5 Scents That Touched Gabriella’s Soul


Post by Gabriella


Hello fragrant friends! Today’s post is inspired by something I saw recently on the Vampy Varnish makeup blog. The blogger had photographed and diarised her hair and makeup trends from an early age to the present. I thought it would be fun to present and discuss five perfumes from my past that are meaningful in some way and chronicle a bit of my perfumed history….

My Perfumed History

Five scents that have touched my soul

Jontue Revlon FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

1. My first scent: Jontue by Revlon 1976

It’s 1984 and I am the tender age of nine. My family and I are in Hong Kong en route to England for my uncle’s wedding and for some reason, it’s decided that I am old enough to have my first fragrance. I remember the scene more than Jontue itself. It’s late at night and I am amazed that shops are still open, there’s the buzz and hum of the bright neon signs and the slightly salted smell of the humid night air. I’m feeling very grown up (despite my now cringeworthy sartorial choice of a orange tie-dyed jump suit to match my Mum’s one in blue). Jontue, with its powerful green and white floral elements felt exciting. Looking back, it did indeed set a trend as this remains my favourite genre.

FragranceNet has Jontue in its current formulation from $14/2.3oz EdC before discount

Anais Anais Cacharel FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

2. My first signature scent: Anais Anais by Roger Pellegrino, Robert Gonnon, Paul Leger and Raymond Chaillan for Cacharel 1978

Anais Anais was my signature for years and years. The scent of birthdays and Christmases past, often being accompanied by the beautiful matching soap and body cream. It remains a favourite to this very day, the bright green lily and hyacinth combination is irrevocably part of my identity.

Anais Anais is available at most department stores and online sellers.
Fragrance Shop has the EdT starting at $23/30ml before discount
Surrender To Chance starts at $3/ml

Aromatics Elixir Clinique FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

3. The occasion scent: Aromatics Elixir by Bernard Chant for Clinique 1971

My first real obsession was makeup, not perfume. My teenage years marked my first tentative foray and back then, Clinique was the brand of choice as it was seen as a safe option for young girls. The brand’s Raspberry Glace lipstick was my premiere purchase, only to be worn on weekends and most probably washed off with the Clinique 3-step skincare regime that was all the rage. Clinique of course, offered gifts with purchase which is how I discovered Aromatics Elixir. It was the scent associated with Christmas for me, as I would stock up at that time of year to get the gift. The woody aromatic chypre was so unlike anything I’d usually wear and so exciting and daring. When I found out that I was to be presented with a prize in my final year of high school, something I had waited five years for, I chose to wear this scent. Dabbed naughtily (against school rules) under my navy and white school uniform, it will forever be a scent of achievement and power for me.

Aromatics Elixir is available from most Clinique counters
Beauty Encounter has the parfum starting at $11/4ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $3/ml

Samsara Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

4. The happy memory scent: Samsara by Jean-Paul Guerlain for Guerlain 1989

I was 17, I had finished school and we were spending our first Christmas away from home on a holiday in Hawaii. It was an exciting time both because the future was full of possibilities and Hawaii had more makeup and clothes and stuff to buy than I’d ever laid eyes on. By this time, Dior and Chanel and Guerlain were the brands of makeup I now chose to spend my hard earned savings on and a purchase of the latter in Hawaii was accompanied by a sample of Samsara. The beautiful combination of jasmine and sandalwood reminds me of the New Year’s Eve party at our hotel. Everyone was eating, drinking and dancing and having a great time, the air was twinkling with fairy lights and the smell of anticipation.

Samsara is available at most department stores.
FragranceNet has the EdT $36/50ml before coupon
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

Lys Mediterranee Frederic Malle FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

5. The rabbit hole scent: Lys Mediterranee by Edouard Flechier for Frederic Malle 2000

I had started to dabble in a perfume hobby by the time the Frederic Malle range had launched in Sydney, but it was Lys Mediterranee that really pushed me over the edge. The green slightly salty, tropical lily was perfection on my skin and I knew I had found something stupendous and magical.

Lys Mediterranee is available at Mecca Cosmetica starting at $142/3 x 10ml
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $6/ml

What did you think of my list? Did I name any favourites? What scents have a historical importance to you?

With much love till next time!
M x

25 thoughts on “5 Scents That Touched Gabriella’s Soul

  1. this post will get people remembering… Anais and Samsara are our two overlaps but I wore them when they came out – Blue Grass was my first scent, followed by Paco Rabanne’s Calandre. These and yours are so much more bigger and more complex than young women under 20 seem to wear today – I don’t think it’s just age speaking.


    • Yes Catherine,
      I agree. I think it’s the quality of things that are being released nowadays. Love Calandre, was my Mums signature for years.


  2. I enjoyed this post – memories in a bottle. Chanel No 5 was what I wore to my school ball, Red Door to one of my first jobs. Loulou will always remind me of my sister getting ready to go out partying, and Vanilla Musk was what I wore during a stay in England.


  3. WOW Madeleine. Even trying to think of 5 memory fragrances blows my mind, there is just too much.
    One thing I remember is a year I decided I could live with one budget perfume for everything. Day/Night, Man/Woman, Casual/Dressy.
    That fragrance was Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden. Interestingly it smelled great, got heaps of compliments, lasted nicely and I could spritz like CRAZY and never skunk anyone. I think I went through two and a bit 100ml bottles before I caved.
    Portia xx


  4. Great post, Madeleine!
    I have been drawn to perfumes since I was quite young. There are so many fragrances that bring back memories. Of all these I think Guy Laroche Fidji (vintage of course) is probably the most evocative. Wearing this scent recalls every detail of wonderful vacations in the mountains and by the seashore and reminds me of long lost loves and dear friends. It’s almost like magic.
    Azar xx


  5. What a wonderful essay to read – it made my day, and caused me to reflect on my own scented journey through life. We’ve a genre and a few favorites in common, but most of all I can relate to the emotional memories perfume can conjure.


  6. Oh, Jontue. EVERYONE was wearing that for a while, including me. This brought back some memories – “was so good to be young then……”


  7. What a fun post and it’s also great fun reading about everyone else’s scent memories. My scent memories, in chron order ( I think!) and from about age 5 (about 1964)to college are:

    Tinkerbelle – Very first scent, probably age 5 or 6 and given to me by my maternal grandmother. I remember having a cute little glove filled with dusting powder. Something sweetly floral, I think. Very age-appropriate.

    Love’s a Fresh Lemon – First scent that I chose, practically bathed in the stuff and wore it everywhere. Truth be told, I still like it. 🙂

    Jontue and that Coty compact with 3 wax scents. Mine had Ylang-Ylang in it. Went through at least three of those. – Early teens, babysitting money spent at the drug store.

    Je Reviens(vintage)- From about 14 or 15, growing more sophisticated in taste, still had a tendency to bath in the scent and wear it EVERYWHERE. And I still adore it, vintage, of course. Given to me by one of my grandmothers, I think.

    Lauren (vintage) – Senior year in high school. got it for my 17th birthday and adored it. Did NOT bath in it and was learning how and where to wear different types of scent. And, being a budding perfume snob, refused to wear it after going to college and realizing that EVERYONE was wearing it. LOL, silly girl.

    Farouche – College and after, wore it until I emptied my bottle and was stunned to find that i couldn’t replace it as they had discontinued it.


    • I learned only last year that the early Fidji print ads are now considered ground breaking in marketing circles. When I purchased my first bottle of Fidji I had never even seen one of these famous advertisements. I was living in Tehran at the time and bought Fidji while on holiday in Cervinia in the early 1970s. Snow and Fidji? Seems odd but it worked!


  8. What a fabulous post! It got me thinking about past scents too. I had a few of yours in my past as well. I’d have to say Avon’s Sweet Honesty was one of mine. I used to get it in those great animal shaped bottles. I had one shaped like a deer, another was a bear I think, and I still have the turtle one.


  9. So much fun to read, Madeleine! My own path into perfumista-hood is really different from the norm. Mainstream perfumes don’t seem to like my skin (florals and floral blends typically smell sour on me) and it wasn’t until I stumbled upon the niche world and discovered incense and iris and all the woodsy things that I started down this path.

    I remember all the girls wearing Exclamation in junior high while my mother smelled divine in Giorgio, and then in university it seemed like everyone was wearing Eternity, but at the time I was the little girl at the window watching the party I wasn’t invited to. It makes it that much more special to waft and feel fabulous now.


  10. Pingback: Anais Anais L’Original by Cacharel 2014 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

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