Finding the Right Perfume….

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:

Perfume Choice

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

8 thoughts on “Finding the Right Perfume….

  1. Really lovely post and topic! I adore a great perfume and have been drawn to certain scent notes/families my whole life. In general, I prefer heady, complex scents that involve vanilla, tobacco, leaf and/or oak/moss, but every now and then I’ll hit on an intense floral that I adore as well – and I must say, I have a bit of penchant for single note scents as well.

    ♥ Jessica

  2. Great post! So happy to know I’m not the only one out there sniffing their wrists!

    For me fragrance is fabulous and evocative, and I really feel undressed if I don’t have a perfume on when I am going out, although I often apply a little before bed too. I truly adore my scents! I always have five or six on hand and rarely where the same one more than a day or two in a row. My mood, the weather and who knows what else help me select a fragrance on a given day but I truly like all sorts from complex oriental fragrances (such as Casmir), to soft floral blends (like my long time favourite Arpege) and fresh light clean scents (English lavender is my favourite in this category). I first took an interest in Arpege when I found out it was blended in 1928 and that most modern blends are said to have been patterned on it. Once I tried it I fell in love.

    • I too put on a little before bed…mostly lavender and it helps me relax. I don’t believe that I have ever smelled Arpege…I will have to track that down! So glad that you like my post:-).
      Best Wishes,

      • Arpege is definitely worth the search! If nothing else it is a whiff of perfume history. A perfume counter in a department store should have it, and lots of the little perfume shops that have become increasingly common stock it although they don’t press you to try it, which is a pity.

        Jicky is another piece of perfume history. I doubt I’ll ever be able to afford a bottle, which is a shame, I adore it, but it is still a remarkable scent blended over a hundred years ago.

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