Neither my mother nor my grandmothers have “signature scents,” and somehow, I feel a little shortchanged by their oversight. I am at heart a sentimental fool, and I love it when a girlfriend confesses, “Oh, I still wear Shalimar. It reminds me of my grandmother.” I find myself wanting the same…convincing myself that Chanel #5 somehow reminds me of my mother, or that my grandmother never retired a room without traces of Creed’s White Flowers trailing behind her.
Alas, I know I am fabricating memories, and the only real solution to this sentimental void is to adopt my own signature scent. But where to begin? Floral? Spicy? Strong or subtle? The world of perfume is vast, and I think it’s a little bit like the old “kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince” adage. You have to try a lot of scents before you find one that really feels like you. Fortunately, the experience is nothing so slimy as kissing reptiles or dating royalty, and I have time on my side.
I also have knights to help in my crusade. A dear friend sent me a bottle of Jardin sur le Toit by Hermes. The enclosure card read, “To celebrate your rooftop garden, and the three blossoms within.” The scent is perfect, as was the sentiment attached to the gift. I’ve worn it everyday since.