In the past decade, my life has gone from urban to rural. Ten years ago, I’d never have imagined myself spending most of my time outdoors in the hot sun. Also changed is my wardrobe. Shorts and flip-flops are the order of the day, but St. Tropez this is not.
I’m out in the swamps a lot with my camera, sweltering under the tropical foliage, trying to capture the perfect picture of an alligator, or I’m on a wobbly boat at twilight trying to steady myself as an osprey flies by with a prize mullet in its claws.
Glamour has taken a backseat to necessity here. I carry a pocketknife rather than a powder compact. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the need for a glamorous everyday fragrance. Fragrance for everyday glamour is different than perfume for evening-out glamour or the one for seductive glamour. The scents of everyday glamour are a personal reminder that special scent can be a part of your day regardless of how you spend it.
My go-to fragrance for everyday glamour is Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere. This brilliant addition to the classic No 5 line-up retains the style of the original but adds bright lemon notes to the top and overall sheerness to the famous core bouquet. It’s still just as chic as the original, but is much less powdery.
Orange blossom and neroli are perfect florals to wear for glamour. For everyday use, Tom Ford’s new Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau Fraiche Body Splash is like a chilled cocktail of iced neroli. It’s one to keep in the refrigerator and to use with abandon.
With all the new releases featuring so-called “clean” musks, don’t overlook the elegantly clean and chic L’Artisan Mûre et Musc (also available in an Extrême version). A spray or two of Mûre et Musc is like donning a crisp white shirt that is tailored to perfection—it’s a non-demanding and unobtrusive glamour that’s just right for everyday use.
Weekend à Deauville by Parfums de Nicolaï is a unisex “green” fragrance with herbal zip. It carries an unassuming pastoral glamour in its combination of petitgrain, florals, and leather. Week-end a Deauville’s basil and tarragon place it in the same family as Estée Lauder Azurée.
Modest glamour that is ideal for the most mundane of tasks can be found in one of my favorite carnation scents, Etro Dianthus. Peppery but sweet clove note spices up Atlas cedarwood in the base. This is a skin scent that will remind you, if not anyone else, of personal allure.
Scents for everyday glamour needn’t be confined to a bottle of fragrance. Sometimes, body products will do the trick!
Recently, I’ve fallen hard for L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons Dry Body Oils. This delightful product slips on like a second skin and stays there, sending up delicate gusts of linden that are the epitome of understated elegance.
Luca Turin once wrote about the convenience of perfumed soap for travel; it was a no-fuss way of wearing a little bit of scent. He mentioned, I think, Mitsouko soap (if only it were to return!). To that classic chypre scent I will add the marvelous soap of Diptyque Tam Dao. It’s ultra-creamy and it leaves a lovely trace of that famous rosewood/cypress/sandalwood scent playing across the skin. In fact, using a luxurious scented soap might be the most glamorous thing you can do in your everyday routine! Others to try are from Annick Goutal, Atelier Cologne (these are highly scented), and Eau d’Italie.
Which scents spell everyday glamour for you and how do you wear them?
Painting: Mary Cassatt. Young Woman Reading. 1876. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA, via wiki-images.