Scents of Self

Yesterday was my boyfriend M’s birthday and my gift to him was going to be a few new polo type shirts. So today we went to JC Penney’s to take advantage of a great sale.  After finishing up at, we walked around the mall – mostly because it was a lazy Saturday afternoon and there was nothing else really planned.

I stopped in Bath and Body works, not really expecting to find anything that caught my attention. The scent that I have been wearing of theirs for the last several years was recently retired (discontinued). As I walked through the brightly colored displays, I started thinking about the fragrances that I’ve worn over the years.

I wore a variety of things that were (mostly) gifted to me throughout my teenage years. I think the first perfume my mother ever purchased for me was Love’s Baby Soft. I can recall having a bottle of Exclaimation at one point. My first B&BW spray was Plumeria (gifted) and the first one I purchased of my own choosing was Moonlight Path.

My best friend wore Cucumber Melon body spray in high school and it’s very strongly associated with her in my mind, even though it’s defintely not a scent I would chose for myself.  Our tastes there are wildly different.  Now, our tastes in boys as teenagers were totally the same.  Thankfully, our friendship survived (& she wears better perfume now)!

When I was around 20 years old, I decided that it was time to make a change. I wanted proper, grown up perfume. I was living with my grandparents, in their basement and working my first full time job. I went to my grandmother for advice and her response was that whatever I chose, make sure that it left the right “trail.”

I purchased a bottle of BCBGirls Sexy by Max Azria at my local Dillards. The $80 price tag was a bit much for my budget, so I had saved a bit out of several paychecks. I was so proud! My first real, grown woman perfume! The next morning when I passed my grandmother in the kitchen, she commented on how nicely my new perfume lingered.

I made it through two bottles of Sexy before the line was discontinued. I wanted something similar so I got online and learned about fragrance notes. I browsed forums looking for suggestions for a new perfume. I learned that my preferences leaned Oriental, with frequent amber and sandalwood notes.


In the interim, I went back to body sprays. I wore B&BW Japanese Cherry Blossom for several years. Shortly after getting married, I took my then husband with me shopping and he helped me choose a new scent – this time it was the Breathe Romance scent (amber and myrrh).

I like getting a second opinion on scents, since it’s all about body chemistry.  After all, I’m not all that generally aware of my own scent after the initial application of a perfume.  If I like it, and my partner doesn’t, then what’s the point?

Have you ever been around someone who wore a scent that you strongly disliked?  Perhaps it was their application (too heavy) or just some note that didn’t sit well with you.  It changes your perception and instinct to interact with that person.  Or at least it does for me.   If I like the way a person smells, it makes an impact on me, especially in a first impression.  Maybe it ranks higher for me since my other senses are slightly less sharp.  Who knows?

We’re aware of the connection between scents and emotions (like memory and mood), but did you know the relationships are possibly even deeper than that? It is theorized that people who suffer from severe depression show a diminished sensitivity to odors.

Back to my story…

When B&BW released their Sensual Amber body spray, I quickly become a devotee. It was great as my daily fragrance but I still wanted something a bit more for special occasions. I decided to try Dior’s Pure Poison. It’s not ideal for me right after I spray it – top notes are citrus, but once it settles the jasmine, sandalwood and amber become more evident. It’s a soft white floral with a light woody undertone. I totally fell in love.

More importantly, I fell in love with how I felt when I wore it.

It became my personal signature fragrance.  I’ve worn it now for several years and I don’t doubt that it will be the smell that triggers “Mom” for my son when he gets older.  I’m totally fine with that.

I seem to have lost my bottle of Japanese Cherry Blossom and the Sensual Amber is getting periously low – so today I picked up a new scent at B&BW called Be Joyful. It has some new notes for me, including melon and clementine. But the base and mid notes include jasmine and amber, which are right in my comfort zone.  Here’s to trying something new!



One thought on “Scents of Self

  1. I couldn’t help but chuckle….I had the same perfume when I was younger (Baby Soft and Exclamation) and totally forgot about these until now. I love wearing perfume but also very cautious as to the amount I put on being I work in an office. You are right about when someone who wears a perfume you do not like, you tend to stay away from them at any given time. But I liked how your Grandmother put it “leave a trail”….it is lovely when there is a smell that brings memories.


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