Top Five Scents for Turbulent Times


Post by Gabriella


Hello fragrance peeps! It’s good to be back on APJ after some time away. And my, can I just say how crazy my life has been since my last post. It has been a rollercoaster ride indeed! In just over a month, I’ve turned 40 and had an amazing birthday, had a shocking time at work, had flu, had gastro on top of flu, experienced more craziness at work, fallen flat on my face and bruised myself from head to toe, been thrilled that Mr M was awarded a terrific new work contract in Melbourne, resigned from my job, made a joint decision with Mr M to move to Melbourne, given notice on our rental and booked the removalists. As I write, I am surrounded by boxes and packing tape and getting prepared for moving day at the end of the month…

Top Five Scents for Turbulent Times

In all this hubbub of activity I have found that my perfume choices have narrowed. When things are crazy, I don’t tend to try scents that overly challenge me or anything new. So today, I would like to share my top five scents that have got me though the turbulence of the past few weeks:

Champs Elysees Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

1. Champs Elysees by Jean-Paul Guerlain 1996

My “everything-feels-overwhelming-and-I-want-to-feel-supremely-happy-again” scent. I have the lovely Miss Portia to thank for this gorgeous recent addition to my collection. The radiant mix of mimosa, rose and peach is as sparkling and uplifting as the fizz of champagne and the sun’s golden rays. It’s hard not to have a smile on your face when wearing this and it’s a damn sight cheaper than therapy.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Blackcurrant, almond, anise, melon, peach, violet
Heart: Lilac, lily of the valley, hibiscus, almond flower, rose, mimosa, peony
Base: Almond tree, cedar, benzoin, vanilla, sandalwood

Further reading: Scents Of Self and EauMG
Beauty Encounter has $20/30ml EdT, $55/50ml EdP and $125/30ml Parfum
Surrender To Chance only have $5/.5ml Parfum

Datura Noir Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

2. Datura Noir by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2001

My “Oh-my-God-I feel-trapped-and-want-to-get-away” scent. Datura Noir’s sultry vibe means that there’s an island holiday at hand whenever it all gets just a little bit too much. However, Datura is so much more than your typical tropical suntan vibe scent: the almond and myrrh lend a mysterious edge to the steamy mix of tuberose and coconut.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Coconut, tuberose, tonka bean, almond, lemon blossom, mandarin orange, musk, chinese osmanthus, heliotrope, myrrh, vanilla and apricot.

Further reading:  The Scented Hound and SmellyThoughts
Luckyscent has $130/50ml and Mecca Cosmetica has $148/50ml
Surrender to Chance has $3.99/.5ml

Fleurissimo Fragrantica


Photo Stolen Fragrantica

3. Fleurissimo by James Henry Creed for Creed 1956

My “I-don’t-know-what-perfume-to-wear-today-and-I-don’t-want-to-have-to-think-about-it” scent. Creed Fleurissimo is my absolute scent of choice nowadays, so much so that I’ve almost finished a 75ml bottle in under six months. Supremely elegant and yet unbelievably airy and light; a soft wash of pastel tuberose underscored by whispers of rose and violet.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot
Heart: Tuberose, Bulgarian Rose, violet, Florentine iris
Base: Ambergris.

Luckyscent has $275/75ml and Libertine Parfumerie has $289/75ml
Surrender to Chance has $3/.5ml


Isabey Gardenia Panouge FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

4. Isabey Gardenia by Panouage 2006

My 40th birthday present and my “little-bit-of-luxury” scent. Despite being a gardenia fan, it took me a long time to go from like to love on this. It’s more of white floral medley than a gardenia soliflore per se, but it does what it does beautifully. A heady and warm mix of ylang ylang, gardenia and rose, Isabey Gardenia manages to be impeccably chic and comforting at the same time.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: african orange flower, ylang-ylang and tangerine
Heart: iris, jasmine, gardenia and rose
Base: musk, sandalwood and amber.

 Luckyscent has $165/50ml
Surrender to Chance has $3.99/.5ml
Le Parfum de Therese Frederic Malle FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

5. Le Parfum de Therese by Edmond Roudnitska for Frederic Malle 2000

My scent of joy and rapture. Every time I wear this, I wonder why I don’t do so more often, such is its beauty. Others have done such a wonderful job of describing this luscious chypre that I don’t have much more to add to the conversation, except that I absolutely adore it.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Fruity aquatic accords, tangerine, melon
Heart: Rose, plum
Base: Cedar, vetiver, leather

Mecca Cosmetica starts at $155/3 x 10ml
Surrender to Chance has $6.99/ml

So, what do you think of my top five? What are your choices when life gets a little crazy?

With much love till next time!
M xx

29 thoughts on “Top Five Scents for Turbulent Times

  1. For me, no surprise, it’s Coco by Chanel. In turbulent times, it’s the perfume equivalent of control undies, stilettos, 6 inches in height, shoulders of an american footballer, an axe in hand and an army of fiendish Scotsman championing my cause. And all in a few sprays of loveliness. Wonderful.


  2. I’ve often heard Chanel No 5 mentioned as a scent for turbulent times -and that people wear it as a kind of armour. I’ve recently been choosing my scents for much the same reason during my own turbulent times. I don’t want my scents to cocoon me so much as express my current sense of reserve. I’ve just discovered DS & Durga’s ‘Pale Grey Mountain, Small Black Lake’, an utterly beautiful perfume which evokes an immediate mental picture of remote wild moorlands – perfect for my current need to express a feeling of withdrawn restraint!


  3. Sometimes, we just need the mindlessly beautiful…Chanel 1932, OJ Woman, a nice cologne, Tocca Colette – all are winners for me.


  4. Hey there Madeleine,
    I love that we fumies have a set of fragrances for any occasion. There are a few in my wardrobe that I know I can spritz for an instant deep breath and clearing of the fog. Olympic Amber, Shalimar, Tubereuse Diabolique, Black Rosette and Aromatics Elixir are among my toppers but there are more too.
    Portia x


  5. About “Joy and rapture” scent :

    I now adore Carnal Flower !! I always found it sublime, but “not for me” ; but it was in winter. With the sunny days, just 2 sprays of CF are divine : not too overwhelming, and not so “femme” due to the greenness and freshness. It’s in the moment my total addictive “joy and rapture” scent, and I absolutely need to buy a full bottle ! It’s not a bargain, because with time, I have the impression to take out a subscription to frederic malle perfumes (after PoaL, Musc Ravageur and Noir Epices) !! Hopefully (?), I don’t know yet “Le parfum de Thérèse”…


  6. Hi Madeleine,
    What a brilliant idea! I don’t have a perfume for turbulent times. Starting a list today. I use essential oils neat for such purposes, neroli and cedarwood v. Want to try your list and everyone else’s: all look fab.
    Thanks for a great and inspiring post, Jackie


      • Hi Madeleine,
        I’ve had bronchitis for a week & missed a trip to New Orleans for the chamber music festival. I’ve been handling it with evenness, until this morning. I woke up very blue. I remembered this post & Portia’s post on the happy-making quality of Liberte. I poured a liberal dose & 5 deep inhales later my mood began to lift. Turbulent times indeed. I then sprayed some Ambre Sultan to freshen up my hair. My list has begun.
        Thanks again for this great post. It really helped this morning!
        lots of love, Jackie


  7. Congrats on the new direction, and best wishes for the move to go smoothly.

    Of course there are different ways of dealing with uncertainty – attack it head-on, distract one’s self with beauty, keep focused on the goal, or self-soothe with comfort – and I think I have at least one favorite in each category.

    Vintage Jolie Madame parfum is my girly-butch kick-butt floral leather.
    Le Temps d’une Fete always simply makes me happy; La Myrrhe is contemplatively beautiful (I wore it to my grandmother’s funeral, as a distraction).
    My pull-up-your-socks-and-get-on-with-it fragrances are Cuir de Lancome and Chanel No. 19 (in the vintage edt, because She Do Not Mess Aroun’).
    My comfort soothies are Shalimar Light and vintage Emeraude.


  8. I was just eyeing the Isabey Gardenia the other day. I’m very tempted to dive in. It sounds wonderful! Thanks for the wonderful reviews!


  9. A lot of stress swirling around me these days (but nothing like you’ve got)! I will take some of your suggestions as a way to make my days easier 🙂 I already enjoy Champs-Elyses but will definitely have to try some of the others. I haven’t heard of the Gardenia but it sounds lovely!


  10. Madeleine,

    Sounds like you are dealing with difficult changes and a great new adventure at the same time! At least your perfumes are a constant (until they are reformulated, of course). BTW how many of those packing boxes are you filling with fragrance?

    Turbulence is an everyday event around here so I am always on the lookout for the most relaxing scents I can find. I generally head for the big white florals or fragrances full of amber and incense. I blame the latest flurry of changes in my life on the recent lunar eclipse and the up-coming solar.

    Thanks for this great post!

    Azar xx


  11. All the best with the brefreshing, Melbourne!

    Hermes Osmsnthe Yunnan is a new discovery of mine for stressful times, especially in warm weather. The tea accord is very refreshing, and the whole perfume is very relaxing. And Hermes L’ambre des Merveilles has the place in my wardrobe that Fleurissimo has in yours – elegant but never intimidating. Just perfect.

    75mls in u months is quite an achievement!


  12. This is a great list, and a great topic. Happy belated birthday, and best wishes for all your exciting upcoming adventures!


  13. Pingback: New perfumes for a new life « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

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