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. Susan
    April 21, 2020 / 1:59 am

    When I was a teenager I wore Tea Rose (as did everyone else), Youth Dew, Annick Goutal Gardenia, L’air du Temps. An old flame did give me a bottle of Chanel No 5, but I couldn’t wesrit after that because it reminded me of him (and not in a good way). The last scent I wore was Penhaligon’s Zinnia. Then when in my mid 30s, I developed migraines and couldn’t stand the smell of any scent, on me and on others. Now, it is Dove body wash and nivea.

    • Kelly
      April 21, 2020 / 5:11 am

      Same thing happened to me in my 30’s…how weird! I’ve sampled so many perfumes and colognes over the years but always end up with a headache or allergic reaction. The only fragrance I can wear is one from my high school days, Coty Musk. I still get compliments on it but the fragrance doesn’t last very long.

      • Mary Ann
        April 21, 2020 / 8:31 am

        Same thing here! I am 64 and have not worn perfume for 30 years (and for a few years I wore a rather heavy scent, Bakir, without any problems). I never thought much about it but now I am curious!

        • Susan M
          April 22, 2020 / 5:02 am

          I, too, developed migraines in my thirties, something I always attributed to my last pregnancy but that is unsubstantiated. Interesting to hear that other women have suffered the very same way. Now, 64 years old this year, my migraines ceased about a decade ago, something I attributed to my early retirement. Was it stress or just hormonal imbalance? Guess I’ll never know. Curious to hear what others think. Thank you ladies for sharing your stories, we learn from each other.

  2. Alison
    April 21, 2020 / 2:41 am

    I am a fragrance girl not just now but always. If I spray something lovely and put in some earrings, I feel put together. No.5 has never worn well on me but Coco Noir is sublime. I too like the classic fragrances with First by Van Cleef and Arpels being my most worn. My new favourite is Francis Kurkjan Amyris. If you don’t know it I recommend you find a tester as it is simply gorgeous.

  3. Patricia L
    April 21, 2020 / 3:32 am

    Chanel 19 for over 25 years, daily. My daughter protests is I try anything new, saus it doesn’t smell like Mom. I do have a bottle of La Petite Robe Noir that I sneak in occasionally. Don’t use a lot, but don’t feel dressed with my scent, lip gloss and earrings.

  4. Cindylou
    April 21, 2020 / 3:47 am

    In the winter I wear Shalimar and Coco Chanel in the evening. In the summer I wear Light Blue from Dolce & Gabbana or a Ferre fragrance that I think is now discontinued. And for an occasional change I’ll wear Burberry Britt Sheer.

  5. Phyllis
    April 21, 2020 / 3:47 am

    I too love fragrance but in the form of scented candles, Voluspa and Kringle are my faves. Very soothing while working from home in these trying times.

  6. laura
    April 21, 2020 / 4:22 am

    Hermes fragrances! Years ago Caleche, now Voyage and in the summer some of the garden fragrances ….

    • Jill Ann
      April 21, 2020 / 8:00 am

      Love Hermes! I wear Jour d’Hermes and Un Jardin Sur le Nil. Both are light, and the second one especially is good for summer, for me. I wore L’air du Temps for years, as well as Shalimar. In college I wore Jontue, anyone remember that?

      • Elizabeth
        April 21, 2020 / 8:35 am

        On my first trip to Paris in my early 20s, the world of beautiful perfumes expanded and I’ve loved it ever since (or sense). Luckily, we have a great Parfumerie in Seattle. (I even save some of the beautiful bottles).

      • Vicki
        April 21, 2020 / 7:54 pm

        I wear fragrance everyday, i put mascara and red lipstick on everyday now as well.
        My favourite fragrances are Miss Dior, Diorissimo (which I first wore when I was 17 and still love it despite it’s reformulation years ago.
        Bal a Versailles now it’s getting cooler in Oz. Youth Dew, Angel. Absolute favourite is No 19 by Chanel.

  7. Lianne MacGregor
    April 21, 2020 / 4:30 am

    Chanel No. 5 is definitely my signature fragrance. For many years it was Sung by Alfred Sung but it was discontinued a number of years ago, and I switched back to Chanel. My favorite way to wear it is the body cream. It’s really rich, creamy, and the scent lingers on my clothes, but it’s a splurge so I save it for special occasions.

  8. Linda D.
    April 21, 2020 / 4:52 am

    My favorite scent has always been White Shoulders, which I use in its various forms (cologne, body cream, talcum powder). My daughter wears Trésor, and I’ll always remember my mother using Toujours Moi on special occasions. She used to say that anything else “turned” on her.

    • Kellee McCrory
      April 22, 2020 / 5:43 pm

      I love White Shoulders – a boyfriend once gave it to me (100 years ago) and I still love it.

    • Claudia
      April 25, 2020 / 7:27 pm

      White Shoulders. My mother wore it for years and I loved it. I wore it for years and my daughter loved it. Always got a compliment when wearing it. My daughter and I were in the check out at a department store and a mother and teen age daughter near us were sniffing fragrances. “White Shoulders? That’s for old ladies!” said the mother. My daughter and I looked at each other and laughed. I think I was 40.
      Now it’s Angel.

  9. Laura
    April 21, 2020 / 5:03 am

    Mais non, Susan. No. 5 is never pedestrian. It’s always classic, always correct, always sophisticated….it’s the last thing I put on each day

  10. Leoni
    April 21, 2020 / 5:04 am

    I loved and wore good perfume daily until I was 41. One night I was out with my children and began to itch. By midnight I had hives from the soles of my feet to my scalp. I saw a doctor the next day and after a blood test, he said I’d had a histamine reaction to perfumed substances and was done wearing perfumes…to my great sorrow. Then I learned that scents can be allergic triggers and triggered my psoriasis…gone once I stopped using ANY scented product. Now I cannot even be comfortable around someone wearing perfumed products of any kind. The fact that perfume triggered migraines is not surprising but a sad fact. Maybe in our world filled with chemicals, we have been sensitized to perfumes which 100 years ago would not have been problems.

    • LeeAnn
      April 21, 2020 / 5:32 am

      I’m so sorry to hear this, it must be extremely challenging to deal with. I have wondered if even my “spray the air and walk through the mist” technique might still leave enough scent on me to be triggering to others who are extremely sensitive.

      • Lynn
        April 21, 2020 / 6:18 am

        Yes, it can if someone is close enough. All types of scented products trigger my migraines (soaps, detergents, air freshers, etc.), but your method of wearing perfume would only be a problem if I sat next to you since yours is not concentrated. I agree that it is sad that there are just so many chemicals around us today that some of us have become overly sensitized.

  11. Diane B
    April 21, 2020 / 5:12 am

    Great topic as fragrance always makes me feel good. I went through many when younger and even now one is not enough. My long time go to is Givenchy Ysatis, but other favorites now are Gucci Bloom Aqua di Fiori, Chanel Gabrielle, Juicy Couture OUI, Lise Watier Neiges, BCBG Max Azria Bon Chic, Davidoff Cool Water Sea Rose. There are a few others that I throw in now and again, and am always looking when traveling for something new to add. Buying on travels has great memories attached. I bought Gabrielle one year ago this week and it does take me there. I am certainly not going to save any ‘for good’ any more as this experience needs soothing rituals more than any other. Thanks for your ray of sunshine in my inbox.

    • RoseAG
      April 22, 2020 / 4:22 am

      I have some Gucci Bloom. It’s nice.

  12. Gaynor
    April 21, 2020 / 5:12 am

    I don’t feel ready for my day without perfume, lipstick and earrings either. Ysatis by Givenchy has become my signature perfume.

    • Stephanie Ashworth
      April 21, 2020 / 7:06 am

      I wore that for years and years but can no longer find it. Has it been discontinued?

      • Diane B
        April 21, 2020 / 7:28 am

        Stephanie, our Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada has it , but I have also found it at duty free when traveling.

  13. Sandi
    April 21, 2020 / 5:16 am

    Nina Ricci ‘s “L’Air de Temps” – my sister and I have worn this for YEARS – never switched to anything else. Our mother wore Caron’s “Fleurs de rocaille” but that may no longer exist – guess the idea of sticking with one scent was a family thing!

  14. LeeAnn
    April 21, 2020 / 5:27 am

    As a teenager, it was L’Air du Temps, then Clinique’s Aromatics Elixir was my signature fragrance. One of the first times I went to Paris, YSL’s “Paris” was very popular, and I fell in love with it. It always brings back wonderful memories. But after I got pregnant and for years after I had my daughter, I couldn’t tolerate fragrance. Now I love Serge Lutens’ Fleurs d’Oranger, but I apply it as demonstrated on Queer Eye: spray it into the air, wait a beat, then walk through the mist. Just enough clings to me that I can enjoy the scent, but it’s not overpowering to me or those around me.

  15. Ainsivalavie
    April 21, 2020 / 5:32 am

    When I turned 19 my then boyfriend gave me a bottle of the original Chanel 19 years later my now husband of forty four years still likes to tuck a bottle into my Christmas stocking. I do not care for the newer version, it has that horrible ‘old lady’ scent to it that I find a few modern fragrances have or what my son refers to as “smelling like stinky underpants” that generation tells it like it is!! Always have a twenty something man sniff your fragrance for an honest opinion.
    In summer I wear Chanel Cristalle because I love it and my late mother often said that in the bottle it reminded her of gin and tonic!
    I will also remind that as we get older our sense of smell grows less sensitive and it’s not uncommon to pass a lady of a certain age who reeks of scent. Keep a small spritz for a date night or special occasions. Refrain from wearing to theatre, hospitals, tightly packed restaurants. My husband, who is French says that his mother always said that one should not be aware of someone’s scent unless you are close enough to kiss them! Guess that’s why he gave me the 19 so many years ago!

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      April 21, 2020 / 3:04 pm

      Not just ladies! Gentlemen of a certain age can be equally guilty, and men’s colognes can be very strong.

      I adore the scent of perfume (and flowers) when walking through streets, but in close quarters it can bother me, in an allergic scent, but not as grave as some other commenters.

    • Eva
      April 22, 2020 / 5:23 pm

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

  16. Joann Czarny
    April 21, 2020 / 5:33 am

    I only wear Philosophy “Amazing Grace.” I get so many compliments. I do have a signature scent, I would love a signature lipstick too. That seems a bit harder to find.

  17. Melissa
    April 21, 2020 / 5:48 am

    You cannot go wrong with Chanel No. 5. When I smell this when I am out and about I always turn to look at the woman wearing it. Always a very chic woman! Personally, I love Jo Malone. Adore the citrus scents more than the floral scents but I like to layer them. The candles are fabulous too. Also loving Sydney Hale candles (Garden Mint is a burst of spring).

    • Cinzia
      April 21, 2020 / 2:13 pm

      Another Jo Malone fan. Some of her scents are so light that they disappear on me within an hour, but I really like Peony and Blush Suede or, for a lighter scent, Wood Sage and Sea Salt.

      Sometimes for variety I will use Light Blue by Dolce and Gabbana. It always reminds me of Italy where I bought my first bottle. Oh, and from Capri I treasure my favorite scent from Carthusia…

    • Jessica
      May 5, 2020 / 4:58 pm

      I used to love Sydney Hale, but their most recent candles smell nothing like they used to. Does anyone know what happened to this candlemaker? Did they get bought out? I’m currently searching for anything like how they used to be…

  18. SuD
    April 21, 2020 / 5:50 am

    I like interesting appealing combinations, and wear them according to my mood. My go to scents are either warm and smoky (evenings) or clean blends (daytime).

  19. Barbara
    April 21, 2020 / 6:08 am

    I always saved Chanel No. and Shalimar “for good”. But since early this year, I have been wearing one or the other daily. Time to use the good stuff. Chanel No. 5 brings back memories; as a child, my mother bending to kiss me good night when she went out with my dad! Probably only happened once, maybe twice, as they were stay at home people, but it certainly imprinted a wonderful memory for me.
    Let me add to the chorus of positive comments about your color transformation. You are absolutely glowing in your new colors!
    (Long time reader,, first time commenter)

  20. Pam
    April 21, 2020 / 6:09 am

    Scents and fragrances make my sinus stuff up and I start to sneeze. There are so many people that react badly to them now. Nothing is more irritating to me than to be around, or even pass, someone who has a strong cloud of perfume around them, and that happens quite often. I like the person who said you shouldn’t be able to smell it unless you were close enough to the person to kiss them.

  21. J.K. Greenwood
    April 21, 2020 / 6:27 am

    In my youth, I always wore unusual fragrances because I didn’t want to smell like everyone else. On a trip to Paris over a decade ago, I dicovered the Frederic Malle collection of fragrances and was smitten. Although I have tried and worn many, and loved them all, the one that stand out for me is Carnal Flower by Dominique Ropion. There is never a day I wear it that a stranger doesn’t stops me to comment on it in a positive way. It’s never too strong but always suble and natural.

  22. darby callahan
    April 21, 2020 / 6:31 am

    I have worn Estee Lauder White Linen for yeas and years. everything else seems to irritate me. I did like Shalimar as a very young woman. I have not smelled it in years. the problem now is that I have worn my signiture scent for so long and so often I really don’t smell it myself. I have considered finding something else but of course not now. maybe something to look forward to.

  23. rose floyd
    April 21, 2020 / 6:36 am

    I wear fragrance every day; for decades I wore a very light, natural fragrance with a hint of musk and a week didn’t go by without someone or several asking me what that fragrance was.
    Alas, the company was sold and from what I have concluded, perfumers have been unable to use some of the essential oils they used to, so the product now smells like mosquito spray. There have been websites dedicated to how this fragrance, much cherished, was ruined.

    I prefer lighter fragrances and mostly wear Gin Fizz (Princess Grace) or other sythetic based fragrances.
    Norell was my first adult fragrance while in college.

    A dusting of fragranced rice powder puts me to sleep each night.

  24. Elizabeth
    April 21, 2020 / 6:40 am

    I love fragrance and wear it most days. I tend toward either woodsy scents (Jo Malone English Oak & Hazelnut) or scents with amber or spicy notes. I don’t care for any flowery scents.

  25. Carolyn
    April 21, 2020 / 6:48 am

    I was reading articles about perfumes last night! Fragrance can be comforting to us. Chanel No 5 and Chanel Chance are my go to perfumes.

  26. Libs
    April 21, 2020 / 7:18 am

    When I was a teenager I worked at Boots for a few weeks in the holidays (this is a dead give away that I live in the UK!). I took the opportunity to try every perfume available! What I discovered was that everything, from the cheapest to the most expensive, went ‘soapy’ on my skin within minutes. The only perfumes that didn’t were the Lancome ones, so those have been my go to ever since. My absolute favorite and the one I wear almost always is Vie est Belle. Love the scent and love the name. Now all I have to do is get over the hay fever season so I can wear it again! Love your blog by the way Susan 🙂

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      April 21, 2020 / 7:35 am

      “la vie est belle” is my other go-to! 🙂

  27. April 21, 2020 / 7:36 am

    I can’t imagine a day without fragrance. I gravitate toward the classics, so Guerlain and Chanel are my favorite brands. On rotation these days: L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, and my beloved Shalimar. There’s nothing pedestrian about No. 5 — it may not have been the first aldehyde perfume, but it is arguably the first truly modern fragrance. Thanks again to Coco Chanel for her extraordinary vision.

  28. Pamela
    April 21, 2020 / 8:15 am

    Please remember that fragrance makes some of us ill. Home is the best place to use it.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      April 21, 2020 / 8:16 am

      Which is why I’m advocating enjoying it at home. 😉

  29. Alexis I
    April 21, 2020 / 8:30 am

    Jo Malone Red Roses makes me feel like I’m in a heavenly garden! I love perfume, and I would like to take a class to learn more about how perfumes are created.

  30. Holly
    April 21, 2020 / 8:38 am

    Thanks for this lovely post, Susan!. For years and years I wore Magie Noire by Lancome. It was this spicy, seductive, mysterious scent that I first started wearing in high school, and everyone knew me by it. But it has become harder and harder to find, plus I think they changed something in the formulation of it, because it just doesn’t smell the same anymore, so I stopped buying it. I thought I’d never find another scent I adored so much until one morning a few years ago, I was walking through the cosmetics dept. at Neiman Marcus and was asked if I’d like a spritz of a new scent called ‘Iziah’ by the French company Sisley. I said “sure, why not”, even though he said the main note was rose (which I’ve never really liked) and when he sprayed it on my wrist, I wiped a little of it on my neck as well. It was completely different from Magie Noire, (because..floral), but it smelled just beautiful! – very subtle, and unlike any other fragrance I’ve ever encountered. I had lots of errands, though, so I left and went about my day. But all that day, I kept catching faint whiffs of it from the morning spray. I kept inhaling deeply because it just smelled so different yet really pretty, and it lifted my spirits. Two days later I reached for the jacket I’d been wearing the morning I’d wiped the spritz on my neck, and the faint aroma of the fragrance was still on it. I couldn’t stop sniffing my jacket collar. Needless-to-say, I went back and bought it. I got the smallest bottle because it was pricey, but to this day, I remain obsessed, enchanted and beguiled by this perfume. My husband and kids love it too, and I’ve bought several more bottles and worn nothing else since, day or night, all four seasons. Men, women, uber drivers, even the kids I teach at the Museum where I work (and g-d willing will resume working once we’re able to go out again :)) always say I smell so good.

  31. Lily
    April 21, 2020 / 8:40 am

    I have to recommend the site perfumeniche.com. It’s run by two Canadian ladies. The women review niche fragrances and sell small decants. I found two of my favorites through them. By the Fireplace by Maison Margiela, an unusual smokey fragrance I love for colder weather. Les Cologne Neroli by Goutal reminds me of summer at the cottage. It’s a great site that one can spend a lot of time at. The decants are a cheap treat too!

  32. April 21, 2020 / 8:51 am

    Guerlain’s Samsara is the only one I have worn for many years but it has lost popularity and is not easy to get. I like Chanel No. 5 and Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist but haven’t had any in quite a long time. I may have to make a change if my favorite becomes impossible to get.

    • Anon
      April 21, 2020 / 1:54 pm

      Shoppers Drug Mart and Hudson’s Bay in Canada sell Samsara and Cashmere Mist, as well as tge full Chanel fragrance line.

      We can also buy some of the French skin care and beauty lines at Shoppers that aren’t available south of the border, like Nuxe.

    • M
      April 22, 2020 / 7:52 am

      I too loved Samsara, however I believe since the change of bottle from it’s lovely little red bottle to the clear glass bottle, the perfume lost its “power”. I’m unsure if there has been an ingredient change but I wish Guerlain would revert to the old “recipe”.

      I have switched my allegiance to either Chanel No. 5 or Guerlain’s Mitsouko.

  33. Nancy MK
    April 21, 2020 / 8:56 am

    What a delightful subject!
    For many many years I wore Fleurs de Rocaille and when wanting to be seduce, Sortilege and occasionally Jasmin, the latter two by Le Gallion, no longer made (although Irma Shorell bought the Sortilege formula) and Fleurs was reformulated as Fleur. I tried various scents but the only one my husband liked was Mitsouko, which on the way home from the store changed quite a bit, each change lovely, ending like a walk in the woods. This is my one and only now, a spray of toilet water every morning.

    Several venues in our area post signs asking people not to enter if wearing any scented product at all, yet the same venues use very strong-smelling cleaning products. Go figure. In addition, people themselves smell so different, depending on cleanliness and diet (e.g., populations which eat dairy products smell different to those who do not). A great anthropologist noted that red-haired women had an unusually pleasant natural scent. I, a former redhead, now a mixture of red, brown and white, do smell like fresh bread. Perhaps it is the artificial constituents of scent and not natural scents which are disturbing.

  34. April 21, 2020 / 8:58 am

    I love this post. A bit of a trip down memory lane for most of us. Something we don’t really think of much. I used Youth Dew when I was much younger. As a young adult it was Lauren and Aromatics Elixir. Now it’s just Aromatics Elixir. I usually get compliments on it. It was the last step before heading out the door. With so many people and allergies I have worn it less. Being retired I wear it at home or with family. It just makes me happy. My fashionable mother always wore perfume. I remember as a kid seeing the pink body form of Shocking but Schiaparelli. Thanks for the memories And the wonderful posts from readers. Always enjoy them

  35. Francie
    April 21, 2020 / 9:35 am

    Chanel No. 5 brings back my grandmother and my favorite aunt; Youth Dew brings back my mother. I wear Chanel No. 5, and also a Prada perfume called Tendre. I think it’s a lovely idea, Susan, to suggest wearing fragrance now that everyone is home all the time. It is a pleasure and scents have a psychic benefit. I also use essential oils daily because I make my own cleaning solutions and add peppermint and lavender; this is so pleasant.

  36. Linda
    April 21, 2020 / 11:30 am

    Oh my goodness, No. 5 is so not pedestrian! I’ve never had a permanent signature–too many beauties I’d have to bypass, although many have been significantly altered by reformulation. Perfume is always a comfort and, as you say, Susan, especially now. Thanks for another lovely post.

  37. Meg
    April 21, 2020 / 12:44 pm

    I wore Chanel No.5 when my daughters were infants. I used up my bottle and being a mom on a budget, did not repurchase for over a decade. When they smelled it again , BOTH girls were enchanted by the scent and said, it reminds us of you! How is that for imprinting a scent at a tender age?
    I just bought a new bottle because I miss it. It’s a go to for a night out ( now a night in) with my husband.
    In the summer, I love Chanel 19. I read that Coco Chanel wore it and when complimented or asked about her perfume, would cagily reply “I am not wearing scent, just soap , water and myself”
    Also a nice summer scent is O de Lancome. Fresh, crisp, yet soft and feminine. And I agree whole heartedly with the other reader who in convinced Magie Noir is ‘different’ , it is, and not in a good way.

  38. Christine
    April 21, 2020 / 12:55 pm

    Susan I have been reading your blog for about a year now.. I’m in the UK and have been following your ‘lock in’ experience…What you said about wanting to put on lipstick and earrings and a spritz of perfume comfortable clothes but still feel dressed is exactly what I said to my daughter on Monday! I feel much more myself and have a positive mind set too when I’ve made an ‘effort’. Perfume is such a personal thing and certain scents can bring memories flooding back..If I smell Caleche it’s straight back to being pregnant with my daughter …Arpege a vust to my aunt in New Jersey (it doesn’t smell the same now)..Youth Dew my twin sister….my own favourite at the moment is j’dore…keep us entertained in these troubling times and keep safe and well.

  39. Francie
    April 21, 2020 / 1:25 pm

    Oh, Christine, I forgot about J’adore! J’adore J’adore!

  40. Angela in NZ
    April 21, 2020 / 2:02 pm

    Reading about everyone’s first fragrances took me straight back in time. Funny how now they don’t work for me. Signature scent for me is ‘Angel’ by Thierry Mugler, one spritz after my morning shower lasts all day. 😉

  41. Rondi
    April 21, 2020 / 2:30 pm

    Scents are tied to so many memories. In fact it is apparently our strongest sense. Allergic reactions and migraines because of scents worn are terrible. But as you read these comments you see how the scents we wore are part of our very memories. This post made me remember wearing Tigress by Faberge in high school. And Beautiful by Estee Lauder for years as a young woman. I have never been able to choose a signature scent. Brighton (yes, the jewelry) makes 4 scents that are nice. And there are several others I like. I love my husband’s cologne. And Chanel No 5 was what my mother wore when she dressed up. Pleasant memories. What changed for me was the endurance of the fragrance. When I was about 40 or so fragrances did not last as long when I wore them. It’s been that way ever since.

  42. Lee Rosenthall
    April 21, 2020 / 2:49 pm

    I wore Chanel No. 5 for years when I was younger. Not sure why I ever stopped – it was always a favorite. I also used to love Paloma Picasso’s signature fragrance, too, but stopped wearing it for some reason when my boys were little. I guess it felt too sophisticated for my lifestyle at the time. My husband bought me Lancome’s “Miracle” several years ago (after MUCH research on his part), and I really liked it, even though it was nothing like I’d ever worn. It’s remained my regular fragrance. I recently got a small travel size of Bobbi Brown’s “Beach” for a quick trip to Florida and liked it so much, I bought a regular size bottle. Definitely reminds me of being at the beach on vacation! 🙂

  43. Jannie
    April 21, 2020 / 2:59 pm

    Wow, so many interesting replies. I too like many have developed a sensitivity to certain fragrances. This became even more apparent after I suffered a brain aneurysm (subarachnoid hemorrhage ) in 2006. One of my dear friends gave me Pure Grace by Philosophy and it has become my favorite…gentle and subdued. Truly love it. Did like the Bobbi Brown “Beach”. Take care, gals, and stay safe and healthy.
    thank you, Susan, for keeping us Happy and Felling Positive!!

  44. Ann
    April 21, 2020 / 3:10 pm

    Love this post and everyone’s replies! My mom wore Chanel #5 and it never smelled quite right on me. I read once that about every decade your sense of smell changes. Maybe true for me…I started wearing Shalimar when I was 14 then Arpege and my favorite My Sin. Which my mother thought totally inappropriate for someone my age. Anyhow time marched on and I went thought the Opium, Mitsouko and Angel stages. For the past 30 some odd years I have lived in warm climates and don’t like the heavier ones. Now I only wear Jo Malone’s Grapefruit or Lime Basil and Mandarin and oh always earrings

  45. Janet D.
    April 21, 2020 / 5:10 pm

    One of the earliest memories I have of my mother is her perfume — Tweed. She wore it every day & I’ve always worn perfume myself, including Chanel No5. Then Calvin Klein came out with (the original) Obsession & I was hooked. I never wore anything else until they changed the formula & it stopped being Obsession. I’ve been at loose ends ever since. I’ve been wearing Klein’s Euphoria & Givenchy’s Organza most recently. I like them but they’re both a little sweet, like Red Door & Opium, both of which I’ve tried but never found entirely satisfactory. If anyone reading this has found a good substitute for the original Obsession (I can’t possible be the ONLY lost soul who pines for this delicious perfume!) I’d love to hear about it. My husband misses it, too. He used to joke that all I had to do was walk past him wearing Obsession to get his motor revving a little faster — he’s a motorcycle nut; all I need to do to get his motor running is wear a spritz of engine oil 🙂 I’m saving all these comments & going to go through them again, btw. What a nice smelling bunch we are!

    • Diane B
      April 23, 2020 / 6:18 am

      Janet, I thought it was just my sense of smell with the Obsession dilemma. There is nothing about the ‘new’ bottle that is as good as the original. Thanks for pointing that out, I am not alone in this opinion.

  46. Audre
    April 21, 2020 / 8:46 pm

    When I was a teenager my father would buy me perfume for Valentine’s Day. He bought me sophisticated fragrances including Shalimar, Arpege, and Chanel No 5, when all my friends were wearing drugstore scents like Charlie or Love’s Baby Soft.
    I started a collection of perfume bottles with these lovely gifts and though the perfumes are long gone the beautiful bottles bring back wonderful memories. The collection has grown over the years to include discontinued scents including Fendi Fendi , a favorite of mine!
    I like the idea of a little fragrance (and lipstick) for these stay at home days.

  47. Cathy D.
    April 21, 2020 / 11:12 pm

    In the beginning, I wore Je Reviens. I wore it until I could no longer find it. Then I switched to various Guerlain fragrances. I loved them all, but none of them really smelled like me. For years, there were various Floris of London fragrances, most of which were light enough to wear to work. Today it’s Jo Malone Grapefruit, which I’m addicted to. Perhaps I’ll try some of her other fragrances if I can ever leave the house. Where will we try out new perfumes if the department stores go out of business?

  48. April 22, 2020 / 5:20 am

    I enjoy fragrances but have little experience with them. I want more and need to find scents that work on me.

    BTW, did you ever read Tom Robbin’s 1984 cult-classic, “Jitterbug Perfume”?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      April 22, 2020 / 5:57 am

      Yes, one of my favorites!

  49. Maisie Kapollas
    April 22, 2020 / 6:37 am

    Lovely post ! It must be true then that your sense of smell changes every so many years. Fragrances that I once loved do nothing for me now, mostly I find them too heavy and headache inducing. I used to love White Linen for summer nights but now it’s Tommy Hilfiger Woman that to me smells like summer in a bottle.
    I love the old perfume houses, Geurlain Jicky is my all time favourite ( although they have slightly changed the formula, it doesn’t last so well ). All through December I wear Yves St Laurent Cinema because it smells like Christmas ! I’ve often had favourable comments about that particular scent.
    Now I’m going for a little spritz of comfort !

  50. Kathy Ludgate
    April 22, 2020 / 9:06 am

    Channel No 5
    My signature fragrance all my life. My daughter buys it for me three times a year for my birthday, Mom’s Day and Christmas. I wear it everyday!

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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!

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

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

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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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