The Only 3 Perfumes I Can Tolerate Wearing

Until I find the perfect vanilla-powder combo, these are the only fragrances in rotation for me.
Publish date:
May 15, 2014
chanel, fragrances, perfumes, the body shop, YSL

To me, one of the worst chores in the world is going perfume shopping. A million musky scents get shoved up my nose by well-meaning salespeople, and I leave with a migraine and confusion.

Luckily, I have, mostly by chance, managed to acquire a small but complete collection of scents to tide me over until I stumble upon my next winning perfume. And by small collection, I mean three.

Yes, in this entire world, there are only three perfumes out there that I actually enjoy. I can no longer find one of them, and one smells, according to everyone around me, like an old lady. But without further ado, I present to you my conclusive list of the only three perfumes that I can wear.

Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne Eau De Parfum

My mother bought me a giant bottle of this gem for my 21st birthday after I smelled it and didn’t hate it (it helped that Kate Moss was on the poster, I guess). Since then, it has become my signature scent. However, I can no longer find it here in South Africa, because they’re probably out to get me.

The perfume contains mostly fruity notes, with a little bit of a floral smell (but not too overwhelming--I prefer my florals in a lovingly hand-delivered bouquet). It is also a little bit powdery, which I really love.

It is truly the only fragrance that contains rose that I have ever smelled and liked. If this fragrance was a clothing item, it would definitely be a little cocktail dress: you can dress it up or down, but it’s always a bit unexpected.

Chanel Allure Eau De Toilette

This fragrance was inherited from my mom, who has a million perfumes and didn’t particularly like this one. Although some say that it smells like an old lady’s perfume, I still like it. Yes, it can be a bit strong, but it is a really comforting scent. If it was an item of clothing, it would no doubt be a snuggly yet chic off-white cable-knit pullover.

According to Chanel, this perfume isn’t traditionally constructed, but instead "cut like a diamond with six facets which overlap, with no single note dominating.” It is quite a complex fragrance (especially to a fragrance amateur like me), smelling really fresh and light at first, but eventually settling into a richer, more vanilla base notes.

It is also the first Chanel perfume I ever owned, which is probably why it holds a special place in my heart.

The Body Shop Vanilla Eau De Toilette

One of my favourite scents is vanilla. Same goes for my fro-yo flavour. Does this mean I’m boring? Probably. But because of my sensitive nose, I find most scents that people like, such as lavender or musk, really intrusive and strong. Vanilla, however, is comforting, homely and less bombarding.

This particular fragrance smells exactly how you would imagine a perfume made from vanilla essence to smell like, but offers a bit of a powdery finish, which, as I mentioned, is my favourite. (Can someone make a perfume that smells of straight-up baby powder?)

Because this perfume is very subtle yet long-lasting, I’ll use it on off-days when I just want to smell good and clean. If this fragrance was a clothing item, it would be a little white dress, which happens to be my go-to staple in the warmer African months.

As you can see, I may not be much of a fragrance person, but I do know what I like. Basically, vanilla and powder. Based on that, can you guys recommend another fragrance to me?