Do you / did you make a distinction between work and play in terms of perfume?
While at weekends I am always scented, either randomly grabbing and dabbing or spraying and indulging at home , or choosing instinctively – sometimes very carefully, for going out, D often doesn’t bother, but often will have a few spritzes for work, particularly if it’s a day of preparation and not actual teaching (nice to be subtly fragrant while hovering around the photocopier). I no longer wear perfume to work. Occasionally I can’t resist a little on a wrist here or there, but I have been truly burned by previous experiences when students or teachers clearly hated my scent choices: – once when wearing Givenchy Pi the students were literally covering their faces and screaming for me to open the windows. I was mortified.The only time I got positive reactions, bizarrely, was when wearing Happy (women’s) by Clinique – which had girls swooning and following me down the corridor like the Pied Piper.
That chemical citrus flower perfume did give me super intense, very specific migraine-like headaches at the back of my neck though (and one of my male students too); I had the same reaction from Floret by Antonia’s Flowers: it must be a particular ingredient – so that went out the window. Now I just have essential oils in my pocket and my citrus hand balms. To be honest, I like the Return To Stench at night – the contraband luxuriance. All the perfumes waiting for me. It’s a nice way to unwind, like putting oil paint on plain canvas.
For work, D likes something unadorned and gentlemanly – Mizu by Di Ser is perfect in this regard – woody but crisp and citrus. I love him in Aramis Tuscany – balmily aromatic if we meet at Ofuna station; Fougere Intense by Sven Pritzoleit is low-key and skindrowsy; I have even miraculously persuaded him into a full citrus with a verbena fragrance by Jeanne En Provence: personally I think he carries lemon better than he realises.
I find Blenheim Bouquet – a coniferous lime / amalfi lemon /pine lavender, piquant, dry and very elegant perfume, for instance, delightful in its restraint – but he unfortunately very rarely reaches for it (it is quite faint, very skin close, a tad ‘tight’). Conservative. Almost standoffish.
Blenheim Bouquet, was, also, incidentally – I wrote this yesterday, but heard the news of his death this morning – interestingly the favoured scent of Prince Philip – RIP; (…..I feel very sorry for The Queen losing her partner and having to navigate the pressures of her position at such an advanced age); I hardly know anything about him; I know he made some blunders and said some things that were offensive, over the years, but I do like what my wise friend Joan said about the hard working, eccentric royal consort this morning; (“In the last couple of years I have met someone who worked very closely with him, on issues related to environmental protection, and particularly in bringing people of different faiths together to promote greater awareness of the importance of biodiversity and the ‘web of life’ (his phrase!). This really changed my view of him, and I salute his contributions and his life”).
He certainly had good taste in scent.
For D, although he occasionally wears Blenheim at my insistence, especially in early summer, Opus 1870 – a well regarded scent by many – and one he finds pleasing in its rounded whole, is favoured for its warmer heart. A woody aromatic, for me this is well crafted, but ultimately just a so-so scent. Not one of his all time best. Nice. Agreeable. Kind of dapper. No ungentlemanly. But somehow, a little ‘meh’ and mediocre ( probably, in truth, why he doesn’t wear it For Best.). To me, Opus 1870 smells like a fresh tea sandalwood similar to Annick Goutal’s Duel, a scent I could never get along with, but the notes are apparently actually yuzu and pepper with coriander – a herb D also likes more than I do (for me there is something almost foetidly fresh about it, off-putting), along with rose, cinnamon, cedar and sandalwoods, and a solid, durational base of incense. The perfume certainly does leave a nice morning sillage in the air ( – amazing when someone has already left, but their scent still trails the house; sad that Queen Elizabeth will no longer get to experience this phenomenon….) – but not, in this particular case, one that I am passionate for.
In a strange and very unexpected case of unknown until now three degrees of separation, I have just this moment found out that my paternal grandfather once CARRIED the young Prince Philip aboard a ship.
One thing I forgot to mention was that your grandad Bert actually carried The Duke when he was a Prince of Greece as a young child.
A formal visit to HMS Montrose (scrapped in 1946), a Royal Navy Destroyer, took place off Greece as part of the Mediterranean fleet when Britain assisted Greece before WWII. It was normal practice for visits to RN ships by royalty and presidents, and so the young Prince Philip was then taken on board by his dad. I don’t know why grandad was selected to carry him down the gangplank off the ship, but he must have been highly respected.
Hope you find this interesting.