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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Tips For Choosing Your Signature Fragrance -

In part 1 I wrote about what is a signature scent and shared my experiences, in part 2 I'm going to share what I learned from a fragrance expert and why you should have a signature scent.
As Cynthia and I worked our way through various testers of beautiful scents I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions that I thought would be helpful to you lovelies in selecting your signature scent and caring for your investment.
Q&A with Cynthia:
Me: When is the best time to choose a fragrance and how many different fragrances should be sampled?
         C: Daytime, when your senses are at their peak. I don't recommend sampling more than 3-5 at one time.Picture
Me: Is there a correct way to try a fragrance?
          C: There is no correct way - it's as individual as the person. Some spray on tester papers, others into the air, I suggest trying a new fragrance on a pulse point. Heat is what activates perfume, the pulse points on your body are the best spots due to the warmth of your blood.

Me: Fragrance can be quite the investment- what is the best way to store perfume and how long does fragrance last?
          C: Room temperature out of direct sunlight, and avoid storing in bathroom that can be humid. Most fragrance have about a 3 year life span once you take it from the boutique; Chanel No.5 can last up to 5 years, stored properly.

Me: What is the difference between Parfum, Eau de Parfum and Parfum de Toilette?
          C: Many people think it's the strength, they think perfume is the strongest when sometimes perfume can actually have a lighter scent. What really sets each aside is the longevity of the fragrance on the wearer. Parfum - approximately 10 hours; Eau de Parfum 7-8 hours; Parfum de Toilette 5-6 hours.  

Me: Can/Should a women use more than one fragrance?
         C: Of course, wear your fragrance like you wear your clothes. Fragrance shows your personality, affects mood. You can have a fragrance for day, evening, weekend, seasonal - this like the choice of fragrance is as unique as the each women.
Me: What would be a great starter fragrance for young girls?
         C: Chance! - it's floral fruity, very feminine and cute - Eau Tendre; start with a eau de toilette or eau fraiche.

Me: What should women of a "certain age" look for in a fragrance, any suggestions?
         C: A fragrance that is sensual, provocative of course! Coco Noir, No. 5, No.22 are all wonderful examples.
What I Wore: jeans - Suko Jeans; sweater- Holt Renfrew; belt - Hermes; scarf - Hermes; cap - Burberry;
Fragrance - Coco Chanel
On my visit with Cynthia I had the added pleasure of being introduced to Christophe - Chanel, Account Business Manager, he is visiting from Paris, ladies - yes that means he has a wonderful French accent. His passion for life and all things Chanel and especially fragrance is most contagious. I was reminded why I love Paris - the French people truly embrace joie de vivre​ in all they do.
TIPS from a fragrance expert:
  • To add a little intrigue do as Coco, and spray the inner lining of your jacket, when you remove it a hint of your fragrance will escape
  • When selecting a fragrance ask yourself what feeling do you want to experience
  • Try samples out for a few days to make sure the fragrance you are considering is the "one"
  • Just because it smells good on someone - don't assume it will smell the same on you
  • After each use wipe the cabchon on the perfume cap before replacing in bottle
  • To extend the life of your fragrance throughout the day - layer body products of the same fragrance (bath/shower gel, body lotion etc.)
  • Travel with small size (check with airline for size restriction) to avoid having to leave at customs. Airplane cabins can get hot - cooler temps are better for fragrances, so when possible pack in check-in luggage.
  • Just as some days you like to wear your Jimmy Choo's and other days have you reaching for the comfort of your Converse - having 2 (or more) fragrances to select from on your vanity is a great way to capture or lift your mood on any given day.
Lovelies, while you may get 'lucky" like I did when I stumbled onto Coco Noir a few years ago - remember I still tried various samples at home, and revisited it for a few days before making my decision. We may be living in a world of instant access and I'm certain there is an App out there somewhere that promises to identify the "perfect scent" for you or a quiz that will find the perfect scent for your personality based on a series of pre-programmed questions - trust me when I say nothing will replace a face to face consult with a fragrance expert!
​I learned so much on this assignment not only about the art of fragrance and choosing a signature scent but, also a little history about my own signature scent. As promised in part 1 - here is what I discovered: Jacques Polge, the "Nose" behind this magnificent fragrance, looked to the time Coco Chanel spent in Venice in 1919. Coco fell in love with the city, which she visited in an attempt to ease the pain of the sudden death of her lover, Boy Capel. The exquisite beauty of Venice seduces her and its Byzanthine influences stayed with Chanel for the rest of her life. The fragrance represents survival after trauma - a time of transition; no wonder it resonated with  me.

Chanel Coco Noir includes notes of bergamot, grapefruit, rose, jasmine, narcissus, geranium, tonka bean, Indonesian patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, incense, and  white musk.  The bottle is Murano glass from Italy, and though it appears to be solid black - when held up to the light you are treated to the most beautiful unexpected radiance. This radiance reveals, that there is light through the darkness.

I would not have learned all this, had I not had the opportunity and pleasure of sitting with Cynthia and Christophe to better understand the process of selecting a signature fragrance.
My little fragrance collection that I'm currently enjoying.
As you can see while Coco Noir is my reach for on the daily ... Coco is still around. And after my wonderful time with Cynthia (and Christophe), Cynthia suggested a wonderful fragrance that I may consider adding. I'm going to keep the name to myself for now, but, I will share: the fragrance is named after the favorite textile of Coco Chanel. It's a most concentrated form of fragrance — the fullest expression of the perfumer's art — is a refined scent of lavender, with a feminine touch of vanilla and a cloud of white musk. 
The next time you are considering a new fragrance I encourage you to take a few moments to sit with a fragrance expert (while I chose Chanel - because Chanel is my preferred) the tips I've shared can be applied to your fragrance of choice (most perfume brands have a fragrance expert - don't be shy ask for the expert). Fragrance like wardrobe basics is an investment - and just like clothes that fit properly can boost your mood and put a spring in your step,fragrance that fits you is magical!
I would love to know if you have a signature fragrance? or if you have been inspired to consider one?
You are the curator of your life so make it luxurious,

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This post originally titled What's Your Signature Scent? Part 2 of 2 - Sniff, Sample, Form an Opinion & Repeat appeared in Resilientista.com .


  1. Thanks for this post - I learned some new tips. Love your look, too. xox


  2. Dearest Celia,
    Lovely post and I've used to love the Chanel Allure for quite some years but now I'm enjoying La Perla, another Italian favorite of mine that I found last year in New York at the La Perla outlet.
    Sending you hugs,

  3. My signature fragrance...Chanel No. 5. It's good to be back! xoxo Diva


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