Macadam & Flowers © CHANT WAGNER 2016
How I Re-Established my Relationship with Perfumes this Summer, in 7 States of Mind & Scented Eurêkas
Here are my bullet points of perfume wisdom:
• Randomness ....of discoveries
Taking a break from the calendar of launches enables you to explore the world of scents more freely. Yes, you are still constrained by space and time if you want to wear fragrances and not just day-dream about them, but adopting a flâneur approach to perfume allows you to happen on perfumes much more randomly...
Pop into a store or pharmacy and discover a scent you might not have put on your to-sniff priority list. This randomness is nurture for the soul and spirit. It also enables you to associate perfume to a sense of place; you are de facto drawing an affective, scented map of fragrant, happy recollections and enjoyable « yes to the perfume! » moments.
Looking at you Giorgio Blue by Giorgio Beverly Hills
• Rediscovery ...of seasons & climate-control thanks to scent
When the weather counts, you rediscover the role of perfumes in aiding in climate control. Perfumes are objects of desire but they are also therapeutic. It's simply smart sometimes to just wear the right note to counteract too much heat or humidity, or at the opposite end of the spectrum, too much cold and dryness. There will be a Best Fragrance Notes for Summer post. But meanwhile,
Looking at you Yves Rocher Cuir Vétiver
• Willingness...to let me be seduced or re-seduced
This is the part where perhaps you are least the perfume blogger and critic. You're on vacation! You don't have to put your critical appraisal to everything scented and then keep insisting on wearing edgy, avant-gardist fragrances because...Art.
Looking at you, the dupe of White Shoulders, whose name I forget and which is able to fool you for half an hour, but still smells enticing.
• Nostalgia...is great sometimes
While some perfumes will inevitably make you feel like you need to move on from them because they are associated with a moment in your life you didn't like, other scents are there to remind you of the multi-layered aspect of the universe - and that you have a deep treasury of precious memory moments you can tap into anytime. Those moments of positivity can be conjured up at will thanks to perfume and charge you with good energy while helping you to re-center on your essentials. This does not mean your fragrances of choice will not be artistic. It's just that you are allowed to be a sentimental being and go for nostalgic notes that speak to you in a particularly eloquent way, while they might stay mute to others.
Looking at you Martin Margiela Replica Tea Escape
• Fun...perfumes are seriously made but they can still make you smile or even laugh
When I realized that a niche-y brand had cheekily copied White Shoulders by Evyan re-branding it as cool and hip, but still kept it decent by selling the redux at a reasonable price, it made me chuckle.
Again, looking at you, the dupe of White Shoulders, whose name I forget and which is able to fool you for half an hour - but still smell enticing.
• Simplicity...of an instinctive Like
Yes, you should go for something you think you like best but in fact the proof being in the pudding, you might really like better something else. This is when I discovered that while I thought I would always fall for a good musk, I discovered I'm more likely to fall for a good gourmand. This is also when I discovered that while I'm a visual person, when it comes to choosing a scented product, I know my priorities and will set aside visual beauty for olfactive beauty, always. Of course, when the two mesh, it's beautiful, perhaps even too much and distracting of the other.
Looking at you A Lab on Fire Paris * L.A.
• Body mists...are cool
Heat, sweat are great equalizers. Go on the street and smell the universal perfume of human perspiration with nuances of personal diet and grades of washing. The aureolas you spot on clothes, it's funny because they appear on virtually everyone. Heatwaves, like snow storms, tell us we bathe in the exact same atmosphere in the great bathtub of muggy heat or frozen weather. Some will come out at the other end of it smelling good. When you need a light grade of scent, something enveloping which occasionally doubles as a Febreeze, I discovered that fragrance body mists are great. They are super practical, great value and now even more sophisticated than their eaux de toilette counterparts - si, si. It's probably due in part to a market focus as perfumers are now consciously working on one of the preferred fragrance delivery systems by consumers.
Looking at you H & M Cashmere Haze and Midnight Muse Body Mists