Tales from a Fragrance Addict

The world of perfumes is ever changing, with scents being created every day around the world and the boutique fragrance world taking on the major names. A new twist in the world of chemical replacements, make world of fragrance much more complex. Perfume lovers are a unique bunch; they are passionate about fragrances and the news and rumors about them; is something going to be discontinued, re-formulated, or newly released or a revived classic?

It all began when my father made his trips to Paris and not always with mom, so he would always come home with her favorites plus some new ones for her to try out.  This started with her love of CHANEL No. 5 and also the House of Guerlain.  I recently inherited a bottle of JOY Body Oil, something that today would not be possible to formulate.  This began my own passion with fragrances as I began to smell those real French perfumes at a young age.

I am a fragrance person and I prefer the lighter, more floral and unforgettable fragrances that simply don’t give themselves away. This list is not filled with trends, but fragrances that people often stop me in the street, or in a shop and ask me “what are you wearing? That’s when I know that I am on the right track.

Here my list of favorites to help you shop for the summer season. 


Engish Rose by India Hicks

A new and greener version of a rose fragrance this one starts the summer off with a lovely scent of not just rose, but the new mown grass next to the flower beds. Rose can often be just too much, but this one is the type of rose that one might see climbing up a garden trellis, or gathered in a shady flowerbed next to a brick wall in the garden of an English country house. Just take your little park chair out and breath it in. You will be transported. It comes in all sorts of forms so you can indulge in a variety of ways.

Available at: http://www.indiahicks.com/rep/pikkea

Top Note: Rose & Peony. Mid Note: Jasmine Mist. Color: Greens & Mist

Santa Maria Novella, has created a fragrance that is decidedly floral but also has that scent of the summer night somewhere in south. I picture myself sitting on a porch drinking a mint julep with this one. Its called Acqua di Colonia Caprifoglio, which translates as “Foliage of Capri” and it definitely has that fantasy island feeling or a vacation in a bottle, you choose. The top notes are floral, but the green notes come up right way giving you that fresh mown grass feeling. Find this at: buysmnovella.com

Eu de Calandre by Paco Rabanne

What happens when a futuristic designer who predicted just about every fashionable trend in the last 30 years invents a perfume? I started wearing after crossing the English Channel from London and discovering that the designer was the coolest (and still is) couture designer in Paris. The fragrance is not big seller as it was when it was introduced in the 1970’s. What does it smell like? Its very complex and not for the faint hearted but its a modern take on a floral fragrance with a hint of spice. I had to go all the way to Paris to get a bottle, directly from the boutique on Rue Cambon recently but then I discovered it is in several online boutiques. (*yikes, at 50% off the price!) and while it may seem obscure, its still a ground-breaking fragrance that delights. http://www.overstock.com

Wild Spider Lily by India Hicks

This unique flower, growing like it does out of the sand in the Bahamas might sound like its a heavy or exotic summer fragrance but no; its light and engaging with a hint of passion to it. It starts out like a floral then morphs into something rather quiet, and deeper in tone just like the flower itself. The lily has gone native in this version of a fragrance you might think is a bit fussy, but its not.

Top Note: Orange Blossom Tea Mid Note: Orange flower, Honeysuckle, Jasmine with Sandalwood, Musk, Vanilla Crystals.


Nuit de Tuberose by ARTISAN perfumes

This one is indeed, as it says, a trip to Hawaii and back again. Its Tuberose with a Capital “T” and when you want to knock someone out with how romantic you are this is the one. Sometimes I mix this with the CAPRI FOGLIO and it gets great results. L’Artisan perfumes are now quite established but when there was no such thing as a boutique fragrance they basically invented the idea. They recently re-designed the bottles, so if you find the older bottle with the gold top, don’t worry, it will take a while for those to go out of circulation. You can pay top dollar at a beauty apothecary, but there are always a few bottles of their top sellers at Overstock.com.

(*editor’s note: The INDIA HICKS FRAGRANCES are sold via my own website so I include them here for convenience and to answer questions I have been receiving about them).