Outgrowing Yourself

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 14 - 2010

That’s it… that’s all that I have left of my current favourite fragrance after decanting myself a small amount and giving the rest to a friend.

Jo Malone White Jasmine and Mint reminds me of Summer.  It makes me think of cottage gardens and fresh linen catching the breeze on the washing line.

But Mr L doesn’t like it and in all fairness, he has to smell me 24/7 and it’s a scent that truly bothers him.

When I was 17, I bought myself a bottle of Dior’s Hypnotic Poison.  It had just been released and I sampled it in the Duty Free Store on the RoRo ferry to France.  I fell in love with it’s sweet and gentle scent.  Vanilla, almond and sugar… it’s everything a teenage girl would love.  I spent all of my holiday allowance on that one bottle before I’d even got halfway across the English Channel.

Back then, it was new and remained relatively undiscovered for a while.  It was the first perfume I’d ever worn that lasted for hours on my skin, I couldn’t leave the house without being complimented on how lovely I smelt.

I’m now 12 years older.  The oriental and intoxicating scent I used to cherish and adore reminds me a little bit of play-doh.  It’s cloying and childish and admitting this upsets me.

Shall I tell you why?

I met my husband wearing Hypnotic Poison.  I married my husband wearing Hypnotic Poison (along with the matching body lotion) and I gave birth to our child wearing Hypnotic Poison.  Everything about our life has been set against a backdrop of Bitter Almond, Caraway, Vanilla and Caramel.  It’s one of the most comforting scents we know.

The end of a love affair… it’s not tempestuous or exciting.  Like many endings, it’s just sad.

I know I’ll never be without a bottle stashed somewhere in the back of my wardrobe… but I need to find something new, something that will carry me through my 30s and beyond.  What if I fall in love with something else that Mr. L hates?  What if he can’t let go of my signature scent in the way I’m dying to and no other scent compares?

As much as I assert that it’s MY scent, on MY body… it’s not.  It’s ours… and I’m not sure I’d be ready for him to fall out of love with his signature fragrance either.

Perhaps I’m being melodramatic… I usually am.  But of the traditional 5 senses, the sense of smell is a hugely important and often subconscious one.

Do you have a signature scent?  How would you go about finding a new one?

32 Responses to “Outgrowing Yourself”

  1. My signature scent is the original ghost, I have been wearing it for years and I am never without it, but I do wear other scents too. Another absolute fave for me is Stella McCartney. Yum!

    Good Luck in finding your new scent, get Mr L to take you perfume shopping, you can choose together :)

  2. I know what you mean, and funny enough the one I feel I gew out of is the Ghost one mentioned above- I still like it but it’s just not me anymore, I think a lot of that has to do with reminding me of a rubbish ex boyfriend though. You’re so right about fragrance being so important. This definitely requires a shopping trip.

  3. Lucy says:

    I bet I would like Hypnotic Poison, it sounds right up my street.

    I used to like Ghost and I hate hate hate it now, it’s overpowering and sickly. I like Dior Addict Shine now, very citrusy and fresh but still sweet.

  4. its_ams says:

    How I wish for a signature scent!! I’ve never had one – my favourite perfume at the moment is Hugo Deep Red but I don’t think its special enough to be The One. Other fragrances I own are Chanel Chance, Armani Elle, Vera Wang Princess and Jean Paul Gaultier but am not 100% in love with any of them!

    I recently liked the new boss orange fragrance but my boyf thought it smelled of Ambi Pur so that was the end of that!

  5. Jo says:

    My signature scent used to be Amarige by Givenchy, back in my late teens early 20s. I outgrew it in my mid 20s though and have been jumping around from one fragrance to another ever since. I got married in Paul Smith Floral, and hubby wore Paul Smith Story. They both remind me of our honeymoon so much!

    If I were you I would research which other fragrances contain Bitter Almond, Caraway, Vanilla and Caramel and go from there. You may discover a little known perfume that happens to contain those notes but is more ‘grown up’. Worth a shot!

  6. Amanda says:

    My signature perfume is CkBe. I still love it even since learning it was aimed at Men. My husband loves it on me and reminds him of me when he smells it on someone else.

    It’s one of those scents that just mixes well with my skin, hell, I put it on before a big night out and it still smells strongly the next morning, along with the smell of stale cigarette smoke and Vodka haha. I always get compliments on it.

  7. Chrissy says:

    Great post! I don’t have a signature scent but tend to come back to the same scents all the time. During spring/summer I often use Calvin Klein’s Eternity and Eternity Moment or Laura by Laura Biagiotti. Right now I am in love with Kate Moss’ Velvet Hour. My husband loves this scent too (one of the rare times that he asks what perfume I am wearing). For fall/winter I usually wear sweeter and stronger perfumes like Chopard’s Casmir or Laura Biagotti’s Venezia.

  8. Gemr4eva says:

    I always make a point of switching my signature scents every 5 years or so.
    My first perfume passion was the original Ghost. I too bought this in the duty free on a ferry when I was 14. This was my sig. scent for years. I loved the musky yet light tones and it suited my teenage outlook on life.
    I always tend to stick to the same kind of scents however – I’m not a floral fan and I.
    My scent staple after I gave up the Ghost *Haha* was Dior, pure poison and was for the longest time. Everything about this was perfect and it drove my former lover to distraction.
    When I hit my mid 20s and ditched the ‘ex’cess baggage I wanted a new perfume – something more mature, yet still maintaining the musk that I love so much. Could I blinkin’ find one? Could I chuff. I sniffled and snuffled every scent I could find – it was an epic fail! I tried out Stella McCartney for a bit, but she didn’t excite me. I felt I was destined to be a Dior doll for the rest of my life.

    However, my saviour came in a purple bottle with an ugly name.
    ‘Alien’ by Thierry Mugler. I love love love it! I feel sexy wearing it and always get complimented on it. Anyway, I suppose I have gone on way way too long…but my tips for finding a new signature scent are:

    * Don’t go for a massive change. If you like florals and they make you feel good then look for a floral. I’m a musk girl, always have been and always will be.
    * Follow your nose!

  9. Sarah says:

    I sympathise. Scent is such a powerful vehicle for bonding. But finding a new one will be a lot of fun, I bet you. Why not visit luckyscent.com and order yourself a batch of samples? Some fantastic stuff on there.

    My signature scent is Pure Grace by Philosophy and has been throughout my 20s. (Before that it was CK1 in my early teens, and then Amazing Grace.) If they ever stop making it I have two close alternatives (they smell virtually identical to it on my skin) – Gendarme’s Carriere and Ultimate Clean by D’Lish. Hopefully I’ve builty enough redundancy into my fragrance strategy that I won’t ever be left without – unless I too fall out of love some day.

  10. Sarah says:

    my Mr bought me a bottle small bottle of Chanel Chance for my 16th birthday, i still have the teenist bit left and he still reconises it when i where it now, and that was 4 years ago he gave it to me!

    i was given another bottle of Chance by a friends mother, which i use now and again, but i save my bottle from him in the original box for special occasions : )

    what a cheesy, bucket needing story!

    Although, him being a man, bought my the largest bottle of Daisy by MJ when it first came out, quite suprised that he bought me the most expensive one – turns out he hasnt got a clue that they come in different sizes and just bought the one the sale assistant told him to! hah xxx

  11. Laurasummer says:

    I feel your pain, perfume is such an evocative thing. I can’t wear chloe narcisse now without being taken right back to my teenage bedroom and thinking of everyone I’ve loved and lost between 16 and 22. I still love it though! X

  12. Tali says:

    YSL Cinema and Agent Provocateur Maitresse.. and i hate that thy are my signature scents because they took me through a failed relationship, break-up, several bad friendships, a terrible holiday… but i just cant find something to replace them. UGH.

    However MrGG can wear a new scent each month and still smell like ‘him’.. i wander how he does it?!

  13. KT says:

    Pure Poison is my poison of choice!

  14. I wear YSL Rive Gauche which was passed on to me by my Mum. I also wear on a more day to day basis Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au The Blanc (White Tea) or Kate Moss by Kate Moss.

  15. Lillian says:

    Aww this is such a sweet post. I understand, scent is directly linked to memory. I have a perfume (GAP So pink) I bought on my 18th birthday when my mum took me to New York, it always just reminds me of the great time i had.

  16. Rocaille says:

    My mister always buys perfume for me and I buy for him. I know many people say scents are super personal so they wouldn’t let anyone choose for them, but to me, I always like whatever my husband picks and I like the fact that I wouldn’t pick this particular smell myself. It’s always something new and unexpected, and I know how much effort he puts into choosing something for me. Plus, he’s a great advisor at Lush!

    I still have this one perfume I got from my parents’ friend when I was maybe 12 and I associate it with so many important moments in my life… Somehow, I cannot bring myself to using it all up.

  17. Julia Arenas says:

    Used ACCA KAPPA Muschio Bianco (white moss) for a long time. It’s a mild fresh scent that smells just clean and happy :) Then I got interested in Burberry Baby Touch Eau de Toilette, comes in lavender colored packaging with sheep illustrations…right now, still not quite over that…

  18. Redtiger21 says:

    Mm, I like Hypnotic Poison, but I know what you mean about the play-doh scent! I’m sure Mr L would get used to a different scent on you no probs. I don’t have a signature scent, I tend to wear whatever suits my mood, but my fave perfume ever, and the only one that I get compliments on, is Obsession by CK. It’s musky and sexy and gorgeous. And I’ve got none left…sniff!

  19. Such a cool post!
    No, I don’t have a signature scent, I just don’t like wearing perfumes that much and I don’t like any on my man.

  20. creativeZhen says:

    hmm, interesting that no one mentioned D&G’s Light Blue…
    I simply adore this scent (definitely my signature scent)! I think it is light and sophisticated but not really sweet.

    Also, Chanel’s Chance has a really brilliant head note… but the heart note is just weird (I don’t know who messed that part up! *grrr*) and the base note smells like every other cheap perfume…

    Another brilliant scent (imho) is L’eau d’Issey. But I think it is a love-it-or-hate-it scent.

    D&G’s The One is another perfume worth mentioning, if you are looking for something sweet, really sweet. It smells like a sophisticated version of sweet, a mature sweet perhaps. Too mature for me, but you may like it 😉

    Something simple and light for summer days would be cool water (davidoff) or Laura (by Laura Biagotti). Scarlett by Cacharel is also nice, but I just can’t stand the base note of that one.

    Ok, I’ll stop here :) If anyone knows a scent that smells like English lilies, please tell me! I’ve been looking for a perfume with that scent for aaaaages!

  21. Rae says:

    I adored this post :) The fragrance junkie that I am, it was right up my alley, and (of course,) it was brilliantly written and unbelievably touching.

    I don’t have a signature scent, but there are a few that I’ve been loving recently! (And trust me, I’ve tried a ton. Way, way, too many if you ask the people who have had to come fragrance shopping with me :P)

    -Serge Lutens Chergui (I can’t even describe how gorgeous this is)
    -Chanel Coco EdT (deliciously spicy and sharp!)
    -Guerlain Spiriteuse Double Vanille (a boozier vanilla; very clean)
    -Balanciaga Paris (new, not the original from wayyy back)
    -Miss Dior Cherie EdP (very sweet and typecasted, but stunningly bold)

    Happy sniffin’ :)

  22. Lizzard says:

    i could just cry reading that story, but it seems you like sweet smells, if i may recommend jessica simposon’s fancy. it’s sweet and light but too sweet for me, anything with even a hint of vanilla makes me smell like an old lady so i stay far far away.

  23. Amy says:

    I can completely relate to this. Just last week I ordered a bottle of Jo Malone’s Grapefruit scent. The first day I wore it my other half complained that I smelled like old lady. Alas, I sent it back. Stella is the only scent I own that he seems to like as much as I do.

  24. PonPon says:

    I’ve never had a signature scent, but I’d like to have one. I just need to find a perfume I like. I’ve never liked traditional perfumes, the ones the sell in department stores, sephora etc.They’re too strong or they all smell similar to me.
    I have an oil perfume that I really like, but it’s not quite the one for me. It was kind of expensive and does not smell like the description. I’ve recently discovered that I adore sandalwood and nag champa, so I’m considering getting something from here. http://www.etsy.com/shop/solsticescents I’d just have to hope that my boyfriend would like it, though we don’t live together yet so I don’t have to worry too much.

  25. caz says:

    I am currently in the market for a signature scent. I have plenty of perfumes, but none I like enough to want a permanant association with, I like to mix it up too much.

  26. its_ams says:

    To Rae above apparently Jordan’s Stunning perfume smells like Miss Dior Cherie!!

  27. You guys should go perfume shopping together :3

  28. Chester Rose says:

    I love a light, summery perfume; my current favourite is …
    Estee Lauder White Linen (Light Breeze- it’s a lime green bottle)- ok it’s not as ‘cool’ sounding as some of the other designers but I am addicted! It’s fresh and lovely and every morning when I put it on I get a little ‘lift’ =)

  29. Scarie says:

    Chloe narcisse – I loved the scent, my asthma didnt, got such a bad reaction to that perfume!
    my signature scents is narcisso rodriguez for her. i love it, but my mother bought it too so not loving it as much now lol. L’Eau D’Issey was my signature scent for a long time,haven’t worn it in ages. Put it on going into work on Wednesday, was in a unit for kids with autism. one of the lads was mad about the smelll and kept grabbing my arm to smell me!

  30. […] I am hugely excited about.  If you’ve read this, you’ll understand why!  Will this new incarnation of Hypnotic Poison be enough to make me […]

  31. Lou says:

    I’ve always worn CKOne, Hugo Boss Woman or Boss Woman by Hugo Boss (confusingly similar names for quite different scents), as I have quite a young looking face and find that a lot of fragrances smell too ‘old’ on me. I don’t really have a signature fragrance as such, as my ex partner was allergic to fragrance so I stopped wearing it and got out of the habit of it.

    I do agree with you about scent being a very powerful sense. My mother tends to wear different perfumes during the day, but for evenings she has always worn Caleche, by Hermes. One of the abiding memories I have of my childhood is going to bed as a little person while Mum was getting ready to go out, and her coming through all dressed up and wafting Caleche, kissing us goodnight, telling us to be good for our grandparents. The smell of Caleche takes me back to that, and when I went travelling for a year my mum had given me a little polar bear keyring to go on my backpack. Before I left, unbeknownst to me, she’d spritzed this little polar bear with Caleche before I left, and when I was homesick just that little smell would make me smile.

  32. Bianca says:

    SO thanks to you (and thank you for that btw) I remembered I had a sample of Hypnotic Poison somewhere…actually I had two! And I used them till the last drop and then hinted enough to get a bottle for Xmas. It is just amazing. I must have a thing of Dior fragrances, my favorites are Hypnotic Poison (I always get compliments when I wear it), J’adore – which I had been faithful to for years – and now Miss Dior Cherie is starting to grow on me in the form of a sample…again, thanks for making me try it, I absolutely love it!

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