We all know that some smells are incredibly evocative. My mum wore Estee Lauder's White Linen and Cinnabar in the nineties. Those scents take me back to a very specific moment in my personal history, before I became a child of divorce (weep) and when my Mum was a Country Road wearing, slightly hippyish Remuera housewife. I remember, the year of the separation, my Dad giving us $60 to buy a Mothers Day perfume. We bought her Anais Anais by Carcharel, the bottle with the flower on it. With hindsight, I see how strange that must have been for my still-very-sad Mum; being presented with a perfume you knew your ex-husband paid for, by your three slightly worried looking daughters.
Since then, there haven't been that many perfumes that stood out for me. I used to wear Allure, which, thinking back on it, was probably a bit too mature. My boyfriend smelt it on the breeze in London and called me in the middle of the night to say so. That's why we wear perfume, isn't it?
As a slightly more grown up person, I've decided that most perfumes aren't for me. I don't like the way that major fashion labels market them, as if Chanel Number 5 is a magical gateway to luxury. I know that I like heady, spicy smells, more often found in men's perfumes than ladies. I have tried light and fresh, but they don't work on me. It's probably to do with my own conception of what a perfume should be - it should uniquely reflect your personality as well as your aspirations. I want to smell exotic, dark and warm.
So I've chosen Numero Uno by Carthusia. It is a mens' perfume, and is rustic and herbal, intense but totally wearable. It warms on my skin and changes throughout the day. I have a feeling I'll be wearing it for a very long time.