My Very Own Narnia – The Capsule Wardrobe


Last weekend, after much nagging from my long-suffering partner, I decided to have a tidy of my perfume collection and samples box. Now, anyone who knows me well will be fully aware that tidying is not really something I do very often, in fact, it is something that I avoid at all costs.

Anyway, during my tidy up, I totalled up the number of perfume bottles in my collection and I was genuinely shocked when I came to the nice round number of 120. “How can I have so much perfume, I never feel like I have enough choice” I thought, “Do I really need so much?” and “Do I feel like I don’t know what to wear because I have too much choice?”

This led me to think in depth about my collection of fragrances, what would I choose if I were to reduce its size considerably?

My tidying frenzy has prompted me to create my very own ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ of just a few scents that I feel I couldn’t live without and are versatile enough to be worn throughout most of the year, my very own scented Narnia if you will.

To create my perfect Perfume Capsule Wardrobe I have reduced my collection to 11 scents (I couldn’t quite manage 10, sorry!) and it is split into 5 categories; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Special Occasions. Oh, and there is a wildcard too! I can’t promise Narnia, but I guarantee that the fragrances I have chosen are anything but boring…


Beautiful by Estée Lauder

What could be more spring like than sparkling orchard fruit, bright white florals and green, mossy earth? Beautiful is a floral bouquet inspired by the season of love, you can almost smell the warm sun hitting the dew on fresh, spring flowers, it simply is Beautiful.

Alien by Thierry Mugler

My wardrobe wouldn’t be complete without this intergalactic jasmine. Alien is a loud, blindingly bright woody floral with a warm amber/vanilla base. It works perfectly in all seasons but I find that it suits Spring best, when the weather is warm, but not too hot and Alien positively sings on the skin.


Amaranthine by Penhaligon’s

By now you may be noticing somewhat of a floral theme here in my cosy little wardrobe and it seems that I may have to come clean; I am a self confessed floral addict and I am not ashamed. Amaranthine is a floral that loves summer, it is full of creamy tropical flowers, predominately ylang ylang and a nice pinch of cumin. At first Amaranthine seems prim and proper, but don’t be fooled, this girl knows her way around the bedroom. I certainly do love a bit of raunch with my florals.

Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder

Beyond Paradise is for those days when it’s too hot to wear almost any other perfume. It’s a lush, dewy green floral that, like a lot of Lauder fragrances, smells like an imagined bouquet of flowers. I wore this for most of my holiday this year in Florida and it blossomed on my skin with the humidity when anything else would have been too much.


Like This by Etat Libre d’Orange and Tilda Swinton

Ginger, maple syrup, pumpkin pie, popcorn and cookies – Like This is one of the most unusual, yet easy to wear gourmand fragrances I have ever tried. It starts out with sharp, zesty ginger and warms up to become a warm slice of pumpkin pie. Fantastic stuff that suits the colours of autumn.

Feminité du Bois by Serge Lutens (originally Shiseido)

Feminité du Bois was a surprise love for me, as I’ve mentioned many times before, I find cedar wood a difficult note, it feels harsh and it always seems to come along and ruin a fragrance just when I’m starting to enjoy it. Feminité du Bois is the exception to the rule, it couples rich, almost sour purple fruit with spices and dry cedar. Despite its name, Feminité du Bois is incredibly unisex and smells great on anyone.


Nu by Yves Saint Laurent

I posted quite recently about Nu so I won’t go into too much detail but what I will say is that this peppery, spicy incense with its wonderful white floral accord is PERFECT for winter.

Shalimar by Guerlain

I had to include Shalimar somewhere in here didn’t I?! Despite being suitable for most seasons (possibly excluding the height of summer) Shalimar is most beautiful in winter. This smoky vanilla is the perfect oriental and it very rightly deserves it’s status as ‘THE Oriental’ and a place in any wardrobe.

Special Occasions

Portrait of a Lady by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

The Behemoth of all rose perfumes, Portrait of a Lady is so huge and attention grabbing that it could only be worn on those most special of occasions. There is so much going on here; rose, incense, myrrh, oud, patchouli, and you name it, Portrait of a Lady’s got it. I don’t own a bottle but if I were to create my Capsule Wardrobe for real, Portrait of a Lady would take pride of place.

Gold Woman by Amouage

Amouage are famous for their rich, opulent fragrances and Gold Woman is one of their richest. I love my florals (not that I’ve mentioned this already or anything) and Gold is a shimmering blend of the finest flowers, silver frankincense and smooth, creamy sandalwood. A truly glamorous fragrance that could be worn with the smartest of clothing or the comfiest of pyjamas.

The Wildcard

Each capsule wardrobe has to have a wildcard, the one scent that whilst not fitting into any of the above categories can be worn at anytime. It simply HAS to be included.

Tubéreuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens 

The Cruella De Vil of tuberose fragrances, Tubéreuse Criminelle shocks with it’s massive dose of medicinal camphor. I find it addictive, others find it repulsive and cannot get over the top notes but after a while Tubéreuse Criminelle loses it’s camphor outerwear and dries down to a warm, tropical tuberose. Beautiful in every way.

Join the Discussion!

What would be in your capsule wardrobe? I want to know! Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.


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