Today, we as the joint blogging project Mood Scent, 4 are sharing the first perfumes we fell in love with. What memories do they recall? How do we feel about them now?
Unlike many British teenage girls in the 1980s, I didn’t go through a phase of wearing soft, feminine fragrances like Anais Anais or Lou Lou. No, I went straight for the hard stuff…
Obsession by Calvin Klein
Mandarin, orange blossom, bergamot, jasmine, rose, coriander, tagete, armoise, oakmoss and amber
I bought a small bottle of Obsession on a school trip to France and vividly remember a friend asking to try some on the ferry home. I couldn’t believe she was expecting me to open the brand new bottle and let her be the first one to use it. Me being me, I complied without a word. That tells you how much I coveted that bottle and the scent within. Looking back now, this classic 1980s power perfume seems way too strong for a teenager but I loved it. A heavy, musky amber is just about the opposite of anything I’d wear today.
Parfum d’Ete by Kenzo
Mahogany, green leaves, lily-of-the-valley, freesia, peach, hyacinth, rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, cycalmen, peony, narcissus, iris, sandalwood, oakmoss, cedar, musk and amber
I went through quite a love affair with Kenzo perfumes at one point. I bought and thoroughly enjoyed their excellent fruity florals Le Monde Est Beau and Ca Sent Beau. I remember trying the now discontinued version of Parfum d’Ete on skin for the first time at a department store. By the time I reached the exit I was so smitten I turned around, went straight back to the counter and bought a bottle. It’s a pleasant, breezy scent with plenty of heft despite its lightweight feel. Although the name meaning “summer fragrance”, it actually comes across as rather spring-like with its tender florals and green shoots full of water.
Aromatics Elixir by Clinique
Sage, chamomile, verbena, geranium, jasmine, ylang-ylang, tuberose, rose, patchouli and oakmoss
I bought the 70s classic Aromatics Elixir when I started my first permanent office job and received lots of compliments on it. So much so that my mother, sister and boss all started wearing it too. It was unlike anything I’d come across before and I guess it was my first experience of a chypre. While I’d find it a bit too intense now, I still admire it. It’s such a distinctive, cohesive composition that is more than the sum of its parts, which are herbal, floral, woody and mossy. My mum still wears it, 20 years later.
Envy by Gucci
Hyacinth, magnolia, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, iris, musk and woods
Owing to the popularity of Aromatics Elixir among those close to me, I had to find a new signature scent. I turned to Envy which had just been released in 1997. It was created by perfumer Maurice Roucel who composed the iconic Iris Silver Mist for Serge Lutens three years earlier and Musc Ravageur for Frederic Malle three years later. It’s such a clever perfume in my book because it takes the green floral as a theme and turns it into something sleek, chic and subtly sexy.
Unfortunately Esperanza isn’t up to joining us today but don’t miss the First Love Perfumes of Megan In Sainte Maxime and I Scent You A Day.
Please share your own fragrant first loves in the comments below!
17 responses to “Mood Scent 4: First Love Perfumes”
The first scents I bought were Miner’s Patchouli & Musk oils – I wore so much my wrists became stained. Then I moved on to Charlie – the solid perfume in the silver apple pendant and Fidji – I was all about the greens in the 70s.
The 70s were generally a fabulous time for green perfumes.
I think Val the Cookie Queen would relate to you on the patchouli oil stains 🙂
Hello Tara. I enjoyed reading this. Kate Moss looks so young in this photo! You know I love Aromatics Elixir when I smell it on others but on myself it’s so strong and a little bit scary. I seem to amp it up majorly. Obsession was there for me too. I remember really wanted a bottle of Escape around this time too but my friend wore it so beautifully it would have been too close and those were the days when we only had one perfume. 💕
Yep that’s exactly my experience with AE these days. Sometimes when my mum wears it in the car, I find it overwhelming.
Oh my goodness I’d forgotten about Escape! That was my mate’s signature scent in the early to mid 90s.
Ooh, that was mean of your friend to want first dibs of your new perfume. That is like someone borrowing a brand new book or a freshly bought newspaper before you have read them. I have an odd connection with Parfum d’Ete that predates my interest in perfume (hence why I cannot comment in terms of early fragrance loves, as they all came later!). I interviewed a man in Paris who supplied the chemical that enabled the makers of that bottle to do the frosted etching on it. Somewhere I have a tiny mini souvenir of it (sans juice) that he gave me as a souvenir. I think it was one of their flagship etchings!
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‘tiny mini bottle of it’ rather. 😉
Thanks for understanding my petty indignation, V. I still remember it clearly.
What a nice story! The etching really was lovely.
I was already in my mid twenties when my parfum obsession started : it was about Laura Biagotti‘s Roma. My first serious bottle was Calyx by Sofia Grojsman (back then it was by Presciptives, now Clinic). I can only remember that it was fresh and slightly bitter…
Next I was smitten with Very Valentino ! And then came the times when I drenched myself in Chanel’s Allure… Hah, funny times, back then…
Hello dear M,
I think Calyx got a great write-up in The Guide, as I recall. I’m rather relieved you moved on from Allure 🙂
that was fun to read, thank you!
I did have a bottle of Anaïs Anaïs, I admit it, but I also wore Antaeus. Lots of Antaeus. Hey, it was the mid-eighties. But a teenage girl wearing this confused the hell out of people. Which, other than the amazing smell, was a good chunk of the pleasure of wearing it!
Shortly after school, I moved on to Obsession for Men (mostly nicked from a forgiving friend), Poison, and Paloma Picasso and, weirdly with that mixture of heavy hitters, the Body Shop Tea Rose oil. Until I spilled half a bottle onto a pile of books and couldn’t take the smell any more. Thirty years on, a couple of those volumes still have a ghostly rose trail when you open them up…
There was also a tragic tale of the confiscated Miss Dior which I had adored. But, I rediscovered it this last year so all is well.
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crikey, I love that you wore Antaeus as a teen. I kind of feel I missed out by not wearing Anais Anais or LouLou.
Thank goodness you rediscovered the wonders of Miss Dior!
Out of the four your “first loves,” I for a looooong while considered buying a bottle of Parfum d’Ete (in a different bottle thoug – the one of the leaf that lays flat). But I waited for it to get to discounters for too long: my sample was long gone, and I wasn’t sure if I still liked it – but it was gone from the stores and I couldn’t revisit it.
I remember well both CK perfumes but no matter how many times I tried them, they weren’t for me (at that point I was a hardcore floral fan, if you could put “hardcore” and “floral” into one phrase 🙂 ). Strangely, I liked both masculine counterparts (on men).
I suspect that today I would have liked both CK perfumes (in that first formulation, not the later interpretations).
My perfume loves: Lancome Climat (5 y.o. and until now), Diorella (10 y.o. – now), Paris (not YSL, some strange brand – I posted about it for one of the blog’s anniversaries; 12-13 y.o.), ISA by UdV (14 y.o.), Nature by Yves Rocher and Miss Dior (early 20s – now), EL Tuscany per Donna (27), Angel (29) – and from this point – dozens… 🙂
Undina, I had no idea – or had forgotten – that your great love of Climat started at the age of 5. That’s fantastic.
Hi Tara, i really enjoyed reading about your first loves. Obsession was and still is so good. One spritz and you are fragrant the whole day. I loved Ungaro Diva and Chanel no 5 and wore them for years. I also loved Ralph Lauren Lauren – does not smell the same anymore sadly. Have a great weekend. Sandra xoxo
Loved reading all of the posts in this series. Great theme!
Thanks R! Sam came up with this one.