For the past year or so I have been intrigued by the idea of having a signature scent. I love the process of finding the most suitable perfume–not just a smell that fits your personality, but one that works with your body chemistry. I started with a website that broke down perfumes into personality categories and searched under “elegant”–not because I consider myself to be particularly elegant, but because I like the idea of using a solid, classic base to build whimsical or playful or tomboy-ish outfits on.
I researched the perfumes that came up and I was really taken with what I read in reviews of Flower by Kenzo. When I tried it on, the scent lasted well over eight hours and was soft and floral–like a more contemporary version of the perfume that my grandmother wore. Right away I knew that it was the fragrance I wanted for everyday use and I ordered a bottle soon after.
But it was in reading a review of the Kenzo fragrance by Chandler Burr in NYT Magazine that I found out about Diorissimo–a 1956 scent that features lily of the valley and is, apparently, often mistaken as a soliflore. Because lily of the valley is the flower of May, my birth month, I decided to try it out and found it to be lovely, fresh and clean. The perfume was recently reformulated so I would really love to find a vintage bottle (which a friend owns and which I found I liked better than what was in the department store) to use just for special occasions.
Having recently met a 60-some year Swedish woman at my favorite bar, who chided me for not wearing perfume (thus motivating me to actually find one) and told me that she herself preferred Lancôme, I also checked out their fragrance site and landed on Poême basically because I liked the name. What interested me about this fragrance were a) that it doesn’t follow the top, middle, base note structure and b) the descriptions of it as a night-time perfume that contrasts bitter and sweet. I tried it on at Bloomingdales and loved it, especially because of how well it complimented and transitioned from the daytime Flower by Kenzo that I had been wearing all day at work.
Flower by Kenzo: Wild Hawthorne, Bulgarian Rose, Parma Violet, Cassia, Hedione, Cyclosal, Opoponax, White Musk, Vanilla. (Sephora.com)
Diorissimo: Bergamot and calyx, middle notes of lily of the valley, jasmine, ylang ylang and lilac and a base of sandalwood.(Saksfifthavenue.com)
Poême by Lancôme: Top Notes: Blue Himalayan Poppy, Lychee Blossom; Heart Notes: Orange Blossom, Mimosa, Jasmine; Base Notes: Vanilla, Desert Datura Flower. (Lancome-usa.com)