Today we're helping Michele, who wants to find a new signature scent — she wants one fragrant nirvana, and is not interested in playing the field. It should be full, rich and elegant, grownup, elegant but not snobbish, unique but not strange. Her dream perfume would evoke a confident and mysterious woman who just spent the evening at a smoky jazz club, or possibly a Bob Dylan concert. Ideally, it will also cost under $150, but she will go as high as $200 if need be. Here is what we know about Michele:
She's in her late 40s, but if asked, simply says she is bad with math.
She lives in the suburbs of Toronto, and loves her home but hates the suburbs.
She is very happily married to her first husband, and is self employed and works from home.
She spends several hours a day volunteering, and enjoys spending time outdoors, if outdoors means cafe patios and wandering through city streets.
Her design sense is minimalist both in form and function; her wardrobe is three colors and at time she thinks that is one too many. She has only a few signature pieces of jewellery and never wishes for more.
She says her spirit is bohemian (her favorite footwear is none, she buys Nag Champa incense in bulk and she's a meditation instructor who greets everyone with Namaste rather than hello).
Michele likes amber, civet, patchouli, tobacco, powdery, earthy, smokey, neroli, musk, vetiver, tea scents, soapy notes, grass, white flowers and violet. Some past loves include Yves Saint Laurent Opium (her first adult perfume), Estee Lauder Youth Dew (her going to bed fragrance), Chanel Coco (almost perfect - but not quite), Chanel No. 5, Jo Malone Lime, Basil & Mandarin, Diptyque Tam Dao (gorgeous but disappears so quickly) and Sonoma Scent Studio Tabac Aurea (gorgeous scent but it feels like a flirtation rather than a relationship; maybe too sweet).
Michele dislikes sugared fruit, peaches, anything sweet and innocent, bubbly and sparkly or too crisp, subtle barely there scents, anything too clean and anything blatantly targeted or marketed to the young.
Here are some of the fragrances she has tried recently:
People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo: the strong Play Doh scent is off-putting and lasts longer than she can handle.
Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois: the opening notes are too bright and it then fades to nothing special.
Il Profumo Patchouli Noir: beautiful but does not last.
Robert Piguet Fracas: full, luscious and pretty...but too floral.
Ineke line: A few opened nicely but faded quickly, so they did not leave her wanting more.
Tom Ford White Patchouli: "I was taken with the opening and it was love at first smell... but it was gone so fast that I heard the sound of fleeing footsteps."
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess: She bought it because it brought back memories of her summers spent tanning, but she is not interested in it as a signature scent.
Chanel Chance: too youthful.
Balenciaga Paris: She loved it but it disappeared very quickly.
Etat Libre d’Orange Like This: she is intrigued but can't make up her mind about it.
What say you?