Fragrance As Comfort Food

Chanel No5 Eau de Parfum spray. Details and more classic fragrances at une femme d'un certain age.

Wearing fragrance daily at home is one of the little pleasures I’ve been enjoying lately. Along with earrings and lipstick, it makes me feel more “dressed” and present.

I’ve never been able to settle on a single “signature fragrance.” I tend to rotate through a few favorites based on the season and my mood. But lately it’s been all about the familiar and comfortable, and that includes my fragrance as well.

A bit pedestrian maybe, but the one I’ve been reaching for most often is. It’s one of the classic fragrances I never tire of, and have worn on and off for decades. (Le Monsieur likes No.5 on me too.) When nothing else feels right, this one always does.

Do you prefer classic fragrances or more unusual ones? Signature scent or stable of perfumes?

Timeless & Classic Fragrances

Joy Jean Patou | Shalimar | L’Air du Temps | Miss Dior | Youth Dew

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82 Comments

  1. AA
    April 22, 2020 / 1:06 pm

    If you like perfume, I highly recommend Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez’s Perfumes: The A-Z Guide (both the original and the 2018 edition). They are knowledgeable and extremely funny, and it’s a fascinating way to learn more about perfume.

  2. Janet D.
    April 22, 2020 / 2:38 pm

    Patchouli! I completely forgot when I commented earlier that I’ve recently been wearing patchouli again, which people either love or hate. I’ve always loved it (but I still occasionally burn incense in my home, so there’s that) & when I came across a little bottle of patchouli oil in a local shop, I bought it & have been wearing it now & again. People’s reactions are hilarious, from kids who like it but don’t know what it is, to oldsters like me who are instantly transported back to their youth. I had one man tell me I smelled like “every folk concert I’ve ever been to” & another who said I reminded him of his first true love . . . seriously, how sweet is that? Scent really is one of the most powerful of our senses in evoking memories.

  3. Carol
    April 22, 2020 / 2:57 pm

    My first perfume was Fath de Fath by Jacques Fath. I then moved on to Estée by Estée Lauder. Kenzo ça sent beau was a favorite for many years as was the first La Perla scent. Nowadays, it’s Miami Blossom by Escada and Un jardin sur la lagune by Hermès.

    I need fragrance, lipstick and earrings everyday of the year!

  4. Eva
    April 22, 2020 / 5:24 pm

    Where do you get Cristalle? That is my favorite and can’t find it anywhere!

  5. Rita Gibbard
    April 23, 2020 / 1:50 am

    I agree that in this awful lockdown that lipstick , perfume and earrings are mandatory. I also add mascara, I’m a pale redhead (faded – hair, not me!) so need some definition on my pale eyelashes. Chanel No 5 has always been my signature perfume and always wear it if I’m seeing my younger daughter, who loves it and says it reminds her of me. For everyday I love Jo Malone’s fragrances. So many to choose from, my current favourite is English Pear and Freesia. My mother loved freesias so brings back happy memories. I used to adore White Jasmine and Mint and even my young grandson commented on how wonderful I ‘smelled’! However, they discontinued it – how often this happens, something you love disappears from your life. Reflects what’s going on at the moment, I suppose.

  6. Kris
    April 23, 2020 / 7:08 am

    What a timely post! I love fragrances and just received my order of samples from Lucky Scent. Definitely an inexpensive treat! I ordered three from Byredo and a few others on their recommendations. I avoid wearing scent to work (work in healthcare) as scent does trigger migraine, asthma, and other nasal symptoms. As a young girl, Chanel No.19 was my favorite because my beloved grandmother gave me a set. I loved smelling her and my mother’s perfumes. Now, J’adore is my favorite. Orange blossom is another comfort scent and Le Labo Fleur d’Oranger 27 is lovely. Looking forward to trying a few orange blossom based scents from my Lucky Scent samples.

  7. Ramona Black
    April 23, 2020 / 5:02 pm

    Like you, I am enjoying wearing fragrance working at home after years with workmates who could not tolerate it. I wore Chanel no 5 in high school and long after. I recently bought a new bottle but not sure it’s me anymore. For a while now it’s been Pucci Aqua, Isaac Mizrahi, and Marc Jacobs and most recently the Clean roll-ons like Clean Laundry and Warm Cotton.

  8. Renee
    April 24, 2020 / 2:18 pm

    Sometimes it’s your sense of smell or body chemistry that changes over time so a scent no longer works for you, but a lot of old scents have been reformulated, in part due to certain ingredients being disallowed due to endangered sources, animal cruelty, or high likelihood of triggering allergies. For example, any classic perfume that had real musk in it will never smell the same because now they have to use synthetics. (this is ultimately a good thing, but sad for those of us who miss the old, original scents.) Vintage bottles of a lot of these scents can be found if you search the internet.

  9. Carol
    April 24, 2020 / 6:46 pm

    I loved this post. So many wonderful memories. I remember scents like Jontue, Charlie, Love’s Baby Soft and Poison. My all-time favorite remains Chanel #5. My current go-to is Hermes 24 Faubourg. In the summer, I often spritz on the budget-friendly Jean Nate.

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