Mood Scent 4: Rediscovering Our Inner Teen




Hey there APJ,

It’s Mood Scent 4 week. I was filled with questions about this particular Mood Scent 4 project. As I’ve never had to “Grow Up” as such my mind is fairly well situated around teen level. My tastes in so many ways reflect this too. So am I remembering my teen years and my fragrant choices then OR am I thinking like a modern teen? It is a conundrum. One of the good things about this crew is that there is little guidance and we all get to give our very personal agenda. So I’m picking five fragrances; some from my own teen years and some that modern teens should be sharing with us..

So excited to be blogging with these three superstars again:  Esperanza L’Esperessence, Megan Megan In Sainte Maxime and Samantha I Scent You A Day. Check theirs out too.

Mood Scent 4: Rediscovering Our Inner Teen

Aramis by Aramis 1966

Still a heady floral & herbal, woody fragrance but it’s an attenuated whisper of itself back in the early 1980s. This was the first expensive fragrance my Mum ever gave me a bottle of. It was a Christmas gift. I felt utterly grown up. Aramis smelled so masculine and manly but was much more glamorous than Blue Stratos and Norsca that were the fragrant mainstays of the school sports change rooms of the time. It was as if I’d crossed an invisible line into the future.

Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent 1981

Most of you remember, or at least know of, the hairy chested, screechy, honeyed animalic, herbal, leather shitstorm that was Kouros. Back in my teen years it was already considered a fragrance worn by caricatures. The hairy chested, medallion wearing stallion. When my Mum bought it for me one year I was appalled. Once on though it did a remarkable turn around on my skin and became a cozy, herbal leather scent. It was still big but not overpowering and I felt that I was really rocking it.

Givenchy Gentleman 1974

They call Gentleman a Woody Aromatic but it has always smelt like a Chypre to me. The honeyed citrus top, earthy green floral heart and sweet mossy woods dry down feels very modern even now. My original bottle was a gift from my first long term partner when I was 19 years old (so just scraping in). We both bathed in it and loved wearing this slightly old fashioned but beautifully crafted scent that was quite different to what most of our friends were wearing.

Our Moment by One Direction 2013

STOP IT! This smells like a Guerlain to me. All the sweet, screechy berries and grapefruit over white flowers and a modern, clean patchouli musk base. Sure, it’s probably done with the cheapest ingredients, isn’t particularly elegant and screams teenage heartbreak BUT it also manages to smell fun, alive, young and ready to fearlessly face the world. You can see there’s quite a bit of air in my bottle. I also loved the band and saw them live a few years ago, they were wonderful.

Insolence by Guerlain 2006

More berries but this time paired with violets. Drizzle the lot over cool iris, resins and a creamy sandalwood. A much more finished affair but still with the unmistakable fun of youth. Insolence is a dreamy confectionary of scent, like the moment you open a mixed bag of candy and jellies. Enough sugar to send the anti-sweet brigade into a diabetic coma, I find it superbly dense and intricate. I love that they did this without an overload of fairy floss.


So there are my Rediscovering My Inner Teen Fragrances.

What are your choices? What are your teen memory scents and what do you think the kids should be sharing?
Portia xx


50 thoughts on “Mood Scent 4: Rediscovering Our Inner Teen

  1. OMG, Portia…your first three choices are my absolute favourites from the eighties: Aramis, Kouros and Givenchy Gentleman! I think I’d sell my soul if only I could smell them again in their original formula and full bloom ❤
    Back then Kouros was largely worn by women (me too) around here so I don't consider it to be too manly. It was kind of special, smooth and sexy. Aramis was a green beauty and Givenchy Gentleman was very refined. As far as I can remember it, I'd also call it a chypre, which is my favourite genre 🙂
    My teen perfumes were Revlon's Charlie and Jontue, and there was this wonderful citrus splash cologne Eau Jeune, oh yes and Schuberth's Selavi. They bring back the happiest memories 🙂


    • Hi there Neva,
      You know I don’t think I ever smelled Kouros on a woman. Not knowingly anyway. Yeah, I bet it would be electric.
      CHARLIE! I still love it.
      The bottle I’m holding of Gentlemen is fairly old, it smells almost exactly as I remember. SWOON!
      Portia xx


  2. I graduated high school in 1985. I don’t have strong perfume memories but I remember having a bottle of Vanderbilt, and also Anais Anais. I also had a collection of mini bottles of 4711 that I acquired on a youth orchestra trip to Europe. I think my mom was already wearing perfumers workshop Tea Rose by then and that is my strongest olfactory memory of that time!


    • hey MMKinPA,
      You are 1 year ahead of me in school but I was asked to leave in 1984, so I was out a year ahead of you.
      I still snigger at Anais Anais. My Dad, sister and I all called it Anus Anus and teased mum mercilessly about it.
      Tea Rose, so beautiful. I have a friend that still wears it perfectly.
      Portia xx


  3. Ahhh memories of my misbegotten teenage years. In sort-of date order of what I was wearing. There was a lot of Impulse body spray in the Musk variety. Stevie B, until it seemed to disappear, then lots of Lentheric Panache and Tramp😻 Charlie, Yardley Liberty and Chique. Jovan Musk. Matchabelli Aviance was still doing the biz. Fabergé Touch of Class. Discovered Paco Rabanne at around 16 and fell headlong for Calandre and Metale. Max Factor Le Jardin and Épris. My long awaited bottle of Fidji Parfum at 18. Opium, the game changer.


  4. Hi Portia, great choices! Givenchy Gentlemen 1974 sounds so sophisticated! You wore some wonderful fragrances as a teenager. Love you included Insolence edt! Have to try it again, I wore Insolence edp for some time. Our Moment sounds like a must try with it Guerlain vibe. XxEsperanza


  5. I was limited to drug store specials during my teen years, which meant Dana Tabu, Coty Vanilla Fields, Avon Hawaiian White Ginger, and Coty Sand and Sable. I don’t own any of these today, but I do remember them with fondness.


  6. My inner teen is never far below the surface, and Shalimar perfume which I wore by the bucketload still remains a true love. Speaking of love, Love’s Baby Soft was another favorite.
    I think I was a bit of a perfume snob. My European mother once declared that the only perfumes worth wearing were from France. I took that to heart and avoided the drugstore offerings, with Love’s Baby Soft being the exception. I’m fairly certain that I wore it just to piss her off. She would say “oh, you’re wearing that cheap perfume again” 🙄. So I’d pilfer her stuff. I wore Madame Rochas, Chanel No. 5 and Chamade amongst others.


  7. Hi Portia!

    I’m going through this list and realising that this is the smell of boys at discos when I was an ugly girl with a hundred crushes. Kouros and Jazz were huge, although not many teen lads could afford Jazz. I am a shameless fan of celeb scents so happy to celebrate that upside down tutu in the lid of One Direction! I was late to Insolence but give me anything with violets and I’m all over it like a cheap suit.

    I LOVED this one!

    Sam xxx


    • Woo Hoo ! Hey Sam,
      Hasn’t this month been excellent fun.
      We are of an age together I think. LOVED smelling boys at the disco. At one point I used to follow them around if they were wearing Le Male or Joop! HA! Weren’t those the days. Hundred crushes years were super fun too. I love to flirt.
      Portia xx


  8. Great choices, and wonderful stories, Portia! I love Vintage Aramis and Kouros are magnificent, especially in summer (I use them with caution, though). I need to try GG, it sounds like my cup of tea.

    I didn’t really have an opportunity to buy fancy perfumes back in the 90es when I was a teen, but I can still remember how fascinated I was having tried Kenzo Le Monde est Beau, YSL In Love Again, Angel, and Hypnotic Poison (I’ve bought them all, of course, as soon as I had the chance). I also liked Dalimix and Clinique Happy, alas, neither smells right on my skin anymore :(.


  9. Love Kouros and Gentleman though I have contrasting attitude towards them. Kouros will always be in my collection but it is not a fragrance I can wear everyday. I can also not imagine my collection without Gentleman but unlike Kouros, Gentleman is a fragrance I can easily wear everyday. If I have to choose one, it will be a painful decision but I will almost certainly choose Gentleman. Plus there is nostalgic rationale, too as Gentleman was the first perfume that really moved me, back in the late 90s when I was a teenager. I still remember inhaling the spray nozzle of the bottle and thinking that the name of the perfume is so befitting because this is exactly what a man should smell like.


    • I did not wear any fragrance in high school. It started in college for me, here in the US. The country I am from, it did not really have a fragrance culture at the time. I don’t even remember anyone wearing fragrance in my high school though most of the students in my high school were from affluent families. At that time, fragrance was something you wore on important social occasions or if you were a working professional. That’s why the only person in my family who wore a fragrance on a regular basis was my dad and that is how I was introduced to Givenchy Gentleman for the first time.


  10. What a hoot reliving the fragrant past of out teen years. I wore Brut, Tabu, Oui, non by Kookai, Chloé by Largafeld which was a love, Anais anais was gifted but not one I really liked. I swooned after Poison and got my hands on a bottle for my 18 th birthday which I still have.. divine!


  11. Erk. Rediscovering my inner teen (and early 20s) is more embarrassing than anything, in this company. It would be a parade of Blue Stratos, Pino Silvestre, Tabac, Old Spice and Imperial Leather. None of them would get any airtime these days.


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