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.
Please share your own fragrant first loves in the comments below!