I love smelling good. A basic, perhaps obvious statement, that nonetheless is true. You may often see me oddly smelling my arm, if the lotion I used that day has a particularly delicious scent. Or perhaps you might observe me gently wafting the tips of my hair under my nose from where those very tips got in the way of my perfume bottle. Which reminds me…I love the beautiful shapes of perfume bottles. I love the gentle clink the glass makes as you pull off the topper and the instant feeling of being clean and fresh as the gentle mists clings to your skin. I even have preferred scents for the seasons. The warmer the weather, the lighter the scent and vice versa.
Perfume can also bring us instantly back to a place, a memory, or a person. Those heavier scents that perhaps a grandmother wore as she leaned over you to tuck your hair back behind your ear. Or the light scent of the first bottle you received for Christmas and which you, perhaps in earnest, put on too much. Or the scent that helped you catch an old flame…maybe you have kept it or maybe it went in the trash for good reason. Regardless, perfume can be as much a part of you as your own signature.
Yet when did the numerous bottles of perfume become a common appearance on the proper lady’s vanity table? I think this little excerpt from the turn of the century expresses it best:
“Next time you pass a toilet goods counter, sniffing the delicious odors of lavender and jasmine and a host of flower fragrances, and your hand instinctively reaches for your purse and then draws back in a Puritanical prejudice against perfumes, just remember that, in addition to being no longer in ill-repute, they are even considered medicinal.”
As society opened up on their view of makeup and perfume, these two became such an integral part of a woman’s identity and her ability to express her personal self-worth. Nothing evokes more confidence and respect than a woman who cares for herself, and a beautiful scent is such an important part.
Looking for some suggestions on choosing the right scent? Read on to learn the guidelines from a 1920’s beauty specialist:
So go ahead and splurge on that special scent you have been eyeing at the perfume counter and join your sweet-smelling sisters…no matter in what year they lived!
The Magic Of Dress by Grace Margaret Gould, 1911
Fashion Service: Fragrances for My Lady Fair by Barbara Ellison, 1927
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