Fashion,beauty and jewellery for the non-invisible woman over 45

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The scents of our lives: it's National Fragrance Day

Image showing perfume bottles to illustrate article for National Fragrance Day 2017 on Is This Mutton?
Today (Tuesday 21 March) is National Fragrance Day and to celebrate, five lovely ladies are sharing with us the scents of their lives.
Gym owner Glenys Reynolds tells Is This Mutton? about the scents she has loved and wears nowGlenys Reynolds, the co-owner of Repose Studios, a boutique Power Plate gym near London, has loved fragrance since she was 12 and given Anais Anais. "I loved this perfume, I got it as a birthday gift. It made me feel very grown up."

Glenys has three scents now and says her style changes quite often. "For me it’s just feeling like I’ve outgrown a smell and need something new." Her favourite is currently 154 by Jo Malone, a blend of mandarin, grapefruit, lavender, basil, nutmeg and vetiver.
Tracey Stern tells Is This Mutton her fragrance memories
Digital marketer Tracey Stern has been loyal to one brand, Jo Malone, for over 20 years, wearing Pomegranate Noir in winter and Lime Basil & mandarin or Grapefruit in summer. Lately Tracey has been persuaded to use Escentric Molecule 01, which is unique in that you can't smell it on yourself. Her partner can smell it, however, and compliments her on it.

Image showing Escentric Molecule 01



Tracey's first scent was the same as Glenys's, that old favourite, Anais Anais. "Then I used to use my mum’s White Linen as I always thought it was very sophisticated!"

Tracey's mum has been a strong influence on her perfume choices. She says: "After White Linen, I remember her wearing YSL Rive Gauche in the 80’s, then lime basil and mandarin Jo Malone. Now we both wear Molecule!"

Memories of both parents are firmly associated with scents for Sue Symons from Bere Alston in Devon. Chanel No 5 reminds her of her mum, and Grey Flannel, she recalls, was an amazing aftershave worn by her dad. You can still buy it today.
Sue Symons from Bere Alston in Devon shares her perfume memories
Sue's first perfume was Nina Ricci's L'Air Du Temps. After that, she had flirtations with Tweed (also a favourite of her mum) and Sunflowers, and now has seven scents in her collection. She says: "I have different perfumes for different times of the year. Some I keep for special occasions and some for weekends."

She wears Youth Dew by Estee Lauder on work days, and likes to layer up the same brand's Modern Muse  (where you have the fragrance in different forms, shower gel, body lotion, etc).  And Christmas isn't Christmas without a new bottle of scent in her Christmas stocking.
Wendy Faulkner from Wales describes her favourite scents
Winning the prize for the biggest number of perfumes is Wendy Faulkner who has 16. So it's a bit unfortunate that her partner is not keen on perfume. Wendy says: "He has developed instant headaches with certain scents. I have to be careful what I wear around him."

Wendy is also a fan of layering up shower gel, body cream and then perfume to help with the longevity of the scent.

Her first fragrance? "Avon Apple Blossom! Bought for me by a boy I had met on holiday I was 12 or 13. I actually wanted a Black Sabbath album!"

But Anais Anais manages to get a mention too - Wendy had forgotten to buy any for her wedding day and had a squirt of her mum's Anais Anais.

Her favourite at present is Penhaligon's Juniper Sling, described as "a woody and spicy fragrance for women and men with notes of angelica, cinnamon, orange, juniper berries, cardamom, orris root, leather, pepper, vetiver, cherry, sugar and amber."  For evenings out she wears a scent bought by her perfume-averse partner, Cerrutti 1881.

Image showing Penhaligon's scent Juniper Sling

Like most of us, Wendy has strong scent memories. "I had a lovely colleague who always wore Estée Lauder White linen which I adore, and my favourite uncle who is Luxembourgish always wears Aqua Velva after shave. The smell reminds me of my childhood holidays in Lux.  He's 84 and still using it."

Image of June Tyler, 84, from Plymouth the mother of Gail Hanlon, Is This Mutton?

Is This Mutton's mother, June Tyler from Plymouth, who's in her 80s, has very firm associations of perfume with loved ones. "My mum Kathleen always wore Yardley's April Violets, and not long after she had died, I suddenly walked into this wonderful haze of the scent in our house. I always thought it was Mum telling me she was OK,

"My dad, Jack, used to go to a market in Plymouth rather like Petticoat Lane and come home with ugly statues and bottles of scent - they were described as Californian Poppies or Midnight in Paris, but always smelt the same, like cats wee!"

June went through many scents in her 20s and 30s but the two that I remember most strikingly are from her 40s and 50s. For a long time her signature scent was Memoire Cherie by Elizabeth Arden. It came out in 1952 but disappeared several years ago. A "long lost" version is not at all similar. I did find a set of original Memoire Cherie soaps on eBay which were duly shipped over from the US, but the perfume had lost its magic for Mum.

She also liked the bracing "sports perfume" as it was described, Aliage by Estee Lauder. Launched in 172, it's still available and described by the brand as energetic, fresh and exuberant. Now Mum never wears perfume and can't bear it on other people if they've splashed on a bit too much.

Image showing Estee Lauder's Aliage fragrance. Copyright Estee Lauder.
I shared my scent memories in this post.

What was your first ever scent, did you have Anais Anais, and do you have more than 16 bottles? Let us know below!

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5 comments

  1. My first ever scent was Anias Anias. So popular in the 80's! I then went on to a perfume called Ritz by Charles Of The Ritz (do you remember this brand Gail?) I ended up wearing Miss Dior for years and love Chanel 5 although you can't smell it on me!
    www.vanityandmestyle.com

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    1. I do remember Charles of the Ritz! It seemed very posh! I bought their eye cream in Exmouth in the 80s....the perfume was quite famous I think.
      Thanks for visiting Laurie!

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  2. I remember wearing Charlie by Revlon and Laughter by Yardley in my early teens. By the time I knew you I was wearing YSL's Rive Gauche. It was Poison and Obsession in the 80s (now there's names to conjure with) and then on to Samsara. Now I stick to J'adore by Dior and Chance by Chanel for day and then Coco Mademoiselle for evening. They're the only ones that stay on me for any length of time. And if I have more than 3 choices I get a bit disorientated.
    Great post, Gail.

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  3. I remember most of those and I remember Rive Gauche from when we shared the flat. Nowadays I only have 2 on the go at any one time. Thanks for the comment!

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  4. The Estee Lauder Aliage is great perfume. The notes of jasmine, caraway and brazilian rosewood make this perfume very unique. Thanks for the review.

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