(Clockwise from left: La Lune by Dolce & Gabbana, Un Jardin Apres La Mousson by Hermes, Burberry Brit, Burberry London, Miss Dior by Christian Dior, Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel, Safari by Ralph Lauren, Paris by Yves Saint Laurent, Flora by Gucci and Joy by Jean Patou).
I love smells, I like that intoxicating, punching whiff of fresh bread, the cleaness of freshly cut grass. I don’t very much enjoy the smell that comes from those whom don’t employ proper hygiene practices, but I doubt many are a fan of that particular musk. One of my favourite scents is Johnson & Johnson Baby Talc. It is so simple and pure, nothing fancy but something more than comforting. I think my love of nasal sensory overload has led me to be a fragrance whore as such. It’s not that I don’t believe in signature scents (indeed, my Mum has worn Jaipur by Boucheron for as long as my nose remembers), I just like to character-fragrance – matching my fragrance to my personality. And I like the memories each bottle evokes whenever I pick it up to spray.
For example, I have worn Burberry London religiously since its release 2006. It is a simple extension of my everyday persona and has pretty much taken over as my natural body fragrance, whenever it is smelt by someone it tends to preface the statement, “It smells like you!”.
Paris by YSL was the first perfume my Mum ever purchased me. I smelt it when I was about 7 and I couldn’t get the heady scent out of my head and pestered until I had my very own. Interestingly, Paris was also when of the first fragrances that my Mum was bought but she never wore it as she believed it smelt like “cat piss” on her skin. Charmer. This is why I have never bought another perfume. It’s more personal than underwear to me.
On more serious days, like those where I know confrontation is imminent and I’m in the mood for ball-crushing I have been known to run off with a few spritzes of my Dads scent, Eau Savage by Christian Dior. Mens scents are far more comforting than most womens, and are really more unisex than anything. My future husband MUST smell of Terre d’Hermes. Must.
Two of my most treasured fragrance memories come from my two grandmothers. Miss Dior by Christian Dior has been worn every single day by my Nan since she was first gifted with it by a Japanese business man in the 1950’s, I have never known her to smell of anything else (expect for mulch, grass and crushed rose petals as she is an avid gardener). This is the Lammin womens fragrance as it is also worn by my Mother, my Aunt and now, myself. I never wear it during the day though, unlike my Nan I reserve it for those nights where I find myself holed in the recess of a dark chocolate leather couch with a drink and mystery. Strangely enough, not one of us likes Miss Dior Cherie (it does smell like sugar-coated cat pee).
My other Grandmother has worn Joy by Jean Patou for as long as my nose remembers, and much like others with a signature scent, I connect the aroma to a person before I connect it to its name. I now too own a small bottle of Joy, but this is worth far more than the glass bottles that adorn her dresser. For my birthday, she presented by with a hand-turned wooden perfume bottle containing a vial of Joy. Not only is the mix of wood and scent perhaps the most comforting, beautiful reminder of a million childhood visits to her house for afternoon tea, but the wood is a remnant of my Dads childhood as she had sourced it from his childhood home in Port Morseby, Papua New Guinea. Now every other female in the Webb family wants their own, but they really should have been the first born for such high honours.
The Five Senses have an importance beyond any childrens rhyme, and the power of smell especially has an ability to take me where little else can. It can take me back to the patch of long-grass outside the bottle shop in Beecroft, it can take me to the crystal-still night looking out over Victoria Harbour and it finds me here, today with the subtle hint of Stella in Two: Peony.