My first proper perfume - and the first perfume of every girl growing up in the 80s - was Loulou by Cacharel. It was powdery and sweet and spicy, all at the same time, and the boys we loved loved it. I wanted to look like this mysterious childwoman, this elfish Lolita in those hazy dreamlike ads shot by Sarah Moon.
My grandmother gave me a bottle of Diorissimo, that classic and very french lily-of-the-valley scent, sophisticated and feminine but never girlish, with an erotic and warm note to it, a wonderful winter fragrance as its warmth seems to pierce through the cold like a flower through the snow. I wore it on and off, and during a particularly manipulative relationship and the subsequent traumatic break-up, and it took years not to break into tears whenever I smelled it. Ultimately I switched to Hiris by Hermès, a lovely warm, powdery floral, one of the most beautiful Iris scents around.
The middle of the Nineties were a great time for perfume lovers. Comme des Garcons launched its first perfume, Acqua Di Parma made a comeback, Demeter launched a series of fragrances, a Fragrance Library, as it is aptly called, with names like Tomato, Leather or Grass. Smelling close enough to the real thing, but still conceptual enough to work in everyday life. I was devoted to Dirt, which smells like warm, damp earth and sex, and is said to pair nicely with Thunderstorm.
L´Autre, launched by Diptyque in 1973, is another great scent, a challenging, difficult creation, which makes it so worthwhile to try, the olfactory equivalent to the Art Teacher look, Polaroid nudes from the Seventies and trench coats worn with Hermès riding boots and naked skin.
Currently, my scent is Laurel by Monocle, an intriguing, woody and green fragrance, with hints of violets thrown in to satisfy my thirst for floral scents. It´s grown-up and wonderful, and it is here to stay - at least for now.
d´Arménie booklets of scented paper that you can burn, releasing a wonderful woody and spicy scent. Try it, now.