I was going through my perfume collection, trying to figure out if there was some common denominator or if there was a way to tell what kind of fragrance I would like and what I wouldn't. I can't say that I've found a definite answer, but I decided to list my current rotation- the perfumes that get the most wear, the bottles that I eye carefully to check if the juice level isn't getting too low, the ones I reach for quickly, without thinking too much. I don't think there's a common thread, except that most of them have big bones, large presence- whatever you want to call it.
Kingdom by Alexander McQueen- This is an odd one. I think I bought it because in a way, it reminded me (don't laugh) of Colors by Benetton, that I wore as a teen for special dates with my boyfriend. Those are some bittersweet memories and so is this fragrance. I usually wear it at night because of a certain dirty element, and only recently discovered that it's actually better in hot weather than it is in winter. Heat brings out a very sensual aspect.
Grand Amour (Annick Goutal)- Though different than Cartier's So Pretty, in my mind they are grouped together. Classic elegance, very French. It works for me both for day and for night, and I sometimes wish I could be the person who wears it as her one and only signature scent.
Quel Amour! (Annick Goutal)- A surprising choice for me, as the fruity element is quite prominent. But those are lovely red fruit (yet I dislike Goutal's Petite Cherie), the official notes says something about currants, but to me it's pomegranate beautifully blended with rose and peony. It's an intoxicating sunny fragrance with an incredible staying power on my skin.
Eau d'Hadrien (Annick Goutal)- Lemon and Cypress, fun and uncomplicated. Wonderful to wear first thing in the morning before doing stuff around the house. It has no staying power unless layered with something else. My little discovery is how good it is combined with Serge Luten's Un Bois Vanille.
Nuit du Hadrien (Annick Goutal)- Hadrien's grown-up, wickedly sexy sister. My choice for a fall morning.
Tiffany (the original one, by Tiffany, of course)- I was introduced to it about 14 years ago by my friend E, who has since moved on to other fragrances. I bought it for myself in the summer of 1993 just before I met my husband, and have been wearing it ever since. I know that many think of it as dated, but for me it's anything but. It was perfect when I was 22 and it suits me just as well today. It's become so much a part of me that I can't even analyze the notes or anything else about it. It's one of my signature scents and I wear it easily both days and nights.
Panthere (Cartier)- Another signature scent that seems to have been made especially for me. Like Tiffany, it's a floral-oriental, perhaps more white/tuberose/lily. I prefer it as an evening fragrance and has been wearing it since late 1995 or early 1996. It's the perfume I wore for my wedding and all through my honeymoon, which is probably why my husband adores it.
Lea St. Barth Extreme- My journey with Lea is documented here and here. It's sweet, girly, edible-- everything I'm supposed to dislike. I can't get enough.
Loukhoum (Keiko Mecheri)- Again, what is happening to my nose?
Monyette Paris- Everyone is more beautiful when wearing this. One of my staples this summer, just as I've predicted.
Serge Lutens- Un bois Vanille and Cedre. Neither one is your typical summer perfume. So what?
Sage Machado perfume oils: Onyx, Moonstone- A new addiction. Onyx has taught me a lesson about coconut and Moonstone is a goth gardenia.
The Heart is Deceitful Above All things (Yosh)- Wood, fig, damp earth and vanilla make this one indescribable. I bought a bottle before finishing up the sample because I couldn't bear to part with it. However, the lack of irony in the name, and the backstory referencing a completely fake person and their work feels... deceitful. And also stupid.
Neroli by L'Occitane- This is a much maligned fragrance (just read the reviews on makeupalley.com and see what I mean). People either love it or hate it with a white hot passion. I used to be obsessed with it and still wear it often and never fail to get compliments.
Jil Sander No. 4- Another womanly floral-oriental with a blazing sillage and a strong staying power. I love the elegance and sophistication. And it calls to be worn with black tailored clothes.
So Pretty (Cartier)- I'm quite sure that this one is on its way to be discontinued, which is a shame. It's one of those classics, a beautiful floral with an almost animalic base. Impeccably elegant, very French, and, yes-- it's oh so pretty.
Le Baiser du Dragon (Cartier)- A patchouli bomb, among other things. I don't like the thin EDT, but the parfum and EDP are fabulous. If you're willing to face the dragon.
Black Cashmere (Donna Karan)- A fairly recent discovery, which ended as a full bottle, the body cream, and a backup, just in case. That's what I call love.
Goldmund by Dorissima - It's soft and ambery, sweet enough but not super calorific. I guess it's another one of those lush vanillic florals, but somewhat more dry than the other ones on my list. In the rate I'm going through samples I probably need to get a bottle.