OK, admit it: you got up at some ungodly hour last Friday morning to watch the royal wedding. I did, and I was glad. I watched Lady Diana Spencer marry Prince Charles 30 years ago, broken wrist and all (I’d fallen off my bicycle 2 weeks earlier), with one of my best friends. Even though we were less than fairy princess material, we couldn’t help ourselves. So, it was only natural that I watch Prince William, Charles and Diana’s eldest son, get hitched to Kate Middleton.
All in all, the wedding did not disappoint; I loved everything: the pomp and circumstance, the dress, the ceremony…the entire show. I didn’t regret the sleep I missed, and I breakfasted on a bagel with tuna and a mug of tea at about 5 am. Pure class, I know. But hey – I am a citizen of the commonwealth so I felt it was my duty. The bagel with tuna was a distinctly American touch.
I found myself wondering what Kate, now the Duchess of Cambridge, smelled like in her Alexander McQueen dress (hello, Grace Kelly!), and I was thinking that it must have been some flowery concoction; Penhaligon’s Bluebell or, gasp! Chanel No.5. I logged on to People.com yesterday to read this about the scent she wore. Given her down-to-earth style, I was surprised to read it was something I had never heard of. I don’t know what I was thinking she’d wear. Hell, I don’t even remember what I wore on my own wedding day. I was sure it wasn’t going to be something pedestrian like Estée Lauder Beautiful, or one of the Vera Wang scents, but this sort of surprised me.
The scent is White Gardenia Petals by Illuminum, and it is backordered until August at LuckyScent. The notes are lily of the valley, white gardenia, jasmine and amber. Typical for a bridal scent; but the niche-ness of it and the fact that she wore it has the entire world in a tizzy. It kind of reminds me of the Club Monaco lipstick Monica Lewinsky wore when she was interviewed by Barbara Walters. You couldn’t get a tube of it for about a year after the airing.
A quick Google of the brand led me to their Web site, which shows an entire stable of scents besides White Gardenia Petals. Knowing the intrepid boys over at LuckyScent, I’m sure they’ll have the whole line in stock before too long. According to the site, the brand was created by British hairdresser Michael Boadi, who is also responsible for the Boadicea the Victorious line of scents. I’ve read mixed reviews of those, but according to the copy, Illuminum is supposed to be a “revolutionary, cutting edge concept in fragrance”.
The Illuminum site is rather clumsily laid out, and I wasn’t too keen on poring over the notes of all 16 scents. Yes, there are 16 of them. I guess between this line and Boadicea, Boadi ascribes to the “go big or go home” way of life. My nose is exhausted just typing this up.
If I remember correctly, the last sold-out fragrance frenzy came courtesy of Jennifer Aniston, when it was published somewhere that she loved Chantecaille Frangipani. Of course, this was way before the creation of her eponymous scent, and you couldn’t barter for a bottle of Frangipani for months. I happened to have some in my stash, but it instantly lost its appeal when I found out the entire world was clamouring for it. That’s typical for me, because I never want popular culture to dictate anything I do. I’ve fallen off that wagon a number of times, but it’s different with fragrance. Why do we have to completely lose our crap whenever we find out that a certain famous person loves a certain scent? To be honest, I’d rather look like Jennifer Aniston than smell like her. I only want to smell like me.
So Kate and Wills are back to real life as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the rest of us are now chomping at the bit to smell like her. I’m hoping the two of them will enjoy the “happily ever after” that Charles and Diana never did, fragrance be damned. Being a full-time cynic exhausts the hell out of me, and I find myself rooting for them to be happy.
God Save the Queen.
Fess Up Time: Have you ever bought a scent or scents because a certain celebrity was reported to love it/wear it? I’m not talking about eponymous celebrity scents.