“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” Coco Chanel
For the love of strong scent.
Born with a heightened sense of smell, I should perhaps have pursued a path to becoming a perfumer. Sadly however it was a road not taken and with a gentle sigh, a tear in my eye and the obligatory sniff, I have come to accept my place as a mere consumer, albeit one with a penchant for the perfumery notes of a connoisseur.
Now, I don’t expect anyone apart from Catherine de Medici, who had a personal perfumer with a laboratory connected to her apartments, or Louis XV, who rumour has it, demanded different fragrance for his apartment every day, to understand my obsession with scents and the perhaps not so healthy (financial) addiction to Jonathan Ward Santissima Amalfi candle or any other beautifully scented candle and perfume. Even if your sense of smell is not as strong as mine and you don’t have the need of indulging in buying exquisite perfume and home fragrances, try to imagine the streets of any major city smelling of nothing but jasmine and lilac. That, is the dream of this girl.
I love strong perfume and have always been drawn to scents with sandalwood, patchouli, neroli and amber. If you share my taste in strong, powerful scents with hint of nostalgia here are my favourites:
One of my earliest childhood memories is that of my mum cutting flowers in the garden and me waving at her from the balcony. Our house always smelled of jasmine, lilac and my mom’s Opium perfume, which has a scent so strong and beautiful, just like my mom, that it should come as no surprise it became my number one choice of perfume. It was created for the Yves Saint Laurent brand by perfumer Jean Amic and launched in 1977. The controversial name caused a scandal with accuses charging YSL of promoting drug use but not surprisingly the bad publicity only helped with the sales and Opium became a bestselling scent. Top notes: mixture of fruit and spices, mandarin orange, plum and pepper. Floral notes: jasmine, rose, lily of the valley. Sweet base note: sandalwood, cedarwood, myrrh. In addition: amber, musk and patchouli.
Elixir Des Merveilles:
Hermés Elixir Des Merveilles, I would describe as a more subtle scent than Opium. It’s very elegant and sophisticated with notes of Amber as well as wood, patchouli, sandalwood, orange peel and cedar. You will either love it or hate it; there is nothing in between, with complainers calling the scent too masculine. My response to that charge is that it’s a strong scent for a strong woman.
Eau de Fleurs Néroli:
I’ve been addicted to Eau de Fleurs Néroli by Chloé from day one. It’s my everyday scent, very romantic and nostalgic with notes of amber and musk.
Cristalle Eau Verte
Composed of magnolia, white flowers, jasmine, bergamot and Sicilian lemon, it’s a fresh citrus scent that smells of summer. I love it in my bathroom! The scent changes after an hour or so and becomes more and more pleasant.
When Opium perfume is not enough, I highly recommend the YSL Opium candle, which makes my bedroom smell divine! Equally beautiful are any of the Jonathan Ward candles with Amalfi being the number one choice for me!