…Or is it Perfume?

I love perfume. I have for as long as I can remember. A spritz of perfume can cheer me up, transport me somewhere else and bring back happy memories. It’s part of my identity.

Do you have a signature perfume? What do I mean by this? My closest friend has a perfume that she always wears. Wherever I am, if I get a whiff of this scent it makes me think of my friend. For me that’s a signature perfume. I don’t have a true signature perfume – yet.

My earliest perfume memory is Aqua Manda which was around in my teenage years.   I remember it as spicey and oriental. While ‘researching’ this post, I discovered – to my surprise – that Aqua Manda is available again, mainly on line.IMG_0133

The next perfume that really struck a chord with me was ‘Biba’. How I loved this perfume! I was lucky enough to work in the large Biba store, as a temporary retail assistant, when I was a student. I was so disappointed when this perfume was no longer made. Interestingly, there are several Pinterest boards which are dedicated to the Biba brand.


I then experimented with several different perfumes including: Obsession, Opium and Poison. The names say it all! I loved them all but lots of people didn’t as they found them overpowering, heady and heavy. My students used to say that they knew if I’d recently walked down the school corridor!

IMG_0135For a long time, Oscar de la Rente was my go-to perfume but currently it’s La Vie est Belle. How long will this one last?

To me, France and Perfume are synonymous. Think of Chanel No 5, for example. An iconic French perfume. There are so many other famous French perfumes that you might fall asleep if I mention them all!

And, what about perfume for men? My youngest son has already discovered his signature fragrance; Bleu de Chanel. A great choice, in my opinion. As he’s twenty, this might change, of course.

I have never visited – yet – Grasse. This town, in the South of France, is famous for its perfume industry. I’ll add it to my list!

One of the most interesting and unusual books I have read is ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’. The author is Patrick Süskind. Set in eighteenth century France, it tells the story of Jean – Baptiste Grenouille. It’s a dark, disturbing read but certainly original.


The book was made into a film, starring Ben Whishaw. It’s not for the faint hearted and received very mixed reviews but I found it to be a compelling if challenging watch.

This post seems to have rambled on quite a lot already and there’s so much more I could say about perfume but what I’d really like to know is whether you have a favourite or signature fragrance. Or perhaps there’s a perfume that you really can’t stand. Either way I’d love to know!


16 thoughts on “Fragrance…

  1. I LOVE scent! And I have favorites. Seasonal Favorites! For summer it’s Fragonard’s “Fleur d’Oranger”. I can’t get enough of the pure essence of orange blossom and Fragonard’s is epic. I load up each summer when we are in France. BTW, I picked up a scent for my daughter and she loves it. Figue. She can’t wear anything overbearing or she’ll get a headache. This scent is perfect for her. In Spring I love wearing Guerlains “La Petit Robe Noire” The first time I sampled it was at Orly airport when the scent first was introduced, I could smell the cherries and I was hooked. I also wear this during summer into fall. And in winter I wear Guerlain’s L’Instant. I get compliments on it all the time.
    The one perfume that I need to get–but I won’t wear is Guerlain’s L’heure Bleu. It’s the siggy scent that Daniele DeLorme wore and whenever I get a whiff of it, I am transplanted back into her apartment in Paris hanging out with her. I just want it to open the bottle and be reminded of her. I’m rambling. Bonne Nuit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment, Catherine. I love your seasonal favourites! I can’t believe that I have only recently discovered Fragonard, mainly thanks to you. And I’m supposed to be a Francophile! I’ll definitely sample ‘La Petite Robe Noire’ & ‘L’instant’. It’s marvellous that you have a scent you can associate with Daniele: that is the magic of perfume, n’est-ce pas?!


  2. I have been using La Vie Est Belle by Lancome for the past few years. Love it en people often comment that I smell lovely. Even strangers.. Love Clarins Eau Dynamite for its fresh and energetic smell, good when going to tho the gym! Different perfumes can transport me to specific times in my life. Never go without.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment, Magriet. Glad to know you share my love for La Vie est Belle! I’ll try the Clarins ED it sounds lovely. I must admit I spray something fresh when going to Zumba. I’m just trying Fragonard: Vervaine


  3. As a teenager I remember using Coty’s L’aimant, then moving on to Aquamarine by, I think, Revlon which is now discontinued. My mother always had Chanel No 5. which I’ve tried and really don’t like. Currently I use a light perfume in the summer Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden and on colder days Si by Georgio Armani. If I want to make an impression (!) I wear Opium by Yves Saint Laurent – ooof what a fragrance that is! I must try some of the ones you’ve mentioned. Yes, I like to experiment but I have to say the Green Tea scent spray is great for hot weather so it will come with me to France!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment, Penny. I love the way perfume evolves, as we do. Chanel No 5, doesn’t work for me either. Sometimes, I notice a perfume on someone else & think it smells fantastic, so I ask them what it is. Then I try it, only find it smells completely different on me. I must try Green Tea ( sounds lovely & fresh) & also Si. Ah, Opium. Perhaps I will try it again… I also love most patchouli based perfumes. Probably because I still have the heart of an hippy!


  4. Aqua Manda – Oh, I loved it when I was a teenager. A couple of years ago I saw some in one of those cheap outlet shops and took off the lid hoping to be transported back a few decades. It wasn’t the same at all (not that I would have been buying it anyway!) As an older teen, I was into Avon Charisma, and then in my twenties it was Cacharel’s Anai Anais. In about 1990 I discovered Giorgio Beverley Hills and I still use it as an everyday scent, along with Dior’s J’adore. My absolute favourite is Chanel Allure. I love Tommy Hillfiger’s Tommy Girl because it reminds me of my daughter. She stopped wearing it ages ago but I remember the house smelling of it when she lived at home. There are several others that I am happy to use from time to time.
    Eloise at


    • Thank you so much for your comment, Eloise. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who remembers Aqua Manda! I had friends who wore Anais, Anais, but it never smelt as good on me. I must admit I haven’t tried Chanel Allure … yet. I can be quite fickle when it comes to fragrance but I’ve always liked the idea of having day/night or seasonal perfumes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. very interesting point of view… 🙂
    * * *
    @”Do you have a signature perfume?” – nope, I use “eaux de toilettes”, only, as my skin does not “hold” the smell of any perfume, even the famous Chanel n°5… 🙂 these past years, I’ve used some of Elizabeth Arden’s “eaux de toilettes-spray”: green tea, green tea & mimosa, green tea & nectarine blossom… divine! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting, Mélanine. You are the second reader who has mentioned Elizabeth Arden green tea … I must try it. I imagine it’s a lovely, light, fresh fragrance for summer.


  6. My wife tend to buy perfumes that comes in anything pink, she’s currently using Ghost Sweetheart Forever. Bought it because it has a “cute bottle” but she became way too attach to its mix of floral and fruity scent.

    Me on the other hand is using either Amouage Journey Man or Creed Aventus depending on the weather.

    Also, I hope you check out my article Guide to Finding the Perfect Spring Fragrance here


    • Thanks for your comment. I love the idea of your wife buying a perfume because she likes the pink colour of the bottle. Why not? Come to think of it, a lot of the perfume bottles I have are very dark. I love black & dark colours. I’m off to read your post on buying spring fragrance for men. I have two sons, so it could be very useful !


  7. Pingback: French Perfume Commercials – oui ou non? | Fancying France
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