Monday, February 04, 2008

Perfume for the Occasion: Valentine's Day

No doubt about it Valentine’s Day, at least in the United States, has become quite the commercial holiday. Guilt-inducing advertisements subjecting men to feeling like terrible partners if they do not buy their beloved diamonds or other such jewels, aisles stocked with pink and red decorations, lingerie stores displaying sexy red ensembles and heart-shaped chocolate boxes overflowing in candy shops and drugstores inundate and brainwash American society January-February 15th. What Valentine’s Day has become is a far cry from what it was intended to be.

When I was single, I dreaded the day. It seemed that every February 14th the world conspired for me to feel incomplete because I was either unattached or casually dating. And yet, somehow some way, I managed to make the day about LOVE – love for my family and friends, my pets, my career, my perfume collection and whatever else inspired me.

Now that I am married, I realize Valentine’s Day is every day. The more I make an effort to treat my husband as the gift that he is, the happier both of us are on a daily basis. So the day society chooses to celebrate love is simply an extension of our every day life and perhaps a reason to go out to dinner or light some candles.

Turning our focus to fragrance, I believe that since the day is about love, you should always wear a fragrance about which you feel great. There may be some special occasions, some celebrating, some acknowledgement of Valentine’s Day by either your beloved or a very good friend or you may simply want to snuggle up at home in comfortable clothes and relax the evening away as I often did in my single years. Whatever the case, you may be searching for the right fragrance and wondering what to wear, so I offer my ideas.

Traditional

Those for whom no Valentine's Day would be complete without bouquets of red roses, my favorite rose fragrances follow:

  • Bond No. 9 West Side – This playful rose fragrance combines the classic flower with peony, amber and vanilla. I fell head over heels infatuated with it at one sniff.
  • Bvlgari Rose Essentielle - In true Bvlgari fashion, Rose Essentielle begs others closer with its very classy, ladylike scent that is so subtly rose. I find this fragrance perfect for a bride or newlywed and it is in the running as my choice for this Valentine’s Day.
  • Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose – The ultimate choice for a femme fatale. Drop. Dead. Gorgeous.
  • Frederic Malle Une Rose – For the true fragrance connoisseur and rose lover only. A deep, red already-bloomed rose the size of Texas, with wine and animalic essences added. Try the body butter in this if you need a toned down version.
  • Jean Patou Enjoy – A modern take on classic Joy and one that is quite underrated. Easy to find on discount websites and there is still time to order! (For website information, please see my entry on online fragrance shopping.)
  • Ormonde Jayne Ta'if - Ormonde Jayne creates superbly unique fragrances and Ta’if is no exception. It combines rose with saffron to create an elegant and rich scent, reminiscent of retro Hollywood glamour girls.
  • Parfums de Rosine Poussiere de Rose – No rose fragrance list would be complete without Les Parfums de Rosine. Poussiere is an uncommon and warm rose fragrance with cinnamon and nutmeg added for intrigue.
  • Parfums de Rosine Un Zest de Rose – Cheerful and light, effervescent and rosy, perfect for a lighthearted and fun-filled day.
  • Stella Absolute RoseMy va-va voom rose fragrance when I want to kick the sultriness factor up a notch.

Meaningful

If you are sentimental and desire to wear a fragrance with a title relating to Valentine’s Day, you have some wonderful choices.

  • Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionnelle – A lighter version of the original Agent Provocateur that stands in a class all its own as an extremely modern chypre.
  • By Kilian Love – Very sweet, marshmallow-y fragrance. You have just got to love the very appropriate name.
  • Creative Scentualization Love Comes From Within – Sarah Horowitz Thran understands love very well and she makes that clear in this fragrance’s title. This blend of clove, rose, carnation, vanilla, sandalwood and musk will make any day more interesting.
  • S-Perfumes 100% Love – A true work of art. 100% Love is an intoxicating combination of rose absolute, cocoa and … drumroll please … labdanum (if you do not know how good this is, read more here). How I only wish I could get my hands on more of this by Valentine’s Day. It is my first choice.

Gourmand/Edible

How about rather than eating chocolate, you prefer to smell like it? These scents fit the bill!

  • Creative Scentualization Perfect KissMy choice for last year is undeniably sweet and special, snuggly, cozy and inviting. Jasmine, freesia and rosewood lie on a base of chocolate and vanilla conspiring to make the fragrance entirely appetizing.
  • Il Profumo Chocolat Amere - ::thud:: Chocolate heaven.
  • Persephone by Sali OguriSali’s captivating blend combines decadence and sultriness featuring chocolate and blackberry, among other notes.

Romantic

Essentially, all of the traditional fragrances could be grouped in this category also, since rose is one of the most romantic of all flowers. However, for those who are averse to a rose note, I offer the following:

  • Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil – A fruity, green and soothing blend that transports the wearer and softens the mood, wherever you are and whatever you do.
  • Laura Mercier Eau de Lune – The fact that I chose the romantic scene from The Sound of Music and Julie Andrews to personify this soft, floral fragrance is no coincidence. It is as romantic as they come.
  • Serge Lutens Un Lys – A gorgeous, creamy lily fragrance on a base of vanilla.

Downright Sexy

There is no question that between the sexes "romance" means completely different things. For the male version of our species, I offer some fragrances that will ... ahem ... help to accomplish his goals for the day, or at least inspire you to accommodate.

  • Chanel CocoA fragrance for a woman not a girl. Spicy, oriental and classic, wear Coco with your finest jewelry and a secret that only you and your lover know.
  • Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur – Sex in a bottle. Need I say more?
  • Montale Musk to Musk – Musk has always been touted as a sexy note since it is what keeps several species of the animal kingdom alive and growing. As an added benefit, it serves as a fixative for perfume. Montale’s musk fragrance takes the cake by far as my favorite musk. Altogether sexy and comforting, I would swoon if Mr. TMH wore this on Valentine’s Day. (I am now posting a reminder in my calendar to find my sample for him!)
  • Just about anything from his collection applied sparingly even if I do not find that sample. He smells great and anything that he wears subtly will only serve to augment that fact.

Whatever your choice, remember to make the day about love (not necessarily romantic love) and you cannot go wrong.

Be sure to visit Fragrance Bouquet to read Divina’s picks for this month’s Perfume for the Occasion!

14 comments:

Jenavira13 said...

You have to add Mille et Une Roses to that list, such a romantic and wistful rose.

TMH256 said...

Oh, thank you for the suggestion! I love your blog. Do you mind if I link? Have a great day. :-)

Jenavira13 said...

Go right ahead. I'm going to link to yours too.

tmp00 said...

I have to give that Montale a try...

edwardian said...

Great selection of scents (I need to smell that Montale), and even better words on the meaning of Valentine's Day.

edwardian said...

I like the rose selection in a special way, since, in my opinion they are a bit neglected by women lately; so, once in a while, ladies, wear some rose perfume because we (at least I) love to smell it on you.

TMH256 said...

Tom,

Yes! I would send you some if I had more than my tiny little sample vial!

TMH256 said...

Edwardian,

Thanks for appreciating the sentiment behind my post. I am also complimented that you like my selections, especially the rose fragrances. I agree, they do tend to get neglected and it's a shame, because they're so lovely and feminine. Rose Essentielle especially is beautiful and soft. I think I'm convincing myself to wear that one. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am happy to see Perfect Kiss on your list. I really like it and I don't think it's get enough love on the perfume blogs and/or boards.
Anyway, glad to see it mentioned and that is has another fan. :)


Dawn

Divina said...

I'm so late in commenting - but I've been so busy lately! I loved your post, you've done so much work putting together so many wonderful suggestions! Is S-Perfumes 100% Love really that good? I've been curious about it for the longest time!

chayaruchama said...

Lovely list !

TMH256 said...

Dearest D.,
Yes, it really is. My little sample is almost out or I would send you some. I may just have to break down and buy it. :-)

TMH256 said...

C,

Thank you, lovely lady!

TMH256 said...

Anonymous,

I adore all of SHT's fragrances. She is a lovely and down-to-earth woman who creates interesting and fun scents. :-)