Fragrance Is Important
This, I feel, is such an important part of being chic. And Leslie Field, author of vintage chic book: Look Like A Million, thought so, too. Anyone can smell nice with an expensive perfume, but not everyone uses perfume. Scents, nice smells, make us feel good. And there is such an emotive factor to do with smells.
Leslie had some good advice re scents. She suggested not choosing one that is so expensive that you have to use it sparingly. She felt that we should spray it, splash it, use it lavishly, or what's the point in it? She suggested wearing a lighter scent during the day, but something heavier and more exotic at night.
Some Smells Stay Favourite
Of course, a fragrance changes from woman to woman, and that is worth remembering. The smell of Karma Sutra is almost offensive to me, yet I have friends who love it and it smells good on them. I know someone who adores Angel, but it smells like an ant colony to me! That same person rolls their eyes when I get ecstatic about perfumes like Shalimar, Poison, Tabu. Really heavy, exotic perfumes that I love. They don't!
Years ago, I had a silent meltdown when one of my little girls was given a bottle of Poison. I couldn't charm nor guilt it off her! I did consider stealing it, (actually I neurotically plotted doing this, a lot!!) but finally couldn't bring myself to. She let a grand daughter fill it up with water. (Another mum-type silent meltdown!) Ironically, when I ended up with too many perfumes a few years ago, I gave all of my strong perfumes to the same grand daughter.
Leslie used a citrusy scent in summer, or a man's cologne. Both Elle Macpherson and Ines de la Fressange like men's scents, too. I know that I keep saying it, but Leslie was way ahead of her time!
She said to use eau de cologne, toilet water, or perfume, on damp skin, and make sure that it doesn't get on your face or hair, as many scents have Oil of Bergamot which can cause brown skin blotches from the sun. If she had tiny samples, she would carry one in her handbag, for a touch-up.
Other Ways To Get Fragrances
- If you have very dry skin, use a perfume oil instead. For years I did this, and used it as perfume.
- There are other ways to have scents, if you're cash strapped: if you ever see any samples going for free, no matter how small: take them! I once managed to get heaps of tiny Avon vials of perfume which I later handed around to friends & family. I was working at an expo where they had a stall with freebies, and for some reason, I just had to keep walking past it.
- You can stash these wee vials in your knicker and bra drawer.
- Years ago a friend and I used the oils that the Hare Krishna's sold. When I bought some of these, years later, I gagged. I hated them!
- Sometimes at markets, you can get "musk" oil (it's not really musk), or "vanilla" oil, and either of these are nice. I love, love, love, the smell of vanilla. I put vanilla essence into porridge, banana smoothies, sometimes into tea or coffee chai. I do have a vanilla scent from the body shop, and wear it a lot. It smells delicious to me. If I was going to light scented candles, it would have to be vanilla.
- You can also get divine sandalwood soap from Indian shops, and if you hunt around, and sandalwood is your fave, try Indian shops too, either clothes or food shops, for wee vials of the oil. If I was doing the sandalwood thing, I would also get incense, and make it like a trademark. It would be so original, & so much cheaper than buying expensive perfume. It is incredibly chic to have trademarks and be different.
- To make scent last on your body, dab a bit of petroleum jelly over where you've applied it. An oldie but goodie tip.