Today, dear readers, I need your help. So please put down that decant of non-export Serge Lutens and rustle up your thinking cap. Because when I survey the shelves, drawers and boxes of my scents, lined up like preening, pouting divas at the Met, I realize: I need something less high-maintenance.
No, seriously. I seem to be missing a simple, easy-on comfort scent – the olfactory equivalent of curling up on my couch with my favorite junk magazines (Allure, anyone?), a Hershey bar, and no kids within earshot. What do I find comforting? Well … “comfort” smells I do NOT find comforting in general are: powder; amber; laundry/”clean” scents; extreme food scents (I want to eat my crà¨me brulee, not wear it).
I also want it to be very much a skin scent — the winter equivalent of my default summer scent, Bvlgari´s The Blanc — I´m aware of it, but it´s muted. It also needs to pass the Gym Test: something I wouldn´t have to scrub off if I decided to go to the gym half an hour after I put it on, BUT (here´s the tricky part) I don´t want it to just disappear in 20 minutes, either. It would be nice to have something polite that I could spray on freely for a change.
Believe it or not, I´m wondering if my comfort scent lurks in the vast wasteland (kidding, kidding) of barely-remembered department store frags — is there some really gentle musk? Tommy Girl? White Linen? One of those Philosophy scents? SJP Lovely? I want this to be a cold-weather scent, not a summer fruit or floral. I bet a mall fragrance is exactly what I´m looking for, but which one? Is there something at, say, L´Occitane or BBW I should try?
Here´s what I learned in an hour at Macy´s and Sephora:
Betsey Johnson and Hilary Duff both score comfort points (and I find them very similar), although Hil´s a little sweet, but I think if I really sprayed them on they´d fail the gym test.
Gucci Rush – Tigs reminded me about this – an amazing juice in a tragically ugly plastic container (YSL Nu being another example – stellar incense in what looks like a diaphragm case.) Quoting Luca Turin (I hope correctly): “Thanks to the milky lactone note, (Rush) smells like an infant’s breath mixed with his mother’s hair spray… What Rush can do, as all great art does, is create a yearning, then fill it with false memories of an invented past…” I adore this absolutely, it smells like hot skin, but am having doubts about the gym test.
JLo Glow – too sweet.
Elizabeth Arden Provocative – hahahahahaha! Er, no.
JLo Live Luxe – too sweet.
Armani Sensi – ? can´t smell it at all.
JLo Live – well … there´s a note of “fresh air” I´m not loving.
Tocca Stella – new at Sephora. Not half bad. The candle´s blood orange, but this is cinnamon and cream on me. Yum. Definite potential.
Tocca Touch – also new at Sephora. Starts sweeter, but dries down nicely. Notes sound heavy (tiare and pom — really?!?) but it wears light and musky. Definite potential.
Clinique Simply – huh. Never even saw this before. “Soy nut and smoked woods”? A little grassy/aquatic, but a possibility.
White Linen – no. Too powdery.
Versace Bright Crystal – reinvestigate in July – grapefruit, yum.
Dolce & Gabbana Blue Whatsit – do I have to wear this? That bony witch at Macy´s is hell-bent on my buying this, and I´m beginning to think I should, just to get her off my back…
Okay, your other suggestions and/or feedback on the above, please. I´ll give them a whirl and do a post on the results. PS I met the nicest gal at Sephora who´s a fellow perfumista! What is it about fragrance that makes someone feel like an old friend? Louise, if you´re reading this, hi!