mambi's inner west adventures

Written by:
Samatha Kasprowicz

Freelance Graphic Designer
Sydney, Australia

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My Decade(ish) of Perfume

21 february 2012

They say smell is one of our last senses to go and one that can trigger memories back from their gloomy depths to resurface like theyíve just occurred. I must say I can relate to this, but not just any smell; for me itís perfume. If Iíve worn it before or someone close to me has then I remember.

With perfume, images of beauty counters and endless card strips doused in scents one may never wear spring to mind. Beautiful smiles enticing us to try and hopefully buy, but for me I know that if I wear this for more than an afternoon shopping jaunt itíll hold for me memories of a time in my life. As life changes, so do our tastes (as Iíve discovered) and this is particularly true for me when it comes to fragrance.

Donít get me wrong, I love a good perfume. Although growing up on the Central Coast didnít really allow for such luxuries, I was fortunate enough to have an Aunt living in Belgium who would hide trial sizes of various scents within Birthday and Christmas presents - divine! Mum always wore good perfume too, never rubbish. Looking back itís a luxury that lets you feel great and lasts a lot longer than a faddy manicure.

The following list is a bit of a trip through the last decade or so. Iím not sharing every single scent Iíve ever worn, just the notables. Needless to say they arenít all good, some far from it, but there a sentiments attached and this is what Iím trying to get to.

The trip starts in 1995. During a solo trip to the UK to visit family, my Aunt came over from Belgium. We had a lovely Xmas and I remember the 5 set of Dior I received (3 x women's and 2 menís fragrances). I liked each scent for different reasons; the mens Fahrenheit was spicy and all kinds of yum. I wore the Dior Poison first - the name alone sounded secretive and seductive and the deep purple glass was alluring. Wearing it gave my teenage self a confidence with the opposite sex that I hadnít before, sending secret smiles (probably followed by hair flicks) to some cute boys, returned with smiles and conversations! My nan upon smelling my new scent on me thought otherwise and declined hugs if I had it on!... Her honesty I still love!

Anyway I hope you enjoy my little trip down fragrance lane as much as I enjoyed reliving each scent. And besides it was a nice excuse to get the watercolours out!

(left to right: J'adore by Dior, Ultraviolet by Palo Rabanne and Wish by Chopard

1995 - Dior 5pc Gift pack (3 x Women's 2 x Mens)
Hints: Trying new things, a taste of luxury
Undertones: the longing to share this with someone special

1998 - Dune by Dior: Present from boyfriend at the time
Undertones: Stuffy, stagnant relationship. Dusty and in need of an overhaul.

1999 - Vanilla by Bodyshop
Overtones: A bouquet of milk bottle lollies Hints of vanilla marshmallows
Reminiscent: A young barmaid with bright dreams

2000 - Ultraviolet by Palo Rabanne:
Overtones: 21st birthday gift
Hints: Future collegeís fragrance of choice

2001 - Wish by Chopard
Overtones: a gift
Hints: Freedom and choices - New beginnings
Reminiscent: Sharing this fragrance with a random stranger who proceeded to buy it for someone special.

2002 - Jadore by Dior
I bought this as a present to myself when I got my first super serious job
Hints: Pay increase and a little self indulgence. Would wear again
Overtones: New UK life

2003 - Paris by YSL
I can always pick this one when it floats past on someone.
Although a little too sweet now.
Hints: Past relationships, the early 20ís ultra sweet undertones of nights out and xmas parties.

2004 - Brit by Burberry
Overtones: A hasty pre xmas purchase

2005 - Lovely by SJP a possible celebrity classic, well maybe
Hints: New starts, pages turned and grand times ahead
Overtones: Airports and travel

2006 - Stella by Stella McCartney
Hints: Moving to the flat, nice restaurants and late night shopping.
Overtones: Quick trips to London and weekends away.

2007 - Wish
Hints: Revisiting good times

2008 - Aůd by Lostmarc'h - Bought when we got back to Oz
Reminiscent: Anxiety and self doubt... a shame really

2010 - La Tulipe by Byredo
Reminiscent: Marriage, a hand to hold and a day to remember.
Hints: Beautiful flowers, succulents, wind, sunshine and Kombi vans

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