania Sanchez’s profile on Twitter: “Co-author of PERFUMES THE GUIDE with Luca Turin. Now living in Greece. I hate Greece.”

To be continued.


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