It’s National Fragrance Day, and I though I rarely post about perfume, I thought I’d share five of my favorites in honor of the event.
Jolie Madame is a bit of an oldie, and has recently been discontinued by Balmain. They do seem to be in the process of revamping their fragrance lineup, so one can only hope that they will restore Jolie Madame to their library. I only own the newer version of Jolie Madame, and not the 1953 vintage that was created by Germaine Cellier. (Within the last ten years or so, many fragrances have required reformulation thanks to the EU’s stringent IRFA regulations.) Still, I think it smells wonderful, kind of like the inside of a chic lady’s leather handbag. It contains many notes, but I mostly get leather, violet, tobacco, and vetiver. I try to use it a lot more sparingly now, since it’s been discontinued. I’m thinking of just spritzing it into some of my handbags and enjoying it that way!
This was one of three unisex tea scents released by jewellers Bvlgari in 2006. I believe the other two, Blanc and Vert, are still around, but Rouge has been unfairly discontinued. Luckily, I do own a backup bottle, which I purchased from an airport duty-free shop. (The middle-aged SA poo-pooed my choice with “That one is not very popular”, prompting me to sigh, “I’ll just take it, thanks.”) The notes include red teas rooibos and yunnan, pink pepper, orange, bergamot, fig, walnut and musk. It also lasts surprisingly well on me for an eau de cologne concentration. I adore it, but I guess it’s really not for everyone (I believe it’s still pretty easy to get a hold of at online discounters, unlike Jolie Madame above).
Givenchy released this lovely, floral fragrance in 2010. It’s packaged in a beautiful, vintage-inspired bottle and contains notes of “tangerine, Italian winter lemon, shiso (Japanese basil), rose, ylang ylang, musk, ambrette seed and tonka” (Fragrantica). Fragrance creator François Demachy described it as “an imaginary rose in dewy morning”. I probably get more compliments wearing this perfume than any other, though I also wear it a lot more since it’s such an easy scent to wear. It works day or night, and is both unassuming and romantic. It’s only available in eau de toilette, but I find it lasts as long as some eau de parfums on me. Perhaps it’s a little boring and linear, but it remains one of my absolute favorites! Givenchy has since released a few flankers to this perfume, but I can never find testers anywhere.
Created by Jacques Guerlain in 1919, Mitsouko is the very first Guerlain fragrance I ever tried—and it was quite late, perhaps in my late 20s. I don’t know why I never bothered to check out Guerlain before then, but when I inhaled, I had a sort of epiphany: “So that’s what perfume is supposed to smell like!” No exaggeration. Notes of “bergamot, peach, jasmine, may rose, spices (cinnamon), oak moss, vetiver and wood” (Fragrantica). I find it warm, comforting, and thankfully never sweet; one day, I’ll have to pick up the eau de parfum version. Sadly, I’ve never smelled the pre-IRFA regulation versions of Mitsouko, but I suppose it helps me to appreciate the reformulated version better! Those in the know do seem to agree that Guerlain’s reformulations have been quite good, unlike, say, Dior’s (oh, how I miss the original Diorissimo!)
Finally, this fragrance was a 2012 flanker to Guerlain’s 2011 release, Shalimar Parfum Initial, a sort of younger, more modern version of their classic Shalimar from 1921. I found the original Parfum Initial a touch too sweet, but Parfum Initial L’Eau seemed less so, with notes of neroli, citrus, iris, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, and vanilla. I also love the stunning bottle that was originally designed by Jade Jagger for Shalimar’s packaging revamp in 2010.
I’m giving Givenchy Eaudemoiselle a spin today, as usual. What are you wearing today for National Fragrance Day?