It is February 7th: seven more days until Valentine’s day; and I’m feeling a tremendous social pressure to write about it. For the past hour or so I’ve been sat in bed, with my laptop on my lap, sipping on my green tea (as I usually do), looking outside the window for some sort of eureka moment of inspiration as to what my Valentine’s post should feature. As I am sure you can imagine, I was faced with a seemingly unsolvable dilemma I kept replaying over and over in my head: What can I write about Valentine’s day that hasn’t already been discussed extensively? As is predictable, there are already
many innumerable posts on ‘what to wear for a Valentine’s Day date’ or ‘ideal make-up for a date’. Instinctively, I wanted to think outside the box and write something that interests me and is still relevant and captivating to my readers looking for some last minute Valentine’s Day tips (could I be asking for too much?!). Just as I was about to give up, I felt the sweet fragrance of the peonies placed by my windowsill invade the room; a scent which was subconsciously accompanied by my cherished memories of warm summer days… And just like that, I instantly knew what my topic would be.
Every step I have taken in life has been associated to different exquisite perfumes! Given that our mind is a beautiful construct that at a subconscious level creates associations between people and fragrances, I believe that perfume is the key to our memories and speaks the loudest on a subliminal level. It is not by chance that the iconic Christian Dior once stated that a woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting. This quote is a reminder that the perfumes we choose to help personify and embody ourselves can be a strong indicative of the image we want to portray. In simpler terms: People’s first impression of us is established by the the way we present ourselves and to an extent by the environment we are in. Accordingly, a carefully selected perfume can be a powerful tool to help shape that first impression.
Bearing this in mind, if you are going on a first date with that cute guy you met at that coffee shop and really want to be memorable; or if you are going on a special Valentine’s Day date and want to make it distinctive and unforgettable…then keep reading because this is for you.
1. The Classics
You can never go wrong with these classics (there’s a reason they’ve been around for so long!!).
Joy (Jean Patou, 1930) – French couturier Jean Patou had it especially created to send as a gift to his wealthy American clients, many of whom lost their fortunes in the stock-market crash (1929) and could no longer afford haute couture. It takes 10,000 jasmine flowers and 28 dozen roses to produce one fluid ounce of Joy. For many years, it was promoted as being the most expensive perfume in the world, and its not surprising that it is the second best-selling perfume of all times! This perfume is ideal for you if you like intense luscious scents with floral compositions.
Shalimar (Guerlain, 1925) – If you ever wondered what temptation and allurement smelled like, well Guerlain created it. Shalimar was inspired by the devotion of an Indian mogul for his wife and the Shalimar Gardens where they met. It is the first perfume to contain the creamy-sweet vanilla note, and it remains the benchmark for sensual oriental fragrances to this day. This fragrance is perfect for you if you enjoy smelling luxurious and mysterious.
No. 5 (Chanel, 1921) – Five was Chanel’s lucky number. She always showed her summer collection on May 5, the fifth day of the fifth month. Described as smelling like a flower garden in the abstract, Chanel No 5 is probably the best-known perfume in the world, and it is no surprise that its the best selling perfume of all times (it also helps that Marilyn Monroe was reported saying that the only thing she wore in bed was a few drops of No 5)! The top notes are composed of aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, and ylang-ylang – a perfect combination for you if you love a strong seductive perfume.
Miss Dior (Christian Dior, 1947) – Mossy and woody with green notes, Miss Dior is a couture perfume in every sense of the word, right down to the bottle, a stylised interpretation of a tailored suit with square shoulders. The fragrance is described as seductive, elegant, sensual and intoxicating nocturnal fragrance, suitable for special rendezvous. It states its femininity with oriental – chypre character and prominent and opulent floral notes; perfect if you love smelling sophisticated. (Alternatively, why not try the newer perfume inspired by this classic, which also happens to be my favourite perfume: Miss Dior Cherie)
2. Glamour and Sophistication
J’adore (Christian Dior, 1999) – J’adore presents a new conception of Dior feminity, a scent so new, modern, glamourous, and so in line with Dior style at the same time – sweet but balmy, slightly sharp floral with fresh mandarin in the top; jasmine, plum, orchid and rose in the heart. Perfect to bring out the sophistication in you.
La Petite Robe Noire (Guerlain, 2009) – Inspired by the elegance and eternity of a little black dress, the perfume exudes Parisian chic and gracefulness. It opens with playful and sparkling aromas of black cherry, bergamot, red berries and almond. Bulgarian and Turkish roses rule the heart, further developing with notes of licorice and smoked black tea. Perfect for a Parisian inspired date!
Dahlia Divin (Givenchy, 2014) – Dahlia Divin’s composition is centered around a Sambac jasmine note on a woody-chypre base. Mirabelle plum is at the opening, leading way to the heart of Sambac jasmine and white flowers. The base is woody, made of sandalwood, vetiver and patchouli. This perfume is ideal if you are wanting to portray a luxurious, glamorous, and sensuous image.
In Love Again (Yves Saint Laurent, 2011) – This perfume (inspired by In Love Again, 1999) has a floral, fruity fragrance, with top notes are mandarin orange and black currant; middle notes are grapes, rose and peony; base notes are musk and blackberry. As the name suggests, it is perfectly suited to use in Valentine’s day!
3. Irresistibly Mysterious:
Idylle (Guerlain, 2009) – This is what the creator, Thierry Wasser, had to say (and I completely agree!!): (…)And so the fragrance was born: a shower of flowers, of petals, of subtle yet incisive freshness, balanced by sensuality. A nectar of flowers, an ode to life and love, in the warm light of radiant jasmine and the darker warmth of chypre, to express an ambiguity of feeling, and musk, like the scent of cashmere on the skin, a comfortable, intimate, physical sensation. In this combination of the personal, sensual, emotional facet of chypre, and the physical aspect of musk, and the declaration of love with the bouquet of flowers, the inexpressible idea was expressed, tender and ethereal, sensuous and romantic, fleeting and eternal.” – Do I need to say anything else?!
Very Irresistible (Givenchy, 2003) – irresistible, modern, floral fragrance. This incredibly feminine fragrance was created of five variances of roses. The opening note of anise, delicately-fresh, brings in an original modern nuance in the classical floral harmony. The sharp and piercing beauty of rose has become milder, even warm and comfortable. As the name suggests, it is perfect to exude irresistible sensuality.
Dior Addict: Eau Sensuelle (Christian Dior, 2012) – Stay in touch with your sensually elegant side with this fragrance that will help you subtly seduce . This delicate floral composition blends rose top notes with a jasmine heart for a scent that’s unforgettable. Sweep him off his feet with this daytime scent that lingers for hours on the skin and leaves a touch of fragrance in the air as you exit a room!
Jasmin Noir (Bvulgari, 2008) – This woody/floral scent for her, was created for a woman who expects and deserves the best. The composition opens with green plants juice with gardenia flowers. The heart encompasses Sambac jasmine absolute mixed with sateen almond aromas, while the base introduces dark notes of precious wood, with liquorice absolute and accords of Tonka. A great perfume to exude your mysterious, determined persona.
4. Passionate Provocateur:
Diamonds: Black Carat (Emporio Armani, 2011) – A delightfully exotic oriental fragrance which clings to your skin, leaving you feeling femininely sweet and alluringly provocative. It opens with a floral top note of freesia with a heart of decadent rose that fades into a base of vanilla and benzoin as it dries. Use this perfume on that date to feel powerfully seductive.
La Panthere (Cartier, 2014) – This perfume draws inspiration from the heritage of the house: panther as a symbol of the brand and Panthère perfume from 1986. La Panthère was also the nickname of Cartier’s lover and muse Jeanne Toussaint. The new perfume is a symbol of freedom; it represents a woman who is independent, graceful and rebellious. The fragrance is sensual and bold floral – chypre. Its central notes are of gardenia and animalistic musk. The top of the composition exudes greenish – fruity mixture in the form of molecule styrallyl acetates, containing nuances of rhubarb, strawberries, dried fruit, apple and apricot. The heart is dominated by gardenia, selected as the main flower to avoid excessive oriental character and also as not so common ingredient amongst modern perfumes.
I Loewe Me ( Loewe, 2007) – This perfume based on fruity accords in top notes, opulent floral-fruity-spicy heart and deep, sensual base notes. It has luminous and optimistic notes of mandarin and sweet, fruity notes of strawberry and pear. A heart abounds in floral shades of magnolia, skilfully balanced with pink pepper. The passionate heart is accompanied with a sensual trail of musk, sandalwood, warm and soft vanilla and sweet, passionate raspberry trail.
Black Opium (Yves Saint Laurent, 2014) – This new fragrance was announced as a rock’n’roll interpretation of the classic that should highlight the dark, mysterious side of the YSL brand. Notes of coffee, present in large quantities, dominate the scent. Additional accords are pink pepper, orange blossom, jasmine, vanilla, patchouli and cedar. Perfect to feel confident and provocative for that date!
5. Modern Sensuous Temptation:
Karl Lagerfeld for Her (Karl Lagerfeld, 2014) – Enhance your classic style and sweet sensibilities with this gentle and sensual fragrance for women .This feminine scent is the perfect way to brighten your day. Top notes of rose swirl gently in the air, interspersed with hints of peach and lemon. Rich and fragrant, the scent closes with notes of frangipani and magnolia for a result that turns heads wherever you go.
Euphoria (Calvin Klein, 2005) – The fragrance is luminous and luscious like fruits notes of which are captured in it. This perfume is mysterious and appealing like dark exotic flowers. It invites you to enjoy in joys of life. The main notes are rose hip, Japanese apple, green leaves, Lotus, black orchid, red woods, black violet and amber. Perfect for that special date!
Acqua di Gioia (Giorgio Armani, 2010) – Seductive sea aromas in the new fragrance are put into first plan and used as creators’ inspiration. Composition of the perfume is compared with woman who is ”strong, dignified and free spirit but in perfect harmony with nature”. The fragrance was lead by the idea of escape into nature, a heavenly place of real holiday where we restore the energy necessary to body and soul, and where we create natural balance. The structure of the composition pushes the limits from fresh citruses to a floral heart which encompasses aquatic jasmine, dewy peony and pink pepper, while a base closes with cedar, yellow sugar and labdanum.
COCO Madmoiselle (Chanel, 2001) – The composition of this perfume is focused on two characteristic ingredients of Chanel editions – jasmine absolute and May rose absolute. Delicate flowers are enhanced and enriched with a touch of Florentine iris. Top notes incorporate Sicilian oranges, Calabrian bergamot and Sicilian grapefruit. A floral heart is created of pure rose extract and pure jasmine extract, along with a fruity touch of litchi, while its base notes carry a combination of Indonesian patchouli, Haitian vetiver, Bourbon vanilla ad white musk. This fragrance is dedicated to courageous, brave and modern women who prefer luxury and elegance (and are ready to seduce their Valentine’s date!)
I hope you found this guide I compiled helpful and that your date goes as well as you smell! (yes, The Girl In A Cocktail Dress creates rhymes..). As a tip, why don’t you combine your perfume with the same body lotion for extra long-lasting scent? Alternatively, carry a small vial of your perfume on your purse for emergencies! Let me know in the comments section if I missed out your favourite perfume or if you want any advice on a specific perfume! As always, I leave you with a quote:
“He had preserved the best part of her and made it his own: the principle of her scent.” – Patrick Suskind