Monday, 9 May 2011
Finding the right perfume
I’m a bit of a fragrance nerd. I find it a fascinating subject and I love Luca Turin’s theory (well, he expanded it) that it isn’t a molecule’s shape that determines the scent, but its vibration, like music for your nose. Humans have actually a very good sense of smell and smelling something is a very good way to evoke a memory or a certain feeling. For me a fragrance can be a way to complete an outfit and I wear perfume every day. However, perfumes are generally alcohol-based and for some reason I find such fragrances way too strong and gives me headache. Though I love perfume, I can’t stand it when it is too strong.
My solution is perfume oil and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. If you are in any way interested in perfumes, I urge you to check them out. They make scents that are based on literature, places, mythological figures or moods, and more. They have an overwhelmingly large catalogue, but it is possible to search for a scent you like and then get all the perfumes that contain it. It is also possible to order samples of most perfumes and you always get freebies when you order. Another thing I really like with their products is that they don’t have scent stabilization. Modern perfume usually does, to make sure a scent smells the same whoever wears it. I find that boring and it makes it harder for a perfume to melt together with your body chemistry. You get a perfume that smells like A on you and her and her and him, instead of something that even if you can tell what perfume it is, it also smells uniquely for you.
When I re-enact 18th century I like to wear perfumes that are based on 18th century perfumes so of course I want to smell right when I wear 40’s clothes too. At least I want to have the option so I looked around a little for proper scents. This is by no means a comprehensive study of all the perfumes available in the 1940’s, but rather a few that I think may suit me. I’m a 2foody” girl, by which I mean that scents that are based on vanilla and spices works well for me as do fruits and berries. Musks and leathers are a bit of a gamble and florals tend to go a bit cat pee on me. Patchouli was what my paternal grandmother wore, so even if it smells nice on me, it also smells grandmother, so I feel like an old lady if I wear it. With the help of Fragrantica I found the following perfumes that I thought interesting.
Balenciaga Le Dix Perfume from 1947.
Caron Tabac Blond from 1919.
Creed Ambre Cannelle from 1949.
D`Orsay Le Dandy from 1925.
Dana Canoe from 1935.
E. Coudray Ambre et Vanille from 1935
Guerlain L'Heure Bleue from 1912.
Guerlains Shalimar from 1928.
Houbigant Chantilly from 1941.
Molinard Habanita from 1924.
Patou Colony from 1938.
Penhaligon Zizonia, 1930’s.
Rochas Femme from 1943 (re-formulated in 1989.)
The Crown Perfumery Co Tanglewood Bouquet from 1932.
Of course, not all of these are available today. I will need to do some more digging to find which one I can get my mittens on. from The Perfumed Court often sell samples of hard to get perfumes, so I will certainly check there. Stay tuned!
A little addition: I have often noticed that if you think about a subject, then it pops up everywhere and when I took a break from writing this post and checked my bloglist I found that Dahling It’s Vintagy! has written no less than two posts about the favourite perfumes of golden era movie stars. Read them here and here