Beyond the Pale

The Perfumed Wardrobe: A Daily Dilemma
July 10, 2010, 12:12 am
Filed under: Perfume | Tags: , , , , ,

How do you decide what you’re going to wear tomorrow?

Some people spend hours debating what to wear in the morning, carefully pressing their clothes, laying them out, mentally ransacking their wardrobes for the perfect top to go with that skirt, or their very best under garments to create the perfect silhouette.

Not I.

There are others, of course, who prefer to pick their accessories first – knowing for sure they absolutely MUST wear that killer pair of shoes or the necklace that always makes them feel good.

Not I.

I cannot rest easy unless I know which perfume I am going to wear the next day (I have a modest but probably larger-than-average collection of perfumes), and everything else – which colour I’ll wear, the accessories I’ll choose, will be based entirely on that decision.

The fragrance I choose can either reflect or dictate my mood.

Some days I know I want to feel an extra shot of confidence, and will reach for a slightly more exclusive, harder-to-find perfume that I know the majority of people I meet that day wont recognise, something that will bring a knowing smile to my lips and lend an extra wiggle to the hips.

Lately, I have been alternating between two perfumes, for days that fall into that category:

Theo Fennell Scent, which is a delicious, powerful hit of saffron, lily, rose and spices that manages to smell like something your grandmother would have worn – if your grandmother happened to be a swaggeringly gorgeous 1940’s film starlet – whilst also conveying a sense of modern, grown-up sex appeal.

The other confidence booster is the similarly punchy, yet sublimely fruity, Badgley Mischka, which I have also grown to love in the last few weeks. This one scares some people, but it’s not as overpowering as its reputation may scare you into believing. I almost want it to be BIGGER. But I’m greedy. 🙂

There are other times when the trembling of knees shall not be calmed by the appearance of confidence alone – times I might need a fragrant security blanket to wrap around myself; something that is familiar, comforting as an embrace.

When The Terrors strike, I generally plump for Mauboussin, hardly a retiring wallflower, but it always lends me a fluffy cloak in which to hide. I suppose I love it so much because I know it suits me so well, that a couple of spritzes in the morning last all day on my skin, and because it generally elicits a number of compliments. 🙂

I didn’t always love this one, either – I had to let it fully grow on me; but now I don’t think I could bear to be without it! It’s just adorably smoky but sweet, a rich plummy incense that always makes me smile.

Another in this category, but sweeter by far, is the ever lovely Hanae Mori. It’s uncomplicated, cosy, a summer fruit pudding with homemade vanilla ice cream of a perfume.

It always makes me think of a dear friend who lost her battle with Cancer a while ago, and who always complimented me on wearing this perfume. I wore it to her funeral, and yet it doesn’t ever make me feel sad, it always brings back the happy memories, the golden hours. 🙂

Strangely, none of these are traditionally seen as “Summer” perfumes – one is supposed to save the big-hitters for Autumn/Winter. I have never been a dainty little trembling flower of a perfume wearer, though, and see no reason why I should hide my darlings away until the cold weather!

A fantastic place to explore perfumes via your mood, the type of fragrance, a particular note you enjoy or even the dominant colour of the packaging, is Fragrantica – a website dedicated to the world of perfumes, both modern and vintage, and where I have spent many blissful hours delving into my favourite subject! Highly recommended – it is the very place I discovered all the perfumes discussed in this post, and many more – old friends and new. 🙂


Tomorrow is decided.

Theo Fennell Scent.


What do you choose first? The clothes, accessories, fragrance? Or do you wake up and grab the first thing you happen across? Answers on a postcard, please!

Or, well, in the comments box. :p

Until next time, you fragrant blossoms.

Miss Nightingale



1 Comment so far
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I too choose my perfume straight out of my shower and then dress around it! Many times I must sniff 3 or 4 to decide, if it is a special occasion I usually plan the fragrance and dress in advance,

Another fan for Badeley Mischka here!

Comment by Carole

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