I kid you not, I have used the phrase 'perfume crisis' a shameful amount of times over the past few weeks. Frankly saying it just once is a tad shameful.
I have always been very picky about my perfumes. I demand quite a lot from them. I shy away from strong, heady, smoky, rich perfumes, which serve only to make me feel a bit travel sick. Ideally I like my perfumes to be light (but with staying power), fresh, pretty, with a dash of complexity thrown in for good measure (and all wrapped up in a beautiful, simple bottle). I love the ritual of putting on perfume before leaving the house. It's such a perfectly chic finishing touch.
In the past I've definitely been guilty of buying perfumes that are decidedly not me, buying before trying because I've fallen for the hype, or the beautiful bottle, or knowing it has graced the pulse points of my sartorial heroes. Par example: I'd love to love Byredo's Gypsy Water or Bal D'Afrique, Frederic Malle's Carnal Flower, Kai, Diptyque's Ombre dans L'Eau, Jo Malone's Blackberry & Bay and everything by Le Labo... but I'd just be lying to myself (and making myself feel nauseous into the bargain).
Up to now, my favourite perfumes (that are no longer in rotation) have been:
Diptyque Eau de Lierre, Diptyque Eau Duelle, Jo Malone Wild Bluebell, Byredo Pulp
Still in rotation:
Jo Malone Lime, Basil & Mandarin (for work) and Creed Love in White (spring/summer)
I think, if I'm honest, my ongoing quest for new perfect perfumes comes down to wanting a perfumes that are 'me', but also contain an aspirational element - 'the me I want to be'. I think this is why I will most probably not be the sort of person who has one signature scent. I like to think I'll have a collection of signature scents, archiving different stages of my life and the development of my tastes. When I spritz perfumes I have previously worn, they enable me to take a trip down memory lane. When I stumble across a new scent, it is like turning over a crisp, fresh page. New perfumes feel full of possibilities.
Given the close of summer, my beloved Love in White doesn't feel right for the new season, rendering me in a perfume-less rut! The quest is back on in earnest, and with any luck, the "crisis" will be over soon.