Vanessa of Bonkers about Perfume recently did a blog post about the re-organisation of her perfume collection in which she set an initial target of selecting 15 perfumes from her stash as a ‘capsule collection’. In the end she managed to cut it down to 20 from 63 which is no mean feat.
In response to Vanessa’s question about her readers’ own capsule collections, I decided to see if I could pick 15 based on just one of her selection methodologies ie. ‘The burning building speed grab method’. I did a quick sweep and managed it without much fuss. I ‘only’ have 27 bottles in total. I included those which are 30ml or larger but also two smaller bottles which are parfum concentration. In short, travel sprays and decants don’t count.
The 27 include 3 back-ups and 3 perfumes I have in both EDT and parfum. After knocking those out it was only a matter of choosing 15 from 21. The Chosen Ones are below in no particular order. I’ve linked to fuller reviews where I have them.
Vol de Nuit by Guerlain
This oriental chypre is the most ‘me’ of all the perfumes I own. It would be my Desert Island perfume if push came to shove. These days I can’t analyse it more than that. I have a vintage parfum, an old-ish parfum back up and a vintage EDT.
La Fille de Berlin by Serge Lutens
Actually this perfume also feels very me (I sense a recurring theme). It is my ideal retro rose/violet. The sensual yet light amber drydown is a bonus. It’s simply a lovely perfume in all its parts.
Vaara by Penhaligons
While I love rose paired with violet I also love it paired with saffron. If I could justify the cost, I’d trade Vaara for the infinitely more chic riff on this pairing trimmed with suede, Galop d’Hermes.
Naja by Vero Profumo
This is my most loved of Vero’s exquisite collection and a reminder of the unique and inspiring woman herself. The sparkling lime over blond tobacco is autumnal bliss.
Miss Dior by Dior
The vintage parfum is something I can wear when nothing else feels right. It’s not a skin scent but I feel so at home in it it feels like a second skin to me. I also have the EDT as do for the next fragrance on the list.
Again the vintage parfum is sublime. Galbanum can be astringent and off-putting but here it’s green nectar paired with powdery iris. No.19 has strength and elegance in bucketloads.
Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum
I’d take this as I feel the need to have a beachy/tropical perfume but I’d much rather exchange it for swoon-worthy Frangipani by Ormond Jayne which I only own a travel spray of.
Dryad by Papillon Perfumes
If Vent Vert and Vol de Nuit had a baby maybe it would smell something like Dryad. I’m drawn more and more to the centring power of green perfumes and this one gives me all those ancient woodland vibes.
Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens
The iris to end them all. Rooty, chilly and evocative. A rare example of a reformulation improving on the original in MHO. It’s more wearable now, sans the aroma of metallic carrots.
Passage d’Enfer by L’Artisan Parfumeur
Instead of calming me, incense perfumes are often so strident they overwhelm me. Of course Olivia Giacobetti would compose one that is as smooth as it is enigmatic. The combination of woody resins and waxy littles works every time. I have a back up.
Cuir de Lancome
I also have a back up of this sadly discontinued gem. The saffron studded smoky suede has not been surpassed by another leather for me.
Fleur de Oranger by L’Artisan Parfumeur
This is summer sunshine in a bottle. The perfect orange blossom which makes me smile just to spray it.
Eau de Rochas by Rochas
I got this cheapie in a swap meet-up and it’s my favourite cologne. The combination of tart lime and raspy patchouli is uncommonly beautiful in an Eau.
Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne
I adore atmospheric books set in dark forests and this perfume captures that feeling in a scent.
Diorella by Dior
Coming full circle, this was one of the very first perfumes I fell for in a big way when I fell down the fragrant rabbit-hole. The old formulation is a glorious fruity chypre with tender spring florals. I feel very nostalgic about it and enjoy it hugely still.
What do you make of my list? Any there any that would make a similar list of your own?