Thrown off the scent. By the scent.

Perfume.

Scents are tricky. They’re like art. The beauty is largely in the eye of the beholder. Sure, there are certain aromas that a majority of people will find pleasing, but no particular smell can be considered universally appealing.

Scents, in and of themselves, are subjective. Now apply them to a human body. Each person’s chemistry is unique, and perfumes react with body chemistry… so no matter how something smells in the bottle, it’s going to change a little when it hits the wrist, and it’s going to smell differently on your wrist than it does that of your best friend. Not complex enough? Add in an exceptionally overactive olfactory sense, i.e. mine.

I’ve been using one fragrance as my go-to for at least 16 years, and it’s not even a legitimate perfume. The truth is… I use Bath & Body Works body splash. Even on  nights out. My signature scent is Strawberry Lemonade. You can’t even get it in the stores! I have to order it online because it was pseudo-discontinued about 14 years ago. I’m a grown woman wearing a summer drink as my “perfume.” While I don’t intend to abandon my tried and true B&BW Splash, it has occurred to me that I should graduate to something a little more mature.

piscesTo be fair, I have had limited success over the years with a few legitimate perfumes. My favorite was Soular Therapy eau de toilette in Pisces (oakmoss & palmarosa). It was fresh, light and natural. I imagine that it still is. However, my bottle is rather old and the essence seems to have turned a bit. (Note to self: must purchase another bottle)

I’ve never been into the heady florals or the lusty musks. I gravitate towards citrusy aromas, and have a soft spot for vanilla and roses. (Still have yet to find a rose perfume that doesn’t smell like crushed, damp, old blooms when it touches me) The wedding is coming up soon (less than six months!) and I want to have a lovely, new fragrance for the wedding. Thinking of my favorite real-life smells – lilacs, Cleveland Heights rain and orange blossoms – and taking into account that Florida oranges  is our general wedding theme, how perfect would an orange blossom perfume be?? And so it begins…

cassiaorangeFirst stop, by pure chance, was Etsy. While hunting for wedding decorations and ideas, I ran across Cassia Aromatics Fleurs d’Oranger. The roll-on arrived yesterday. In the applicator bottle I could smell a touch of orange blossom, although it didn’t feel like the main note. When it went on my wrist, there was a pause and then suddenly the lovely, wonderful scent of orange blossoms!!! It was divine! And then my stupid body chemistry continued to alter the oil… and the orange blossom faded. After allowing about 20 minutes for blending, the final result was a sweet musk (my apologies for subpar fragrance descriptions throughout this post). While I enjoy the Cassia Aromatics Fleurs d’Oranger, and will use it in the future, my wrists no longer evoked the orange blossoms for which I’ve been searching.

Next step was some internet research. Lo and behold, there was the holy grail of orange blossom perfume reviews! A new site to me, Perfume Posse was about to tell me all I could possibly want to know. Patty’s article was insanely helpful. She doesn’t just tell you the options, she breaks them down for you by both cost and general feel (trampy, musky, ethereal). Using both my own general preferences, and some particularly bride-focused advice, I’ve just purchased a small sample of L’Artisan Seville a l’Aube. My fingers are crossed, but if you have recommendations – or tips on perfumes to avoid – please! I’m all ears!!! (Behind which you may find a distinctly fruity aroma…)

* Feature Photo Credit: Ellen Levy Finch

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