Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Perfumes To Celebrate And Commemorate

There's a common practice among the perfumerati to ask, announce and discuss the scents we choose for special occasions. We talk to our friends about our fragrance choice for birthdays and weddings, request ideas and compare. It's fun. I'm always thrilled to discover others who chose Panthere de Cartier for their nuptials and/or honeymoon; I got plenty of "likes" last week on Facebook when I told my friends that I was wearing Jil Sander No. 4 on my birthday.

I had an important milestone-ish event today. Like a true perfume-obsessed I spent some time the night before trying to decide what to wear. A classic icon such as Chanel No. 5 or its spawn Eau Premier? My almost-signature Tauer L'Air du Desert Marocain? Maybe something festive and high-spirited (Mona di Orio Jabu), season appropriate (ELdO Like This, Guerlain Winter Delice) or just go with vintage Mitsouko because there's nothing better?

In the end I wore a very modern favorite, Le Labo Santal 33. It's beautiful, wears effortlessly on my skin and ha been one of my biggest crowd-pleasers over the last year. all was good and well, but eventually when I got home I was crying "Uncle!". As in Uncle Serge. I changed into comfies, put my hair up in a bun and sprayed myself silly with Santal Blanc. Because I can. Because it makes me happy.

Do you have a celebratory perfume? What do you wear on special events? Any good stories to share?

Photo: a 1970 ad from Vogue UK.


  1. I know that many people do not designate their perfumes and use anything they feel like wearing on any given day. I can't do that. The same way I wouldn't wear an evening gown to work or a cocktail dress on a grossery shopping trip, there are some perfumes in my collection which I wear only for special occassions.

    My "perfumes to celebrate and commemorate" are: Frederick Malle's Portrait of a Lady, Ormonde Jayne's Ta'if, Lancome's Climat and Vera Wang (the original one). I'm not sure if these are the most "dressed up" perfumes in my collection. But I associate them with Big Events and save them for such days.

  2. Gaia, I don't have THE one scent for special occasions but in general I find that a lot of the Chanels work rather well. They are elegant without being stiff and have a rather abstract quality. I regularly wear Rue Cambon and vintage Coco.

  3. Shalimar is my "I have a serious thing to celebrate!" perfume. It's a habit I started as a young girl and I'm kind of loathe to change it now that I have good vintage juice! ;)

  4. I used to have the original 1999 J'Adore, and I felt it was the perfume of pure happiness. Would it smell as good to me now if I could find it, after several years of perfumania? I tend to assume it would not, but I wish I could find something that captured that.

    Agree with you that Uncle Serge is the ideal companion for a major celebration. La Myrrhe would be great, too. ~~noseknows

  5. The scents I seem to wear mostly for special occasions _only_ include SL Datura Noir (the perfect Little Black Dress scent), Caron Narcisse Noir (got it originally for my graduation), Caron Nuit de Noël (both Carons are parfum extraits).

  6. Special occasions for me mean pulling out those big diva scents you just can't wear every day - I second Undina's selection of Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle, and almost anything by Amouage, especially my favorites Jubilation 25 (although I can wear that every day) and Lyric. I also love some of those heavy classics, like the occasional dab of vintage Coco parfum or Estee's Youth Dew Amber Nude.

  7. I have an old bottle of Diorissimo that reminds me of my dad. He bought the perfume for me when I was 17 and I nearly bathed in it. Celebratory not so much celebratory in a confetti way, but more just wanting to slip back and reminisce, good for when I want to be alone in my own head.

  8. I'm terrible at choosing celebratory perfumes. I tend to indulge too much on a daily basis. This means that I've made most of my "special" perfumes not special anymore.
    I do reserve Caron parfums for special occasions like Narcisse Noir. And Chanel Coco parfum. I don't know why these are the "special" ones but they are.
    I've decided that I should add Divine to my collection as my "celebrate" perfume.


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