December 22, 2011

5 ways to give perfume as Christmas gift

I get this question these days:

I would like to buy my man/woman/wife/husband/someone perfume for Christmas, do you have any recommendation? Which perfume should I get?

I love the idea. In theory. But my answer is: no, I don’t have a recommendation for a specific perfume for your partner simply because I have no idea how your man’s/woman’s/wife’s/husband’s/someone’s skin smells like, feels like, what temperature it is, if they sweat salty or sweet, where they put on perfume, when… what makes them laugh or blush or swear... and a million other things. So my general recommendation is: buy something else.

There are however 5 exceptions:
  1. You are a perfumer and have created the perfume yourself.
  2. You are not a perfumer but have created the perfume yourself.
  3. The gift is a bespoke perfume. You give the chosen beloved person a session with a perfumer who will create a bespoke fragrance with them for them. Miller Harris and Mandy Aftel for example offer this service.

    Photo: Miller Harris
    A much simpler more popularized lot less expensive version is offered by the Perfume Studio. Mandy Aftel also offers bespoke perfumes, you can read more about how it works at Aftelier here. If you go to Paris you will find this helpful. 
  4. The person who the perfume is intended for has already tried fragrance x and wants it/has had fragrance x before and misses it/for some other reason really wants fragrance x. For example, if you went to Paris and she spent an hour at Guerlain falling in love with Spiritueuse Double Vanille but didn’t get it because you were in a hurry or maybe it was too expensive. Well, then of course it is very romantic if you call them and have it shipped right to her skin for Christmas. 
  5. The fragrance your buying is an icon or comes with a story that makes it an evidently interesting part of a perfume collection regardless of whether the recipient will wear it or not. It is just interesting to have. Examples of perfumes like this for women are Joy, Chanel No 5 and Shalimar. 

But generally, apart from in situations like the ones mentioned above, I do not really believe in giving perfume as a gift. The reason, is that wearing and selecting the ingredients that blend with your skin, its chemical composition and your soul – is a precious and intimate thing. Perfumes, like personalities, are not random, not generic and they are not about what is new or trendy or whose last name is on the bottle. If you think it is, that's not very strange as this in fact is how the media talks about perfume. There are top ten lists, there are what’s new lists, there are perfume bottles that match the latest Marc Jacobs bag or Dior shoes. But perfume is not just something you put on yourself the way a garment is. A garment comes in a ready size that fits your body and the material is the same regardless who wears it. It wrinkles on you, it wrinkles on her.

Perfume is different – not just seems different – IS different on every person. It exists with you, blends with your temperature and skin.

December 20, 2011

And Audrey Tatou.

Ah, that last sinusitis post was so boring I need to post something more to compensate.

I have noticed that a shorter version of the Chanel no 5 film from 2009 with Audrey Tatou has started to appear on television again... Not an easy challenge to create communication about this iconic fragrance.

If you ask me Audrey Tatou is perfect for the job. In my eyes she has all of the indescribable innately French combination of sweetness and feistiness. A blend of soft and hard that I also associate with Chanel. And a very stylish sort of freedom. Audrey Tatou also embodies the entire range of the femininity palette from sophisticated seductive to poetic playfulness. And then I also think she is one of the most beautiful women in the world, plus in this film she has a hair style to die for.

Not to mention they have used one of my oldest elegant-sad-song-crushes: I'm a fool to want you with Billie Holiday.

If you want to read more about Chanel No 5 check my tags. Think also probably I will do a post specifically on this parfum des parfums someday soon.

Donc, je vous laisse ce soir avec...

Olfactory depression

I have sinusitis. It's been going on five days now so I am guessing it will stay with me at least five more. Apart from headache and a general feeling of tiredness and a heavy has also removed my ability to feel smell, scents, odors. I feel like I am walking around in a strange numb bubble. Don't use perfume because I don't want to irritate any inflamed part and because I wouldn't feel anything anyway. Have no idea how other people smell.

Since my sense of scent provides me with no inspiring impressions whatsoever I have turned to intellectual stimulation instead and started reading a book on pheromones. To be continued. Should be interesting.

Good night sleep well, smell well.

December 19, 2011

Coming home to Kilian

Found this waiting for me in an envelope from France when I came home. Bliss.