Candis Editor Flic Everett shares her thoughts on life. This week, she’s remembering perfumes past…
It’s coming up to my birthday in a few weeks (I must remind the postman to do his back-strengthening exercises) and I’m hoping I’ll get perfume again this year. There’s no nicer present than a lovely little bottle, designed by people who’ve made an effort, filled with something highly scented. And though I am very fond of my grown-up perfumes nowadays, opening the parcel always reminds me of being a teenager and getting perfume as a present for the first time. The first I ever got was a perfume based (weirdly) on “The Country Diary of An Edwardian Lady”, that huge 80s’ bestseller, which had a squashy atomiser (the height of glamour) and smelt vaguely of dusty flowers in an abandoned wedding bouquet. Perhaps not ideal for a 13-year-old girl, but I didn’t care.
I graduated on to Miss Selfridge’s Soft Talk, the perfume every girl wore in the mid 80s. If I opened a bottle now (which I can’t, sadly, because it doesn’t exist anymore) it would smell of my unrequited crush on Matthew from art class, my hatred of maths and Saturday afternoons with my best friend reading Just 17 Magazine.
I went on to le Jardin – the advert featured Jane Seymour drifting through a garden, which was good enough for me – and then Coty Wild Musk, which I adored. Uncorked now, a genie made from beer-ringed pub tables, ill-informed sixth form debate and charity shop suede jackets would whoosh out; but back then I thought it made me smell like the most glamorous dancer at the Folies Bergère.
It wasn’t till I advanced on to the adult excitements of Givenchy’s Ysatis that I really felt I’d graduated from perfume college. That one went to university with me, and one brief sniff would probably make me weep with nostalgia for the early 90s in the SU bar.
I was perfume-unfaithful after that, for years, ranging through all manner of different scents and bottle shapes. Now, though, I’ve settled on Estée Lauder’s Tuberose and Gardenia like a comfy long-term marriage, but I’m feeling tugged in the direction of Hermes’ Un Jardin Sur le Nil, after a nice salesgirl sprayed some on me in Selfridges and I felt transported to Egypt (though a romantic, flowery, rain-soaked bit, rather than a Wednesday morning in heaving Cairo traffic). It is, however, nearly as pricey as a luxury trip to the Pyramids. Instead, I might drift towards the summer scent recommended in Candis this month, Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum. At £47, it may not transport me to the banks of the Nile, but it will almost certainly make me smell nice.
What perfumes did you love as a teen? Let us know, @candismagazine #perfume