Scents Of Memory, Big Time Floral Self Love!

Hey all,

Wasn’t Evie C’s blog awesome yesterday? I am so happy for her. Now that she is enthroned in her new home (read Cape Cod Mansion. Party at Evie C’s!!!) we’ll be seeing an Evie C post every Monday!! YAY!

I have a bunch of fragrances that I wear only for myself, even though I may be wearing them in company. They are either personal memory jogs, scents that are too out there for close contact with other human beings on a number of different levels, fragrances that I feel like certain internally different people when I wear them (a bit like the United Fragrances Of Tara) or maybe just because I don’t want to be interrupted while enjoying the story they tell me in olfactoric terms. I know, I just invented a word, call me William Shakespeare and paint me plum. This is not a complete list but a smattering of ones I’ve put on today and yesterday.

Byzance by Rochas; In 1987 this perfume was released and my parents bought it for my younger sister. It is a dizzying Floral Chypre confection full of spices, woods and flowers. Byzance has such gusto and is quite a force of nature. So 80’s in its size and character that it is almost a parody. When I put it on it fills the room with memories. Mum used to steal it too and when both girls were wearing Byzance the whole house smelled like it had been transported to my idea, at the time, of a night market in India, Saudi Arabia or Persia. With dancing women wearing enormous copper jeweled bracelets and gauzy nothings and the mustachioed men all armed and dangerous. I recently bought a replacement 100ml EDT bottle that is so far inferior to my last Mini EDP that it fair makes me want to weep. I have corrected the error this evening ordering a BIG, FAT 100ml EDP. Budget BLOWN! We are not eating till next Friday, we’ll have to scour the suburbs bins for left overs. Fragrantica and Bonkers About Perfume can give you notes and stories and reviews.

Sung by Alfred Sung; In 1986 the world was first graced with this huge Classic Floral. It is like wearing a jewel bright, shoulder padded jacket with a peplum and gold buttons, spike heels and has a certain breath of air in the hair. Unlike Byzance though, Sung is dreamy and floaty, there is no earth or spice market, just fruit, flowers and sky. Nothing smoky here. It is flowers and the lightest of woods, vanilla and balms. I always feel transported somewhere beautiful when I wear Sung. It has probably been reformulated 100 times but all those past formulations I have no reference for, sorry, this Sung is the one. A bright coruscating trill of warm summer that leaves me dazzled by its effervescent radiance. This is a good Nana nap fragrance for me, I can really lose myself in the scent as I drift off. What’s more, this juice is CHEAP! Fragrantica and Fragrance Bouquet have the nitty gritty and stories, go see them, you’ll learn stuff.

Salvador Dali  by Salvador Dali; We seem to be jumping back in time by a year for each of these scents, and here we are in 1985! Here we have a rerun of a fragrant milestone. Salvador Dali and his perfumista wife Gala had designed this glorious Floral Chypre together before she tragically died in 1983, it was so successful as a limited edition that Dali decided to make it commercially available. I have only heard of the original scent and must content myself with the modern remake until I win the lottery. It is hardly a settle for though. Rose, citrus, musk and jasmine with a breathy vanilla and musk all give a lighter and lovelier tone and is a little more modern than our last 2 offerings, though it does have a slightly grungy undertone if you look for it. There is air between the notes here giving it room to show itself to best advantage. Very linear and it is not a long lasting scent, maximum 2 hours on my skin, which is great because by then I want a change usually. I am sending you to the Fragrantica Dali page, the whole Dali shebang.

Lastly I want to offer you a fragrance that came to me through another love. A few years ago one of the guys I was in ballet school with as a kid made it into the Vienna State Opera Ballet. At the time I was living in the UK so it was the work of a moment to trot over and spend a week with him. Hey David! Of course, he was at rehearsals all day so I was largely left to explore a foreign city alone and without the local language, not even a sprinkling. Fortunately Vienna at that time was a lavish and glorious city with friendly, welcoming people who were used to language dunderheads coming up to them and trying to make themselves understood. It was not a big city then either and mostly you kept within walking distance of the Ringstrasse when doing touristy stuff, so I felt cocooned within a friendly and safe environment. So that is how I met and fell in love with Empress Elisabeth, on my solitary wanders around Vienna. Something she would become famous for as her madness descended into its depths, walking till she dropped of exhaustion. Famed as the most beautiful woman in Europe at the time, the first at the jumps in the hunt (riding side saddle no less), an exercise junkie who had terrible trouble getting to sleep, Creed made a perfume especially for her. It was Fantasia de Fleurs. As soon as I found out the story of this perfume I wanted it in my fragrance wardrobe. It is the most hauntingly beautiful perfume I own, certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. Surprising that the Empress was wearing a bouquet of flowers, rose and iris, rather than a soliflor and it is tooth achingly sweet. As with most Creed perfumes, fleeting, at most I get an hour of scent but the joy of holding this heavy embossed bottle and spritzing with abandon is enormous, so spritz again right. Fragrantica and I Smell Therefore I Am will give you notes, breakdowns and buying ideas, Abigail is also the Posh Peasant where you can get samples and decants of these and a gazillion other things.

I’m thrilled you’ve shared my fragrant thoughts today. Do you have a selfish perfume that you wear only for you but sometimes in company? Please tell us in the comments. We are dying to read your secret loves,

Portia xxx

All photos today are stolen from Fragrantica with these exceptions

Byzance ad stolen from PharmacyAtHand

Sung stolen from stylebugs

Empress Elisabeth stolen from Wikipedia

I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention in my posts.

5 comments on “Scents Of Memory, Big Time Floral Self Love!

  1. David Watson says:

    I used to wear Shiseido Basala for Men til it became hard to find. An ex gave i to me and it was a guilty pleasure to wear it long after we broke up as it always made me think of him

    • What was it like David? How is Uninhibited going? All gone yet?

      • David Watson says:

        I still have Uninhibited and have been sneaking some smells over the past week – still delicious and now even more so as I remember opening it with you.

        Basala was/is very spicy and masculine, kind of complex in smell but one that always was good on me although I know some others that didn’t like it/couldn’t wear it. It was discontinued some years ago although there are still stocks around but starting to get pricey for the people who still wear it and love it. My last bottle was finished a couple of years back. I liken it to the original Gucci Pour Homme which again has been discontinued but one that I adore too. I have a 100ml of that stashed away for a rainy day.

  2. Sam says:

    Me secret pleasures have to be Brit and JPG they are my favs and only worn on special occasions

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