Scent is the first sense that is activated when we are born, but it is one we often neglect. However the power of smell is incredible, it can call up memories and transport us back through time, it can evoke emotions and much, much more.
Maybe that is why many women, and men too, indulge in perfume, a squirt of deliciousness in a bottle, a sprinkling of luxury in every day life.
I, for one, found the scent I love when I was 18, Paloma Picasso, the self-named perfume by the famous artist’s daughter. It may have been an unlikely fragrance for someone so young, but the heavy base-note of musk, patchouli and amber paired with upper-tones of honeysuckle, jasmine and tuberose, was one I instantly fell in love with and still adore to this day, more than twenty years later.
Recently, for the first time ever, I ran out of my “signature” scent without a replacement bottle waiting in the wings, well my sock-drawer. And while I do have a selection of alternative perfumes, some I wear more than others, I soon found myself missing my favourite flavour.
But since my funds are running low I decide to wait and spritz my substitute smells. As days passed and evenings went, I discovered that replacements just aren’t the same thing and I decided to give in to my noses pleas and buy a bottle of Paloma.
So yesterday evening, after an exhibition opening at the RHA, as I wandered down Grafton Street I decided to see if Boots had my perfume on sale, like they sometimes do. Lady Luck was gracious and I was able to buy a bottle of memories and moments at a reduced price.
Today I feel hugged by an old friend as the well-known scent wafts around me as I move, my sense of scent happy once more.
A perfume is like a piece of clothing, a message, a way of presenting oneself, a costume that differs according to the woman who wears it.