Spoilt for Choice: Perfumes

For my birthday I received two perfumes: Summer Hill (Crabtree & Evelyn) and Samsara (Guerlain). Summer Hill was not one I’d come across before but it was fresh and lovely. It reminds me of something I had a long time ago, which I can’t quite place.

Samsara was one I ‘tested’ months ago (that red bottle is a bit of a ‘come try me’!) I liked it enough to put it on my ‘would buy’ list (which I don’t think I kept updated on my blog! I’m sure I will eventually). It is quite musky but not overpowering or cloying.

Mum was right when she said they were starting to recognize us  in Boots, but they’ve decided I’m a customer and not a test bottle pest. 🙂 On my birthday I opened a card to discover cash and a ‘receipt’ type voucher… £5 off certain lines of perfume if I bought one before July 5th.

When I finally finished with the cold I was given, I rolled in there with Bluebird, my shopping trolley, and tried about six different perfumes… started to forget which was which! Mum tried to convince me to buy Cool Water for Men, and when I pointed out there was a bottle of Cool Water for Women, she squirted it all over Bluebird (having run out of places to squirt anything). But I didn’t want to buy that… especially when you remember this whole perfume craze began when I thought about how for years I just wore whatever perfume Mum took it in her head to get me. I said, “Bluebird will smell for months like Bernard.”
“Bernard? Who’s that?”
“The fellow on Come Dine with Me who wore bright shirts. One of the women came in and said ‘you are wearing Cool Water.'”
“Oh.”

When I mentioned I was considering Samsara by Guerlain, Mum pricked up her ears… “oh, Guerlain is very good.” I kind of wished she hadn’t said that, as I was falling for a bottle of Diesel Fuel for Life. I was confused, though, as Fuel for Life seems to come in three different colours, and they didn’t have any clear titles to show if they were different or not. As everybody, including Bluebird, was already up to the eyebrows in perfume samples, there was no point trying them separately. Just for the record, the one I favoured was gold toned and wearing a white net!

You might think “what difference does it make? You know yourself which bottle you liked!” But you can’t just pick it up and buy it; you have to ask for it to be taken out of the cabinet. I didn’t want to have to say “no, not the black one… and absolutely not the pink one! I want that gold one!” (Stamp, pout, sulk).

And when Mum said “Guerlain is very good,” suddenly I felt as though I was about to choose a jumped-up T-shirt over a designer dress of time-honoured pedigree… which was bad of me, especially as I’m determined not to be swayed by external influences! I try to avoid saying things like “this is an old lady / little girl perfume,” although I’m certain to think it at times. But I’m the one who liked Tweed. 🙂

Fortunately Tweed wasn’t one of the ones I would get a discount on (actually, it might have been…) Anyway, I wasn’t looking at Tweed, and Mum would have rebelled if I’d suggested it! Bluebird too. Both would wheel out of Boots in high dudgeon.

It was my first time in town for ages (because of my cold), and I wasn’t feeling very happy… didn’t know if I had the stamina to stand there and point out the perfume I wanted, then wait while it was rung up at the till. I couldn’t stand still when sales people tried to talk to us… just wanted to end the conversation and run away! Perhaps there was a bit of flu left over, making me giddy. The assistant (or manager? I have a bad habit of not looking at name tags) who recognized us was trying to encourage me to go for the Samsara, and I wasn’t sure all of a sudden, so we went away and had lunch in the wee French place, giving me time to untangle the various perfumes on my hands. Mum popped in later to bag the Samsara for me, (£34 reduced to £29 with the voucher) and said “that was the last one!”

And it’s lovely. I put it on a few days later, and Mum came in sniffing, saying “I smelled it as soon as I opened the door.”
“It reminds me of J Lo Live,” I said… this is not something I thought before, but now it does seem to me to be a creamy, musky version of it. Perhaps Samsara is the night, and Live is the day? I imagined that Mum would say “never!” but she didn’t seem surprised at the comment. When I checked up on the base notes, was interested to see that both perfumes have the following in common:

tonka bean
vanilla
sandalwood

Added to which, J Lo Live has lemon, orange and pineapple, whereas Samsara is said to have ‘citrus notes’, whatever that includes!

I felt ‘all over the place’ some months ago; it seemed more or less random which perfumes I would go for… but now I see a pattern forming.

I noticed online just now… Diesel Fuel for Life says ‘Only the Brave.’ I obviously wasn’t brave enough that day.

If you’re wondering about the little perfume icons, I discovered them on Basenotes. They are copyright 2005-2008, Basenotes / Grant Osborne, but we are kindly allowed to use them non-commercially, giving credit. They are lovely, aren’t they? If there was an icon for every perfume in the world, I could show you my entire collection! As it is, I have the following:


(Euphoria, L’Aimant (Orchid), Light Blue, Charlie Red, J Lo Live)

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2 responses

  1. You know your perfumes! Samsara is one of my favourites. Guerlain is about as good as perfume gets to be honest. Insolence is lovely too!
    I love Euphoria too… very elegant I think…

  2. Hi Daffy, hope all is going well! I’ll have to try Insolence — I think I’ve seen the tester bottle in Boots but not tried it yet. Euphoria was in the top ten feminine perfumes last year, I think, and no wonder. I tried a pinker version of it when about to buy the Samsara (Euphoria Blossom?) but it didn’t have much presence at the time. I should try it again when I’m not layering on the tester bottles!

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