Post by Anne-Marie
What are the perfumes you notice on other people when you are out and about? Do you recognise specific perfumes, or just a generic ‘perfumey’ aura around your workplace and on the bus?
My most memorable moment was in a hotel lift in Paris. I stepped into the empty lift and I could smell Terre d’Hermes so distinctly I could almost touch it. The wearer must have stepped out mere seconds before.
Queuing for coffee at a railway station in Paris I again seemed to catch Terre d’Hermes, but I couldn’t be sure. Railway stations are a cacophony of smells.
I smell Chanel No 5 EDT a fair bit. Once I noticed another mother at a school concert sending clouds of it several rows forward and back. I was surprised that anyone could conjure that much sillage out of No 5. I never thought of it as a sillage monster. Later though I worked with someone who had No 5 as her signature and it could be smelled EVERYWHERE she had been, or was yet to arrive. Outside her office, up and down the corridors, in the bathroom, in the carpark. Yeeesh!
Once I caught a whiff of something delicious on a woman as I walked past her in a department store. I wheeled back and followed her up the escalator, trying to figure out what the perfume was. This is the only time I have stalked anyone because of their perfume. By the time I got to the top I’d figured it out. It was Estée Lauder’s Youth Dew.
Smelled Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche on an elderly lady I’m slightly acquainted with. She is a smart, beautifully dressed and fascinating woman and what she was talking about was so interesting I forgot to ask about her perfume. But it was certainly Rive Gauche and it suited her perfectly. I wish now that I had mentioned it because she would probably have had an interesting story to tell about it.
These experiences are relatively unusual for me. Terre d’Hermes, yes. That is so distinct and full of character that you cannot mistake it for anything else. But mostly when I smell perfume on someone I don’t recognise it. I just smell ‘perfume’: a pleasant (or not) floral, sweet, woody or sporty something-or-other.
The market is jam packed with smell-alikes, after all, and most people don’t want to make much of a statement with fragrance. I know someone who has a wonderfully quirky style in clothes, but her perfume is Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle. Or at least I think it is; it’s a bit hard to tell when there are so many copies and derivatives in that style.
So – over to you? Are there stand-out perfumes in your world? Or does everyone smell of hotel shampoo these days?
Bye for now everyone, and keep spritzing!