Paris holds a special place in the hearts of many perfume lovers. Last week’s tragedy in Paris shook a lot of us. I know I’ve been thinking about how fragile and unpredictable life is. What do you do to comfort yourself when your life is shaken up? Is there a perfume you turn to?
Just as events remind me not to take the people I love for granted, they also encourage me to remember the foolishness of saving “nice” things. Every day is nice. Over the weekend, I dipped into the few milliliters of Lanvin Scandal I have left, and I liberally splashed on some vintage Carven Ma Griffe Extrait. As long as I’m truly enjoying them, I want to use them, not save these special fragrances for some mythical time when — what? — I’m invited to George Clooney’s villa?
Also, beauty brings comfort. When I’m low, I often flip through museum exhibition catalogs or cook an elaborate meal. A beautiful fragrance, especially one I don’t wear often, soothes the ache. I used my last, hoarded drop of old Christian Dior Dioressence before bed last night. (I’ll hang on to its sample vial, though, until every last molecule has evaporated.)
On the other hand, sometimes a warm, unchallenging fragrance is the most comforting — the perfume equivalent of an old quilt or well-worn sweater with a fluffy feel. For me, Amouage Beloved is that kind of comfort with its gentle floral heart and powdery aura. (I’m wearing it right now, in fact.) Vintage Chanel No. 5 parfum has taken on a comfort role for me, too, and buttery Lancôme Cuir de Lancôme is as soft and easy a perfume to wear in cool weather as I know.
Finally, I find amber, gourmand, or creamy patchouli fragrances comforting, although they can be downright annoying if I’m not in the mood for them. Yesterday I wore Reminiscence Tonka, and it helped me feel safe and warm. Chopard Casmir, Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme and Flower by Kenzo Oriental could all fill that role, too.
It may be that you don’t want the distraction of perfume at all when you’re grieving or feeling off kilter. I understand that. In the end, what matters most is that we spend time appreciating the everyday marvel of our own lives and building strong relationships with our friends and neighbors. Life isn’t about Maseratis and corner offices. It’s about good friends, an adorable rescue mutt, and the value in helping an elderly neighbor get groceries in the rain when we’d rather be watching old movies, for instance.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to remember and take comfort in the dreamy way the winter’s low sun hits the wall or the scent of jasmine tea. Or vintage Chanel No. 5.
Is there a perfume you turn to for comfort?