This post is about the seemingly selfless tradition of buying a young girl her first perfume, but I must admit that my motivations for writing it were purely selfish: I don’t want to smell Pink Sugar anymore. I have been silently suffering at the hands of Pink Sugar-wearing tweens since its release in 2003, and I am seriously about to go Tyra Banks circa Cycle 4 levels of crazy if I have to keep smelling it everywhere for much longer. (Pink Sugar fans, please note that I am not saying that Pink Sugar is a bad perfume. I don’t have anywhere near the authority or the expertise to render those kinds of perfume value judgments. I am just saying that I hate it.)
It stands to reason that tweens who are not Veruca Salt generally cannot afford to buy their own perfumes, which means that they have a misguided relative or family friend who is supplying their Pink Sugar. This must stop. Let’s be clear: I have no desire to eliminate the tradition of buying a first fragrance for the young ladies in your life. In fact, I think that perfume can be an ideal gift for young girls, since age-appropriateness is not really an issue with perfume in the way that it can be with cosmetics or clothing (although I think that we can still all agree that Secretions Magnifique should probably not be anyone’s first perfume).
I really do believe that a first perfume can be a very special and meaningful gift for a young girl. That’s what normal girls tell me, anyway. I’m pretty sure that the most meaningful gift of my tweenage life was my copy of Zoo Tycoon. I was that slightly sinister kid who always bankrupted her zoos by unleashing the tigers on the tourists. RUN, PUNY TOURISTS! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
As fumeheads, we’re naturally going to want to share our love of perfume with The Next Generation by introducing them to different perfumes. I JUST NEED THOSE PERFUMES TO NOT BE PINK SUGAR, YOU GUYS.
So I’ve written this post to show misguided relatives and family friends everywhere that there is another way. A better way! Here is a list of five non-Pink Sugar perfumes that would make great first fragrances for a young girl. NOW YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES. I WILL FIND YOU.
Guerlain Apres l’Ondee: Hook ‘em young! This delicate, watery violet fragrance strikes me as the classic Guerlain most likely to appeal to younger perfume preferences. Next year you’ll give her L’Heure Bleue, or maybe even Jicky… she’ll be huffing Vega before you know it!
A Lab On Fire What We Do In Paris Is Secret: A dreamy, ethereal gourmand, so much more sophisticated than the sickeningly sweet scents that most young whippersnappers insist on these days. WWDIPIS smells just like the steam that hits you when you open the rice cooker, sweetened with a little vanilla. This is what Kenzo Amour should have smelled like.
Ineke After My Own Heart: There’s just something so tenderly lovely about the dewy lilac scent of Ineke’s first perfume. It evokes a fresh-faced kind of joy. Glamorous, elegant perfumes like Shalimar encourage girls to play dress-up; After My Own Heart whispers, “Don’t grow up too fast.”
Juliet Has a Gun Lady Vengeance: If you’re perfume shopping for a goth girl, I beg of you: please don’t let her wear that Hot Topic dreck. She’ll be far better served by the Juliet Has a Gun line, which boasts quality perfumes inside of their playfully sinister packaging. Lady Vengeance is a loud rose-and-patchouli scent, a slightly seedier version of Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady.
Annick Goutal Eau de Camille: Those of us who are a little on the sentimental side (says the girl who sobs during that Traveler’s Insurance commercial with the dog worrying about his bone) will be total suckers for Eau de Camille’s backstory. Eau de Camille was the first perfume that Annick Goutal created for her daughter Camille. Inspired by Camille’s request for a perfume that smelled like their garden, Goutal designed a gorgeous perfume that alternates between dark, leafy green notes and clear bursts of honeysuckle.
What perfumes do y’all think would be ideal first fragrances for a young girl? What was the first perfume an adult gave you?