Ever had anyone ‘copy’ your chosen smelly? I have. It was 2003. My chosen poison was Ghost Eau de Toilette. I’d been wearing it for long enough to consider it my signature scent when in walked a girl in a cloud of it a mere week after asking me what I had on. The cheek of it. I of course had to start all over again, moving onto DKNY’s Be Delicious before turning away from the mainstream after buying – and falling for – my first Annick Goutal creation (Petite Cherie – sweet, but just off-kilter enough to be interesting).
Now, my fragrance landscape is vast and comprised of niche brands with the odd big hitter thrown in (Tom Ford & Jo Loves often make the cut). I don’t have just the one because I now see the merit of having a fragrance wardrobe and matching scent to mood. The ancillary benefit: I never wear one thing long enough to feel too proprietorial.
If you’re precious about smelling individual too, you may want to do similar – buy a few, mix it up and buy mostly niche brands. Here are three scents to get you started. They all smell great but also are quirky enough that you’re unlikely to find someone else in the same (unless, of course, they read this blog)…
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae Forte / I have my mum to thank for this discovery. She possessed a distinguished nose and her fragrance tray is tightly curated. When I noticed this new addition, I gave it a sniff and fell in love: it’s milky and citrusy at once, with cinnamon and sandalwood hanging around the base notes. Every time I (or my mum) wears this, we’re asked what it is by both men and women.
Penhaligon’s Blasted Heath / I wore this earlier in the year to a day at MC and was repeatedly told I smelled like ‘hot men.’ Think the green, crisp notes of aftershave with a touch of tobacco and whiskey all lifted by a whisper of ocean salt and seaweed. It’s properly sexy and also refreshing. Don’t let your boyfriend steal it – he’ll try.
Marc Jacobs Splash Rain Eau de Toilette / If you’re a fan of sweet stuff but want something a little off the beaten track, this is the one for you. An initial sherbet-y aldehyde rush simmers down to a soft botanical haze of grass, beech, clementines and moss. It won’t hang around for too long, so decant a little if you like to smell freshly-spritzed all day.