It’s been said that one should have a signature scent and a signature drink. I like these tenets of adulthood, something about the comfortable security of choices removed. Sadly, I have neither…though a Shirley Temple probably comes closest on the drink side. I’ve always bounced from perfume to perfume, most given as gifts from boyfriends, and rendered immediately useless upon breaking up, since the memories of the ex-flame and the scent are so intertwined. Now I’m in a holding pattern, waiting for just the right scent to hit that I can claim just for me.
I was thinking about the question of signature scents last week when I attended a party for Banana Republic’s new men’s fragrance Wildblue. With notes of sage, driftwood, and cedar, it’s totally summer-ready. I dug the scent (and ate up the event’s penthouse views), but what I liked best was talking to the perfumer, Jean-Claude Delville. First of all, because of course a perfumer has a name like that. And second, because he let it casually slip that he created Clinique Happy leaving me completely in awe of his rockstar perfumer status. If you’re not familiar with Happy, you’re not a female between the ages of 25 and 35 because you would have worn it ALL THROUGH MIDDLE SCHOOL.
Also called “a nose,” Delville’s business is being able to take all the smells of the world, and whittle them down into an interesting, inviting arrangement that makes you want to nuzzle your neck into the person wearing it.
not-too-shabby views from the event
I loved talking to him because he was so passionate about his job. In short order, he proceeded to compare the role of a perfumer to that of a pianist, an artist, a rock climber, a chef, a soccer player, and finally, a piano. Everyone should be so lucky to be so enthusiastic about their work as Deville.
I asked him if he thought that a man needed one scent, and he said no – that guys can change what they want to wear from one season to the next, or from day to evening. But I suppose his livelihood is tied to people swapping out their current scents for a new one, at least from time to time.
Tell me: do you have a signature scent? What is it? When did you start wearing it? If not, what scents do you keep in rotation?
Images: David X. Prutting/BFAnyc.comk