Marc Jacobs

I don’t know about you, but when I wear fragrance I wear it for myself and myself alone. Sure, I love to share my passion with others, that is a huge part of my hobby, but when I wear perfume, I wear it because I enjoy it.

And I wear what I like!

Ever since I bought my first proper perfume (Kingdom by Alexander McQueen) I have loved ‘feminine’ fragrances. Looking through my collection it’s obvious that the ratio of feminine and masculine is weighted considerably towards the feminine. To this day I find myself drawn to the feminine releases much more than masculines. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy wearing masculine fragrances but they just don’t wow me the way a lot of the feminines do.

I guess that I’m the King/Queen of fragrant gender bending.

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BlindfoldTo blind buy or not to blind buy, that is the question. Shakespeare said that didn’t he? Well, he said something along those lines anyway. The blind buy is for those thrill-seeking perfumistas who like the adrenalin rush, it’s like playing Russian Roulette, except with perfume instead of the bullets and a fraction of the danger.

What is a Blind Buy?

I’m sure most of the lovely people reading this post are familiar with the blind buy but for those who aren’t, a blind buy (or blind trade) is simply where a fragrance is purchased completely untested.

From my experience, a blind buy can happen for many reasons; perhaps there has been a lot of buzz on the internet about a particular fragrance or the notes list sounds right up your street or even a favourite house/brand releases a brand new fragrance that you simply must have.

I’m sure you’ve all been there, reading reviews from a variety of blogs and websites and thinking ‘I know I’m going to like this’ before reaching for the credit card.

Firecracker Cupcake

We all have them, those things that we know we shouldn’t love but we secretly do. I have lots of guilty pleasures, whether they be food, fragrance, music, movies or TV shows, there are lots of things that I know are a bit naff but I love them regardless.

There are so many fragrances on the market and us perfumistas are constantly on the search for the great fragrances, the ones that smell so good we just cannot live without them. It’s a long ongoing journey and along the way we find the bad, the dull, the weird, the downright hideous and of course the guilty pleasures.

So what exactly is a guilty pleasure perfume? Well to me they are those fragrances that you know are bad because they are a dreadful celebuscent or the quality of the composition (or both) or because they are painfully mainstream, but you still like them anyway.

When putting this post together there was one fragrance that instantly came to mind….

Ahh the 80’s, a time of excess where everything was big; the clothes, the music, the hair and of course the perfume.

The perfume in the 80’s was loud, proud and would announce it’s arrival a long time before you entered a room, and stay a long time after you left. There were big bouquets of aldehydic florals and massive oriental spice bombs. I shouldn’t forget the HUGE jammy roses and the loud syrupy tuberoses either.

These fragrances, affectionately known as ‘Perfumes with Shoulder Pads’ by the #fumechat Tweeters are representative of the era, and whilst they may not be entirely popular today I have a real soft spot for them.

Perfume and fashion go hand in hand in so many ways. The majority of major fashion houses have their own perfume lines and there are a number of scents that are inspired by clothing (No 5 & La Petite Robe Noire etc). One of the big ways fashion and perfume intertwine is through the search for vintage.

Vintage is huge in the fashion industry, fashionistas will search high and low to find that perfect vintage piece from Oscar de la Renta or Chanel. Perfumistas are the same, some will trawl through page after page on eBay trying to find just a few drops of vintage Miss Dior.

Us perfumistas/fumeheads/fragonerds/whatever it is we call ourselves are keen followers of the mantra ‘It’s all about the juice’, meaning that we don’t care about the marketing, the bottle or any of the other stuff that comes with a fragrance. We just care about the smell!

It seems that we may differ from the mainstream consumer.

In the mainstream perfume industry the bottle is seen as the key marketing tool for a fragrance. Those of you who watched the recent BBC4 documentary ‘Perfume’ would have seen that in the case of the latest Tommy Hilfiger fragrances (Loud for Him and Her) the bottle and the marketing were the prime focus of the development team and the juice very much seemed like an afterthought.

So how important is the bottle to a perfumista?

I asked my Twitter followers whether they were swayed by the bottle design when purchasing a fragrance. The general consensus seemed to be that no, the bottle doesn’t matter, however an attractive bottle does help. Some even mentioned that if the fragrance was good and the bottle was bad they would decant the juice into something more aesthetically pleasing. We kept coming back to the same conclusion – it’s all about the juice…

I feel that I may buck the perfumista trend slightly, if I love a perfume I will buy it, regardless of whether it has a nice bottle or not. That said, I do like a nice bottle and have on occasions found myself wanting a fragrance because it’s housed in a nice bottle (Hello Lola by Marc Jacob!) I can’t help that I’m drawn to shiny, pretty objects can I?!

There are some brands out there with some really fabulous bottles and in this post I would like to highlight just a few of my favourites.