Friday 19 March 2010

Comforting scents for uncomfortable times

The lovely Ayala from Smelly Blog has kindly arranged a joint project between a group of perfume bloggers about the perfumes and perfume materials that are comforting to us.

So what is comforting? The online dictionary says:

com·fort (kum′f…ôrt)

transitive verb

1. to soothe in distress or sorrow; ease the misery or grief of; bring consolation or hope to
2. to give a sense of ease to
3. Law to help; aid


1. aid; encouragement: now only in aid and comfort
2. relief from distress, grief, etc.; consolation
3. a person or thing that comforts
4. a state of ease and quiet enjoyment, free from worry, pain, or trouble
5. anything that makes life easy or comfortable

The following scents do all of the above for me at different times.

Guerlain L'heure Bleu- so complex it makes me feel less so, a friend in times of trouble. Strangely this scent above all oils and other fragrances is the best at getting me to sleep when everything else fails.

Guerlain Apres L'Ondee- likes sunshine on dew, or a smile after tears; it's reflective, it's balancing and it's so beautiful wearing it makes you feel like you have a special secret

Nina Ricci L'Air De Temps- because my Mother wears it and it was my first perfume, because it signalled the end of the second world ward- because it, unlike me, is unashamedly glass half full and sometimes that is what you need

Chanel Allure- I don't wear this anymore but it reminds me of a happy time in my life when I did- and a very good friend wears it also

Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet- Firstly there is lots of lavender which is already calming, my Father wears this and uses the products so it reminds me of him, also the longevity of the scent, the fact it's seen well turned out gentleman through war and advancements and is still the same scent in the same bottle- I find that comforting.

Commes De Garcon Avignon (scent and candles)- I don't go to church often but there's something very calming about incense and for me this is the perfect one.

Frederic Malle L'Eau D'Hiver- now this is a bit of a cheat because it is in so many ways like Apres L'Ondee that perhaps it shouldn't count- but it is even more restful and quiet than the original.

L'Artisan Parfeumeur Mimosa Pour Moi- for the kitten or puppy paws quality and for being gloriously yellow

Penhaligon's Bluebell- for when I can't be near the countryside or the woods- the smell of English earth in magical forests.

Finally I cannot name one rose perfume or product above them all because I love so many- so I will just say the scent of roses, whether they are growing in the garden, wrapped up in the florist, in my face cream, my macaroon or in my perfume- they always make me happier.

Please don't forget to visit the other excellent blogs taking part in this project:

Katie Puckrik Smells

Savvy Thinker

Roxana's Illuminated Journal

Bitter Grace Notes

Perfume Shrine

Notes from the Ledge

Scent Hive

The Non Blonde

Perfume in Progress

I Smell Therefore I Am


All I Am A Redhead


Metropolitan Mum said...

L'air du temps? I never was a fan of the scent itself, but I love the flacon. It's iconic, I think. So pretty!
Do they still do it? It's in a way so eighties, too.

ScentScelf said...

Oh! Somebody else who finds L'HB a soporific!! I like L'Heure Bleu quite a bit, but realized that I kept on sampling it *at bedtime.* On purpose. So I gave in. When I do wear it, it's generally for reading in bed before going to sleep. Which is interesting, because unlike a lot of 'fume heads, I often avoid perfumes just before bed.

Funny you mention L'Eau d'Hiver as "like Apres L'Ondee." I generally think of En Passant that way. BUT...I do think there is something about the way they behave, Al'O and L'Ed'H, which puts them in a similar boat.

Can you believe I STILL have never smelled Penhaglion's Bluebell? I think 2010 might be the year. I feel embarrassed to even talk to you across the pond, having not done so. ;)

Happy Spring.

Scent Hive said...

Ahhhh, Apres L'Ondee, there's nothing like it is there?


M. Scle said...

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Sarah said...

Ah... Guerlain. I have a vintage Shalimar Eau de Cologne that is fast turning into my "bedtime" scent. So delicious and so very comforting.

I also bought L'Air Du Temps as part of my scent memory (my mother used to own it). Another vintage indulgence, but something in it just turns to Yardley and little old lady on my skin. *sigh*

Perfumeshrine said...

Hi there K! Lovely thoughts, lovely scents and we overlap in a couple I think. Makes appreciation all the more enjoyable.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

Katie Puckrik said...

Mmmmmm...CdG Avignon! That is such a grounding and focusing perfume for me. I wore a combination of Avignon and L'Artisan Parfumeur Vanilia on my wedding day.

By the way, I've recently discovered an incense candle that is beyond even Avignon in churchiness: Spiritus Sancti by Cire Trudon. Hardcore!

Ines said...

This spring I'm thinking of approaching some florals and mimosa is on the list of notes to try.
And Bluebell sounds fascinating!

Jayne said...

I think I need to treat myself to Guerlain Apres L'Ondee. That description is just perfect. I think I need a bit of balancing, a bit of sunshine on the dew. Lovely, Rose! I will make a note to visit the other blogs you mention as well. :)

Rose said...

Hi MM- yes it is quite 80s in the sense of knowing it when it's in the room- but was actually released a long time before to celebrate a happy time after WW2- and yes it's very much still made, still a big seller- so much so that I think they don't need to do much publicity for it, think it tends to be loyal fans who wear it though so perhaps they should look at appealing to new people

Hi Scentscelf- yes I find LB comforting and therefore sleepy- I just love it so much. You must try Bluebell, I might have a sample vial at home to post to you. It's a bit of a marmite scent though. I am mid move but I could get it at Easter. Penhaligon's are quite good about samples for bloggers though ;-)

Hi Trish- no there isn't- tis a wonderful little piece of joy

Hi Sarah- vintage Shalimar must be a treat. I forget Shalimar you know, I tend to lean towards the LB side but am also a great lover or Mitsouko and Shalimar.

Hello E! thanks for stopping by- loved your choices

Hi Katie- thanks for visiting- wow the CDG/ L' Artisan combo sounds delicious- Avignon does layer well but it's heaven alone too. Will look up that candle, suspect I will want it, anything incense gets the purse strings loosened!

Hi Ines- Mimosa is very charming but unusual, truly like cats paws- I read someone else say that and they were so right. Also a bit like pussy willow. Delish. Bluebell is just lovely to me but as I say above definitely marmite so do try before you buy- to me it just is bluebell woods- which are very special and magical because they are endangered and bluebells are wild flowers- which I prefer

Hi Jayne- I should send you a little sample vial some time- as i say above I am mid move so everything non clothes/ essential books wise is with the poor parents AGAIN but I will be more in order come Easter. You can try at Fortnum's and Fenwick's and sometimes Liberty and I think John Lewis Oxford St. Take a big old spray, let it settle and see what you think- it's quite violet and nutty but let it dry and it smells like rain in the sun and comfort and of a bygone time in a good way

Muddling Along said...

You've reminded me of Allure (which I wore many years ago) and l'air du temps - must get myself some small bottles to remind me of them

Illuminated Perfume said...

Indeed, I raise my tea cup to ROSES!!