I didn't wear perfume most of my life, but now I'm addicted

I’m in my late twenties, and have made it through a master’s degree and marriage with just my trusty body splashes from Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. I used to think that real perfumes smelled too strong, but before I knew it the collection of bottles on my vanity had already reached double digits!

I’m not sure when or how I began to develop an interest in scents. Maybe it was because of the constant badgering of sales assistants offering their testers I entered a department store. Maybe it was being with a friend who smelled good all the time that I made me realize what a difference a personal fragrance made in our social interactions.

Body splashes no longer felt enough - the smell was too faint, too commercial and had zero lasting power. So I started to explore different perfumes to find the scents I liked and applying them even just for everyday wear. And wow, I loved smelling good! No matter how haggard I felt, I took comfort in knowing that I was enveloped in a pleasing aroma.

As I delved deeper into the world of perfume, I found that there was no reason to be intimidated because there really is a scent for everyone! I am open to different types of perfume but I find myself most drawn to floral, fruity scents as well as other clean, just-got-out-of-the-shower scents. Deep, musky and woody notes for evening wear intrigue me as well.

Though I experiment a lot and try on different things, the most important factors for my perfume choices include elegance (classy without being in-your-face), having a soft sillage, and the ability to last for at least three hours.

I don’t consider myself to be a perfume connoisseur, but sniffing so many bottles seems to have heightened my senses. When I first started exploring perfumes, the only distinction I had between different scents was whether it was a “yay” or “nay” (I cringe). To train myself, I would look up the perfumes that I had encountered and liked to see what type of scent it is and what notes it contains. I’m still trying to train my nose to distinguish which notes are most prominent but based on my preferences, I’ve noticed that there are particular ingredients that seem to recur in my scent picks. My favorites include freesia, peony, apple, pear, and raspberry to name a few. I dislike anything with pepper and feel iffy about ginger.

My Holy Grails

GAP Dream. This will always be special to me not only because this was my very first scent, but also because it was a gift from my sister. Freesia is very prominent in this floral fragrance, and it makes me feel fun and light. GAP has recently discontinued their fragrances but I still see this on shelves locally.

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea. There is a reason why this line has produced soooo many flankers (variations of the same fragrance) over the years! There is something about the scent of tea that is just so soothing. It's ageless, too!

Lanvin Eclat d’Arpege. This is a popular perfume among perfume enthusiasts and it’s not hard to see why. It isa  fruity floral that is described as “delicate, fragile and angelic.” If you’re trying fragrances for the first time, this is a good perfume to start with.

Versace Bright Crystal. This is my all-time favorite fragrance, and not just because it has my name on it! When I sniff this fruity floral fragrance, I feel refreshed and it improves my mood. Peony is one of my favorite notes and it really sparkles in this one. It definitely perks me up!

Unique Finds

Signorina Eau de Toilette Salvatore Ferragamo. It’s not often that you’d find milk mousse in the base notes, and it is definitely prominent in this one.

Paco Rabanne Black XS for Her. This is another gourmand fragrance. The cacao note is what makes it unique. It’s a dark but sweet scent that is great for formal evening events.

Benefit Mini Fragrance Set. I was really happy to receive these as a gift but unfortunately Benefit has discontinued most of their fragrances. I enjoyed the fun, girly vibe plus the tiny bottles looked so cute!

Wish List

Chloe Eau de Parfum. I am generally not a fan of rose scents but this one is the exception. To me, this a light and fresh floral that always makes me want to do a double sniff.

Philosophy Pure Grace. I really regret not buying this when Philosophy still had their boutique here. At the time, they had no testers so I just sniffed the bottle and it was uninteresting for me. Later on, I got to try it out on my skin and I really enjoyed the soap and water smell. This is a nice, soft scent that would be great for everyday use.

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. Chanel products always exude luxury, and this one is no different. This is described as an oriental, woody fragrance. On me, I can’t quite describe what it smells like but it definitely smells unique and expensive, but not too mature.

Collecting perfume is not a cheap hobby but I prefer to invest in good brands and won’t waste my money on knock-offs. However, I have never, ever paid full retail price for a bottle of perfume! I wait for sales that offer a substantial discount, source from abroad, or buy from Duty Free. It’s a lot of fun though, and all the glass bottles instantly prettify any vanity. Even if you’re not into perfumes, it’s nice to keep at least two: one for daily wear, and another, fancier one for special occasions. Like the perfect flattering lipstick, a good scent adds a little something extra to your look and instantly improves your mood for the day!

Do you wear perfumes? What scent picks are in your collection?