A messy bouquet of flowers, the kind you’d hand pick as a child and bring home to your mum. Wildflowers crowd in with lilies, spills of wisteria, a stray carnation, a random rose from the neighbor’s yard, yet vague–no single bloom stands out as the star.
Awkwardly maternal, in a “Very nice, dear,” kind of way.
Another awkwardly maternal one that came out in 1984. I remember desperately wanting that silver and black dress.
Neroli, waves and sunshine.
I spent a few summers on Fire Island when I was little, the volleyball net at the Pines marking the nude beach–suits vs. skins games all day except high tide–and I’d come home with a pail full of seashells, a permanent sunburn and sand everywhere.
This scent has that freedom, wind and ocean spray and surf and naked skin, with a lovely base of top shelf zinc tanning lotion.
Projects two beach blankets over, and lasts til the sun goes down and the disco starts.
“Somewhere there is a gay man with a magic lamp and two wishes left.” -Jerrod C.
Capucine means nasturtium in French–I grew them in my little garden when I was a girl–and there’s a hit of that weird woody spice note at the opening.
Mostly though, I get fancy tea-shop–jasmine oolong and marzipan cakes–and dusty bakery musk in the air, with fresh roses on the cafe tables.
The dry-down lasts close to the skin all afternoon, a gorgeous elusive vanilla, with an Alice-in-Wonderland vibe–ruffles and cookies and riddles.
This sweet little song was a huge chart topper in France the same year.
A boring nineties prom date.
Opens with sweet lime hand soap from the dispenser at P.F. Chang’s and a smooshed wrist corsage–a limp bundle of flowers that stays close to the skin and doesn’t go anywhere fun.
It’s kind of like Muzak–stringy with not enough base notes.
Here’s a cover of a classic that you won’t hear on an elevator.
Opens with fresh peaches and jasmine that gets mixed into a fruit salad and white flower arrangement–in an elegant Martha Stewart catered way.
Lasts for three hours at arm’s length, with musk anchoring a bit of rose on the skin for several more.
J’adore was special when it came out in 1999, but it’s kind of everywhere now, so it seems generic.
(In 2011 Christian Dior launched a massive advertising campaign with the iconic video featuring Charlize Theron and this song, to huge success.)
This opens with a premier class take on Victoria’s Secret Love Spell, then it melts into amber-y burnt sugar, all business with extra legroom.
Sweet and enjoyable, (and extremely long-lasting) but too young for me.
Moby remixed Slipping Away with Mylène Farmer, a French pop singer from Quebec in 2006. It’s equally sweet.
I love this one on everybody else–fruity fresh honeysuckle and minty citrus–but it sits all wrong on me.
Opens sweaty on what should be sweet blossom, the lemonade is bitter–almost pithy–and the roses dead. The pretty woodsy floral base is bleachy-screechy and sinus headache inducing–though I get compliments as I ask for aspirin.
If I can make it through the first two hours, the drydown is lovely.
Jewel’s biggest hit topped the charts the same year.