October 28, 2011

My first fragrance

Bvlgari released Omnia in 2003. I was at that time a young woman taking the first steps in my career and hadn’t really even thought about perfumes that much at all to be honest. I suppose in a way, I was more into discovering myself than defining myself. But it was winter and I was buying Christmas gifts and wanted to buy something for myself. To commemorate this time in my life. I went to the perfume section of Stockholm department store NK.

The first time I tried Omnia it felt sort of self-evident but not in a sensational way. Just, ”yes, there it is”.  It was definitely a kind of signature scent for who I was then. I adored the unusal bottle. Since then I have bought many perfumes, some have been perfect for a while, for specific situations or for more. But this fragrance has actually stayed with me, and it might still be the one that I get most comments about when I wear it. It seems not that many people are familiar with it, at least not in Scandinavia, and  those who are either love it or hate it. Actually more often the latter. Thus, when I go to get a new bottle it is never easy to find. I have to order it or wait while someone goes to see if they have one ”in the back somewhere”.

Omnia was created by nose Alberto Morillas. The fragrance was said to have been inspired by the spices discovered by Marco Polo on his voyages. The notes include black pepper, mandarin, masala tea, saffron, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond, chocolate, lotus blossom, and sandalwood. The lotus is discrete which I am happy about and the Christmas dessert feeling only lasts for a brief moment. Then it lands in this soft saffron, cardamon embrace. Sometimes you feel the clove just briefly.

I love this fragrance. It is a non-choice for me, I don’t have to be in a particular mood to carry it off, not wear anything special. It just blends with me. I always return to it at some point even after longer periods of infidelity. It’s is a sort of default fragrance. And the nostalgia of it makes it special. Also, the fact that I rarely, if ever, meet someone else who has it makes it feel even more ”mine”.

There have been new versions of Omnia since the original first one. These however I do not get along with at all.

October 25, 2011

Fiumincino Roma, januari 2011.

Han säger att han letar efter någon parfym. Ja, det är en present säger han till den hårt sminkade expediten. Till flickvännen, lägger han till. Expediten visste det redan när hon såg honom på håll och tog snabbt bestämda provisionshungriga steg rakt genom butiken. Han är en vanlig välklädd ung man, och han har ingen aning om hur han ska navigera bland alla flaskor, presentkit och pappersremsor. När expediten fångat honom är han lättad och lättmanipulerad.

”Något kvinnligt?”, frågar hon. ”Ja!”, svarar han med ett lättat leende som om hon hade läst hans tankar. ”Något friskt?”. ”Ja…precis.”

Och så går de från presentbox till presentbox, via säsongens nya dofter från kända modehus och kändisar.. Inga mer följdfrågor ställs. Hon tar säkra kort och han är tacksam. Han betalar sina två presentboxar med "kvinnlig frisk" parfym.

Det är inte det här parfym handlar om. Det finns så mycket mer.


He says he's looking for a perfume. Yes, it's a gift he says, to the saleswoman. For his girlfriend, he adds. The sales woman knew it the moment she saw him and strode towards him. She sees them every day, they're great customers for someone who gets a bonus per sold product. He is your standard well-dressed nice young man, and he has absolutely no idea how to navigate between all the bottles, gift sets and paper strips. When this nice woman who seems to know her stuff caught him, he was relieved and easily manipulated.

"Something feminine?" she asks. "Yes," he says with a relieved smile as if she had read his thoughts. "Something fresh?". "Yeah ... exactly."

And so they go from gift box to gift box, passing the season's new scents from fashion houses and celebrities. No more questions. She picks boxes and bottles, and he is just grateful. He pays for his two gift boxes with "feminine fresh" perfume.

This is not what perfume is about.