I’ll begin by saying I don’t usually review or comment on perfumes on tashasface.com. This is because I think perfumes are incredibly personal and are subject to as many olfactory interpretations as there are people. This is a little different because it was part of a beauty networking event (Keziah Connections). I almost didn’t go because I thought I didn’t have enough love for fragrance but I am so glad I did!
I learned a lot at the Miller Harris store in Bruton Street. The most striking lesson was that what smells divine to me might be totally repulsive to you. I also learned that it takes at least 7 years of study to become a perfumer (is that the right word?) and 75% of people tend to drop out in the first year of perfume school. I never would have guessed it was so difficult but thinking about it now, why wouldn’t it be? I’m guessing one would have to learn to somehow put aside personal taste/perception of smell to somehow become objective to create perfumes to please others. That’s too tough for me!
I also learned the difference between eau de parfum and eau de toilette. There is a common misconception that eau de toilette is weaker than eau de parfum because you have to reapply it throughout the day. In fact, eau de toilette is stronger because it has to make an immediate impact whereas eau de parfum can be gentler because the scent is allowed to develop throughout the day.
The Miller Harris boutique is not divided into “his” and “hers”. The bottles are elegant with a flower motif which is not overly girly. To me, it seemed welcoming to men and women. It also opened up choice to us all. If I liked something usually seen as masculine, there was no need to feel embarrassed. I like that freedom from being put in a box. No one wants to be put in a box.
I discovered that although I didn’t think I was all that into flowers, I have ended up with rose based fragrances in the past and I like perfumes that smell expensive. How do you bottle “expensive”? Anyway, no matter what, if a rose scent was wafted in front of me, I loved it. The scents that John Horsman picked out for me invoked all kinds of happy memories which is what scent is all about for me. It was a little spooky though, like he read my soul or something!
I’ll briefly take you through my journey. From my vague description of what I thought I’d like, John picked out La Fumée Ottoman, a Middle Eastern inspired fragrance in the same family as the original La Fumée. I loved it at first smell!
He then picked out La Fumée Intense which had aspects I liked but when blended with Rose Silence I loved it! Rose Silence is very light and La Fumée Intense is well…intense! When I expressed my surprise at being able to layer scents, John asked me if I only every use eyeshadows from the same palette or do I mix and match. I always mix and match and he says you can do exactly the same with fragrance. That told me! I can now see how it is possible to build a fragrance wardrobe and I really want one.
I then decided I liked a bunch of other rose based but not-to-sweet fragrances and confused myself!
The funny thing is when I spoke to Tobi, she sprayed a scent on me expecting me to smell one thing but I just couldn’t! She explained that my skin chemistry pushed other scents to the fore proving just how personal fragrance is.
I now have a better understanding of why good perfumes cost so much and it really is to do with the quality of ingredients. I have a greater appreciation for their power and a better appreciation for the art of it all. That makes it worth it to me and I’ll want to invest at some point. I guess you could liken a good fragrance to a fine wine, not that I’m a wine expert or anything!
As always at Keziah Connections, I met some new women and caught up with familiar faces. There was an amazing grand prize for the prize draw and we all received some perfume samples. I’m looking forward to the next event!