As I got older, I wanted to wear makeup, yes. I really, REALLY wanted to wear perfume, though. I wanted all the perfume sets that came with lotion and powder (Yes, powder was included back in the day.). Commercials for Enjoli, Charlie, Gloria Vanderbilt, Poison, Obsession, Love’s Baby Soft, Exclamation spoke to me. (Yes, I grew up in the 80s.).
If it was popular, I wanted it. I had no regard for what smelled good on me. I knew nothing about body chemistry or top notes and base notes. I just knew that to feel grown up, I needed the most popular perfumes. As I’ve gotten older, I have not lost any love for perfume, and I can still sing the Enjoli song, too.
There was nothing subtle about the 80s. Perfume was as bold as the neon colors that were all the rage. We really didn’t give a thought to how over-powering our perfume was. Times have changed, and so has the approach to perfume. Today we are more conscientious about offending others with our perfume. Our goal isn’t to go big anymore. It’s about leaving behind a tiny hint of something wonderful.
Today’s approach is more about leaving them wanting more, not have them begging for you to leave. I’ve learned to be more subtle with perfume, but I still like to experiment. I like to change scents with seasons or on a whim. While I’ve learned what smells best on me and how to wear it, there’s always something new out there. I’m always looking.
One of my favorite things are perfume samples. Seriously! Who wants to drop $100 on what you think is a great perfume and then have it smell horrible on you? A quick spritz in the store isn’t an accurate picture of the fragrance. Recently, I’ve made it my mission to find new perfumes to try.
To do that, I need samples. I’ve subscribed to perfume sample boxes, requested samples in stores, used my points at Sephora and Ulta on samples, or even purchased small coffret bottles from various designers to check out the entire perfume line. There are some amazing perfumes out there. These are the ones that stand out to me. Some are individual scents. Others are complete product lines with lots of choices. Maybe you’d like to give them a try, too.
1) Roses de Chloe
2) See by Chloe Eau Fraiche’
3) Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume
4) Philosophy My Philosophy
5) Bvlgari Au The’ Vert
A mall trip with one of my friends always begins with, “Don’t make me walk through there. Seriously, it stinks and gives me a headache.” She said this as we walked into our local department store. I replied with a half-hearted courteous response, and we avoided the entire second floor where the makeup and perfume are located.
I inhaled as we skirted the area rushing to the escalator. I stole a quick glance at what the latest freebie with purchase was at the nearest counter. We continued on to the department we needed, but my friend and I both knew while she was busy elsewhere, I’d end up in the cosmetic section. I always do.
Not to belittle anyone who is sensitive to scents, or someone with a real addiction, but I may have a slight addiction. I can’t get enough perfume, shower gel, lotion. The words “layering set” make me giddy. Free samples give me goosebumps. I could give facts on how scent affects the mood or how certain scents evoke memories, but I won’t.
Let’s face it, we all have frivolous things that make us happy, and perfume is mine. I’d buy a different fragrance for every day of the year if I could. I love to wander around the cosmetic section and sniff and sample and see what works on me. My tween daughter comes in handy then because when I run out of places to spray on my arm, I use her’s. Yep! I’m not ashamed. Things smell similar on us. It works. She loves perfume, too. She also has a better memory than I do and can tell me which one is which when I forget.
As I’ve embraced cruelty-free beauty products, I’ve had some disappointments. I’ve had to give up some brands I love (Oh, Coach and Philosophy, we were such good friends.). Going cruelty-free in my luxury items was hard at first, but I soon realized an entire new world of products is out there. Do I still go into a department store cosmetic section and twirl around like a scene from “The Sound of Music?” Or literally skip with happiness from the store to my car when I make a purchase? Maybe. I’ll never tell, but I will say that I’m much more mindful about what brands I spend my money on.
One of my new favorite brands is Clean. Yep. That’s the name. The name is simple and says a lot about their fragrances and beliefs. They have several scents in their line, with shower gels, lotions, and even home fragrance. I’m working my way through them all. Yes, I want them all. No, I cannot afford to buy them all at once, but one at a time is fun, too. Visit their website
for a complete list of fragrances and to check out their story.
The first Clean fragrance I bought was Summer Escape. I’m not sure if it is a limited item only showing up certain times of the year, or if it was a one time scent. Either way, it’s in their GoingGoingGone section of their website now. I love this citrusy, beachy scent. It feels like a cross between a fruity drink and clean ocean air. Who doesn’t love a fruity drink on the beach? It isn’t over-powering. Trust me on that one. My husband and friend, who both hate the cosmetic section, will tell me instantly if it is. It is the perfect amount of scent. It lasts most of the day, and I got lots of compliments on it. The Clean Perfume website has another on their current list of fragrances called Summer Sun. I’m not sure how similar it is to Summer Escape, but I’m hoping to try it soon.
Next, I purchased Skin. This time I got the perfume, shower gel, and lotion. I don’t even know how to describe this scent. It’s there but it isn’t. I smell fresh and clean, but not a soapy clean. Its smells like clean skin. (I realize I just restated the company and perfume name, but it’s accurate.) It’s very subtle even when layering it with the shower gel and lotion. My husband likes this one a lot because there is something natural and not over-the-top about it. The description on their website says its floral yet musky. I can’t believe I bought something akin to anything musk. It isn’t my favorite of scents, but Skin is different. There is no overtly musky or floral smell. It just smells good – clean. The scent is pleasant, but I don’t feel like I’m wearing perfume. I’m thinking this is perfect for someone who wants a light scent, or is new to the perfume game.
As I already said, I’m eyeing Summer Sun, as well as Cool Cotton, Air, Fresh Laundry, and Rain. Just by the names, I think you can see what this company is all about. I’m also hoping to pick a home fragrance line the whole family likes. Prices for the perfume are $38.00 and $69.00. I bought the smaller size both times and it lasted quite awhile. Bath and shower gel is priced at $22.00. Lotion is $26.00. The sizes of the lotion, perfume, and shower gel are just right. Each product seem to last equally as long as its partner. I love that because I don’t like running out of one item with a certain scent, and still having others left to use. One last unique aspect of Clean’s perfume line is the site says fragrances can be mixed for your own personal scent and experience. They even give suggestions. I haven’t tried it, but it seems to me that simply gives even more options and choices.
These fragrances are available on their website, as well as at Sephora and Amazon. Check out this cruelty-free company. If you love perfume and want something subtle, this is it. It might even make you want to twirl around like “The Sound of Music.”
Photo Credit: Lisa Bedore