Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How Do You Choose Your Scent Of The Day?

I woke up this morning knowing with certainty that I was going to wear Guerlain Angelique Noire. It was not open to negotiation. I could smell it in my mind before I got out of bed and just had to wear it, even though with its out-of-the-world longevity, Angelique Noire has messed up my testing schedule and will continue to do so tomorrow (it's shower resistant).

Some days are guided by said testing schedule (which is more or less just a bunch of samples and decants and a vague idea of what should be worn next, which perfume is on its second or third try, and what I can and should review in the coming days. Obviously, this takes away a lot of skin and attention, and keeps me away from my personal collection several days a week, even if I'm actually in the mood for MKK.

On days (or part of the days) that I'm not testing something new I tend to just go with my instinct. Sometimes I'm inspired by a conversation with other perfume people-- a friend mentions a fragrance I haven't worn in ages or a fellow bloggers writes a review, so I dig up the bottle. Occasionally I go for something the husband had worn the previous day because I want to smell more of it (it usually happens if he wears Tam Dao to bed, and I wake up with creamy sandalwood on my mind).

Every once in a while I spend a few days with a certain note. I've had an iris week more than once. Date night often means an oriental or a recent purchase/gift. Special occasions call for Onda, JAR or an Amouage, but on my wedding anniversary I usually wear Panthere de Cartier (original), which I've worn on my wedding day. I have other little traditions: Fumerie Turque for the first cool day of the fall,  Vetiver Extraordinaire and Lonestar Memories on the hottest days of the year, Nuit de Noel around the holidays, Le Parfum de Therese on almost every vacation.

When I don't know what to wear I usually end up in a classic: Chanel No.5 (or Eau Premiere), Miss Dior, Mitsouko. Other times the obvious answer is Shalimar, and in the last four months also ELdO La Fin du Monde.

I have absolutely no idea what I'll be wearing tomorrow. Probably something that goes with washed Angelique Noire. What will you be wearing tomorrow? How do you choose your scent of the day?


  1. I'm very seasonal. Spring, summer, autumn, winter, they all have their fragrances. Next consideration is whether it's a work day or a weekend. Next is whether I need comfort (L'Ambre des Merveilles) or am feeling adventurous (Bandit). Like you I am influenced by what other people are talking about in the perfumesphere. And I have a set of current loves in rotation that can suit all of the above situations. Tomorrow I'm giving a paper at a conference. The day will cool. I'm wavering between Laura Biagiotti Roma (feel good) or Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere (tasteful and a bit corporate). But I may just go for Dioressence if I'm feeling sassy!

  2. Hi there Gaia
    I'm a long time lurker, first time commenter. Love your work! You've inspired me to source all my old vintage favourites and seek out ones that I'd always wanted. It's truly enriched my life. Thank you.
    Today's post is really interesting. I often plan tomorrow's fragrance the night before. I enjoy the anticipation. My first consideration is also seasonal. Then, I look at what I'm wearing and what fragrance would complement my outfit. I select at least a couple of fragrances. In the morning, I make a final choice based on my mood. I don't modify my fragrance choice based on where I'm going but I may dab from a decant instead of using the atomiser if I'll be at work and the fragrance is strong. It's autumn here at the moment and quite crisp. Today I wore a leopard print wrap dress with heels, two fabulous gold cocktail rings, and fuchsia coloured nails and lips. Deneuve (love, love, love) was the perfect accompaniment and I had a great day.

  3. Darn you Gaia! Now I want to wear Angelique Noire today but the sillage is not really appropriate for the State House and huddling in corners with other lobbyists. Drat! During the week I usually choose something mild or faintly vanilla-based (people are seem very comforted by vanilla) but on the weekend or in the evening I go bigger (My Sin, No.5 or Rose Jam, which takes over the house!!). Last night I wore Sensuous Noir to bed because of a review I read yesterday that reminded me how much I like it!

  4. If it's a weekday, I choose based on what I'm up to that day (no one around on campus? I'll go with something especially...pungent. Meetings? Something lighter but not overly feminine) and also what I'm wearing. I coordinate my scent to my wardrobe color, since I'm a scent --> color synesthete; it drives me nuts when I'm getting dressed, spray on a scent, then realize my outfit won't work (maybe I forgot that a key component is in the wash, or the top doesn't actually go with the skirt), so I have to change, but I'm now wearing the "wrong" color for the scent I'm already wearing.

    Yeah, as I type that out, I realize I'm a little bonkers...

    I'm also lucky that my skin eats scent, so I get to change perfumes when I get home from work. That's when I go crazy with Coco, or something equally un-office friendly. >:-)

  5. I don't really have a problem making decisions for other things in my life, but choosing perfumes? Have yet to crack the code for making brilliant, perfect decisions for myself in this department each day. I can usually narrow it down to three or so, however, so I'll often end up wearing one perfume on each hand, maybe another on a knee or ankle - something most people reserve for when they're in sampling mode (which I'm also often in and then I'll end up with five or so on, utilizing both legs and arms). I do try to wear complementary scents, so yesterday I wore Dior-Dior and Eau Sauvage on my hands and a tiny spritz of Parfum de Therese on my ankle - all of which work fairly well together. I also think I feel some sort of subconscious need to justify an awkwardly large collection by wearing as many as I can. I'll often wear things I've read about (read your post on the new SSS late last night and today am wearing her Cocoa Sandalwood and Opal). When I need serious comfort I'll often go for childhood scents that remind me of my father, so vintage classics or I may reach for '80s scents (which I obstinately refuse to think of as vintage) or gourmands. And although I tend to wear all types of scents throughout the year, I do to some extent go seasonal in choosing a lot of violets and lilacs for spring and citrus or tobacco and smoke for winter. Oh, and when I think the feline children need extra comforting, I'll always wear one (or more) of Mandy's scents, since they love them as much as I do.

  6. I also go with color, and season seems to enter in, though I have reversed sometime on what I though the right season is! I do think of style, as in casual or dressy, but I work in an office with a traditional/conservative vibe, so I ought to keep a light touch. Also, several of my coworkers have allergies.

    I tend to view perfume and scents as evoking the ideal, the ethereal, and the peaceful, so I use it, say, like background music. I may be typing furiously, but a little puff of lily of the valley or amber or nice, dry patchouli is like a pat on the shoulder or a glimpse at the sun and trees outside.


  7. This is so funny, your regime is nearly identical to mine, right down to your seasonal faves. The days which I deign to sample are the days when I don't have a particular craving. On those days, like you say, it's not open to negotiation.

  8. "I could smell it in my mind before I got out of bed and just had to wear it." This only happens to be a few times a year, but I LOVE when it happens. I'm always so satisfied with my perfume on those days. How I choose on other days varies, depends on my mood, weather, what I'm wearing, where I'm going, who I'll see, etc. The past two evenings I ended up in Une Rose Chypree and it was PERFECTION

  9. I live in Miami so seasonality goes right out the window. At issue is whether I'll be seeing clients/patients (who might not appreciate a heavy dose of Incense Extreme), or if the gym is in my cards, ditto on the sillage, despite my penchant for Diorissimo on sweaty skin (my own, anyway). Mitsouko or Guerlain's Vetiver are everyday-ers for me. And whenever I'm stressed, I'm drawn to foodie scents. Lately, (lots o stress) these include Traversee du Bosphore, Fin du Monde, The Exact Friction of the Stars (oil), and Tihota.

  10. I usually follow my instinct, quite often a scent just calls my name. Weather, mood, what I'm going to wear and any kind of special occasions have their say, too. If I'm going to travel, both the destination and my wardrobe (and its colour scheme) play a part.


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