By Caitlin Kelly
I was at the Santa Monica Airport flea market — so much fun! — at the start of the day, inside an elegantly arrayed tent full of lovely things.
“Something smells good. Is that your fragrance?” asked the vendor.
It was — one of my favorites, L’eau de l’artisan by L’Artisan Parfumeur. But (!) I couldn’t find it on their website and am now panicked.
Here’s a fun recent story from Elle magazine about four perfume collectors.
Fragrance is a huge part of my life, and one of the things I always notice and appreciate; on our first date, in March 2000, my husband Jose wore a delicious classic men’s fragrance, 1881 by Cerutti. Swoon! I love a classic perfume or fragrance, and much prefer some of the older ones — from the 50s, 60s or 70s — to what’s on offer today.
I’m careful about when and where I wear fragrance — never to medical or dental appointments or on long airplane rides; you never know who’s allergic or just sick of smelling other people all day long!
A terrific summer fragrance, super-green and citrus-y is O de Lancome –– launched in 1969.
Another is Blenheim Bouquet, launched in 1903 by the British firm Penhaligon, a man’s cologne.
And this one, Herbae, from L’Occitane.
One of the many pleasures of my California trip was the delicious scent of jasmine, which I saw and smelled everywhere, including right outside two of my rooms, growing wild.
An astonishing sense memory, from the summer of 1996, was my solo mo-ped trip around La Balagne, the northern bit of Corsica, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The low-lying brush, le maquis, is a mixture of vegetation that, when sun-warmed, threw off the most delicious scent — in my nostrils as I slowly made my way through the landscape. Heaven!
I know many people associate a specific perfume or cologne with a loved one; the very distinctive men’s cologne of the mid-80s, Kouros, is a very powerful one for me, worn by a mad beau 10 years my senior, and our passionate affair.
Funny, but Jose and I both share a childhood love of Maja, an ancient scent (1926) from a Spanish house. We often use their soap.
Do you have favorite smells, natural ones and manufactured fragrances?