Contemplating the Scent of the Day each morning, I spend more time thinking about perfume than the time it takes me to complete the rest of my beauty routine combined. Because the rest of my morning is routine. I think that might be part of the appeal of having a signature perfume, or at least, only one perfume bottle at a time.
While I’ve always had a complex relationship with smells, I was a “one bottle at a time” perfume wearer for the first 28 years of my life. Admittedly, that was before I knew I could love a perfume (actually, many perfumes), and perfume was just another accessory to the morning beauty routine. Shower, get dressed, do hair, apply moisturizer/makeup, spritz perfume, fly.
We pick face creams, deodorant, shampoo, and other products because they do their job properly, not because of the packaging (In most cases, I’m guessing); I wonder, what job does perfume have? I know what it does for me now—thus the elaborate morning meditations over picking the perfect scent—but what about before the love, when perfume was just another element of the routine? To smell more clean? As a badge of effort?
“She’s wearing perfume, that means she cares about hygiene.” Gods, how depressing!
Men and women alike select fragrances that make them feel sexy (Shalimar), powerful (OJ Woman), comfortable (Safran Troublant), approachable (Anais Anais), unattainable (L’Heure Bleue), sophisticated (Iris Silver Mist), or any number of other states (parentheses indicate some of my choices for state altering fragrance choices), and the idea of limiting myself to one perfume—knowing now what I do about what perfume can do for me—is kinda horrifying.
Signature scent offers simplicity: never having to think about what to wear (after the first initial major decision of which perfume is to be your signature, or course), gift-giving is easy for friends and family, people recognizing a particular fragrance as yours. On the other hand, you’re locked into a single identity. While my ground state might be static, my moods are dynamic, and I’ll take perfumes to match.