Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Coty's Chypre

It may seem paradoxical, but as someone who loves the smell of dogs (including damp dogs - or in the case of Winston, sodden-because-he's-been-"helping"-with-the-watering), I also adore fragrance.   Scented candles, oil burners, incense, body lotion, hand cream, perfume, dusting powder, sachets or scented paper for drawers of clothing, bunches of lavender in the linen cupboard, fragrant plants, food, furniture wax, books....

I am by no means a Nose.  I don't have the ability to fine tune what I can smell.  But I am sensitive to smells and rather averse to the toxic aisle in the supermarket (AKA cleaning products).  And smell is important.  It is most of what we taste and is one of the best triggers of memory.

But perfume.  For me, it's an affordable luxury and something I rarely go without.  Guerlain remains my preference if I had to pick just one fragrance house, but I tend to prefer the older perfumes - Mitsuoko, Parure, Chamade, Vol de Nuit .... also some of the leathery colognes - Antaeus, Pour Monsieur. I like a bit of richness, but subtly, maybe a hint of sillage.  I wear it for myself, Best Beloved gets to enjoy it.

I buy fragrance oils from the health food shop, I buy current (plaguing friends who do go overseas to France, to buy me more Guerlain!), I buy vintage, looking through eBay for ones that have been discontinued, prepared to gamble on it being in reasonable condition.  Which is how I come to have Coty's Chypre - a small jar of pomade and a small bottle of eau de toilette.  And oh, how I love it!  There is a frisson of delight in smelling my wrists, in the softness that lingers all day and into evening.  I will be sad when the supply ends, but how I will have enjoyed the association.

Coty is interesting.  The company been around since 1904, it has some very high end labels (Balenciaga anyone?), but in Australia, certainly, it is mostly known for perfumes that you buy at the chemist, generally in gift packs for your nanna.  Which is rather sad, because they are consistent and reasonably priced, unlike so many of the celebrity perfumes which flood the shops.

There is a certain amount of snobbery in perfumes, vintage or otherwise, and far too many people try to save it for best, or as an investment.  Absolutely daft in my opinion.  Perfume is made to be worn, that is it's whole raison d'etre.  Once opened, it will age and change, regardless of how well you store it (cool and dark, if you don't already know, and tightly stoppered).  Your tastes change over time, your nose's acuity will change over time.  Wear it and enjoy it.  And plunge your nose into your dog's fur (or a cat's sun heated tummy), into the leather jacket, the pages of an old book, a handful of crushed mint or curry leaves.  Breathe deeply with your eyes closed, and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, perfume is meant to be worn, not saved for some special occasion. I quite literally do not feel dressed or like myself without daily wearing of a favorite scent. (I'm a Chanel devotee.)


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