Marilyn Monroe loved Chanel No. 5 so much, she slept in nothing else. In the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dr. Frank-n-Furter has 4711 (like the Eau de Cologne) tattooed on his upper thigh. Fragrance is like a memory or favorite song. Most people have a go-to fragrance. I have not been one of these people.
When it comes to being a lady, I have to say I’m still this strange hybrid of tomboy and fashionista. When I was a little girl, I spent most of my summers climbing trees or swimming like a mermaid in any pool I could find. While I’m sort of infamously known for my dress collection at work, when I was in high school, I lived in jeans, boots, and black t-shirts. Essentially, I was Kristen Stewart, with less awkward lip biting and gesturing.
While I love fashion, especially shoes that could twist my ankles to bits, makeup and perfume have typically been neutral areas. In the 90s, I was probably wearing some knock-off of ck One or God forbid Exclamation and applying Covergirl foundation before choir performances.
If there was one thing I liked about perfume, it was the bottles. My Aunt Charlene was worn Obsession as long as I’ve been alive, and it’s a fragrance I always associate with her, no matter the ad campaign because I remember the bottles sitting in her room. My mother had a mirrored tray on her nightstand, filled with glittering bottles of liquid gold and amber. They reminded me of potions evil witches would use to poison princesses or cast spells over kingdoms. Some of them smelled like freshly washed sheets, others like powder, others were darker and full of drama.
The perfume ads of the 80s were just as dramatic. Case in Point: Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion.
Exotic, mysterious, beautiful. While her White Diamonds commercial is probably the most iconic and quotable ads in the past few decades–“These have always brought me luck..”–it was that purple bottle that intrigued me more. Like a large amethyst from an art deco crown.
The only thing to really catch my attention in terms of fashion and fragrance was Baz Luhrmann’s opus Chanel No. 5 commercial, starring Nicole Kidman, fresh off the set of Moulin Rouge.
I loved the commerical. It was like a dream. Unfortunately, I found I am one of those girls that doesn’t like Chanel No. 5. Alas and alack.
Fast forward to now, with Lady Gaga taking the glamour and drama up a few notches. The commerical is gothic couture horror movie.
As a huge Gaga fan (paws up, etc.) I knew I had to have it. For the bottle alone. It was the witch’s potion I’d dreamed of when I was little. Then it changes colors (WHAT). When I smelled it, I knew it was my signature scent. Because it was sweet and spice and not so nice.
Until I received a Passion gift set for Christmas. And I fell in love with its big knockout 80s scent. If there’s one good thing to come out of Lindsay Lohan’s so-bad-it’s-amazing-let’s-make-tumblr-gifs performance in Liz & Dick, it’s the fact that I love Elizabeth Taylor’s perfumes and I’m all about strong brows now.
Do you have a signature fragrance? How long did it take you to find it? How does it embody you?