I was talking to a friend who has a fine turn of phrase, and she said something that made me think about why I wear perfume and what it means to me. ‘Perfume,’ she said, ‘it’s like new socks, isn’t it?’ And I know exactly what she means. Spritzing yourself with a favourite scent is just like wearing new socks or a new pair of trainers for the first time: it puts a bit of a spring in your step and sets you up for the day.
It also made me think about that old perfume cliché, the ‘signature scent’. Now, I’m all for finding a perfume that suits you and wearing it a lot, but it seems like such a shame to limit yourself to a single scent when there is such a rich and varied range of fragrances to choose from, old and new, relatively cheap and excruciatingly expensive. It’s nice to have a favourite shirt, of course, or a coat that always gets you compliments, but would you ever wear the same item of clothing every day, year in, year out? There are people out there, of course, who have a signature look, but let’s face it, they’re few and far between, and there’s a pretty good reason for that.
One of the joys of fashion is that all dressing, in the end, is about dressing up, and that means dressing for an occasion – whether it’s a party or a rainy day in June, a bitter winter’s day or the first warm week of spring. It’s fun to try new things on, and that’s precisely how I think of perfume too. There are perfumes for happy days and melancholy days, for summer days and winter days, for dates and dinner parties, for a nightclub or the opera. So why reduce your life to a single choice, when the world offers so many exciting possibilities?