It's gonna get sappy up in here.
I have a weird fetish that I’d like to admit publicly here to all of you -- I love to smell just like a baby.
More specifically, I like to smell like a plethora of perfumes meant for use on babies. The idea of fragrance for babies has to be a totally European thing, because I can’t think of one person who has a baby who doesn’t go on and on and on about how great they smell. Those same babies also seem to vomit extensively and shit themselves, so I’m not sure where all these alleged amazing smells could possibly be coming from.
I think the idea of 'baby fragrances' is actually meant for 3-6 year old girls who see mommy putting on perfume and want to copy them. Kids do whatever their parents do. Six-year-old me most definitely stole my mom’s perfume when she wasn’t looking. The first perfume I remember having that was my very own was almost certainly Avon’s “Sweet Honesty,” which came in this awesome plastic boot shaped bottle! I must have been 10 years old? (My mother is the original Avon lady.)
I quickly grew out of the Avon when my grandmother let me steal her bottle of Coco by Chanel in the 5th grade. I don’t think I’ve gone a day without wearing perfume since then. I love sweet, syrupy, vanilla based scents the best -- but I also have a weakness for fragrances meant for the 10 and under set.
Sometimes in the dead heat of a California summer, an alcohol-based fragrance can just be way too heavy. That’s why I love baby perfumes--they are almost always alcohol-free "scented water" formulations. They are light, airy, fresh and sweet without being cloying. My all-time favorite of this genre was the late, great Petit Guerlain, since discontinued. SAD CLOWN. Every once in a while, you can find a deadstock bottle on eBay or Amazon.
The heir apparent to Petit Guerlain is Bulgari’s Petits Et Mamans alcohol-free "scented water." It’s lightly floral and not excessively sweet. It’s like an extremely fancy baby powder.
'Musti Eau de Soin' is part of a pretty amazing French baby beauty line called Mustela. Their Hydra Stick is a brilliant product -- perfect for chapped lips, windburned cheeks and baby butts. The "Musti" children's fragrance smells like a potent combination of flowers and herbs. I sometimes spray it on my bedsheets the night before I change them, because absolutely NOTHING feels or smells as good as fresh bedsheets. If I wasn't so petrified of wasting water, I'd wash my sheets every single day.
Allegedly Madonna uses this Love, Chic Baby fragrance on her kids. It smells vaguely like pineapple, roses and grass, which is way less gross than it sounds. There is also a boy's version, but I've never smelled it. The package says it's for ages 6 months to tweens. JESUS, NOBODY REALLY PUT PERFUME ON A BABY, PLEASE!
Burberry is in the baby cologne game too, with their obviously named "Burberry Baby" scent -- a combination of spearmint, orange and vanilla. They aren't kidding when they say this is a light fragrance -- it dissipates quickly and doesn't linger. This could be a positive or a negative, depending on your point of view.
This Tous baby fragrance is ridiculous, because the bottle is shaped like a teddy bear! I've not smelled it, but the description labels it as an orange, rose and cedar blend -- so I'm almost pre-sold on it. I'm down for any fragrance with a wood note.
Of course the grande dame of baby fragrances is from Givenchy -- their Tartine et Chocolate fragrance is an extremely crisp, clean, citrus-y number. I LOVE that the writing on the bottle appears to be the same font from my favorite French children's book, The Little Prince.
I’m still not super clear what type of person would actually use ANY kind of perfume on a baby, but I’m sure glad the genre exists. Infant fragrance is a great substitute for adults (or alleged aldults like myself) on days when a proper grownup scent just seems like way too much.
AND: Tell me, do you remember what your first "real" perfume was?
I’m on Twitter: @IveyAlison