The Sophisticated Perfumes My French Alter Ego Would Wear

One is very clean and unisex, and one I find myself pairing with the warm wool sweaters and scarves of winter.
Publish date:
January 5, 2016
tom ford, perfume, serge luten, french girl beauty

The right beauty product can completely transform how you carry yourself. This mental switch can impact how you act, how you're perceived, and even how you're treated. I mean, I feel a million times better when I have a swipe of red on my lips, even if I’m not wearing any other makeup.

The compliments I receive on those days seem to prove this theory right. I stand up taller, I’m more apt to speak up for myself, and somehow, even with bedhead, I’m told I look “very put together.”

Over the summer, I began experimenting with a very minimal eye look, mostly because I have severe dry eye and my typical cat-eye/mascara combo wasn’t doing me any favours. And by minimal, I mean I began to skip the whole eye routine altogether. I was unintentionally moving into the much talked-about “French girl beauty” territory.

When I realized this, I was inspired to take what has been written about at depth (minimal, elegant and seemingly effortless makeup) and put a little twist on it. I decided to take the aesthetic of french film — the incredibly minimal but put-together French woman — and apply this to perfume.

I wanted something slightly masculine. Something bold and elegant with sweet notes hidden beneath the surface. Something intimidating, something only a woman completely sure of herself would wear. Think of the Juliette Binoches and Marion Cotillards of the world.

I found two gorgeously elegant scents: one very clean and unisex, and one I find myself pairing with the warm wool sweaters and scarves of winter.

Tom Ford Neroli Portfino

I fell in love with this clean citrus scent; it doesn't bog me down with a sugary sweetness. Neroli Portfino is refined, much like the woman I like to pretend to be when I wear it. Unisex in nature. Complicated and alluring, with green notes of bergamot, and sharp citrus. Sprigs of rosemary and jasmine dance throughout.

Neroli Portfino is almost manly, but with white floral notes to sweeten things up (just not too much). It’s the perfume I believe an effortlessly beautiful woman would wear while sitting outside a French cafe, people-watching behind big dark sunglasses. Men come to her, if she lets them.

Serge Lutens Jeux De Peau

Milky, woody and sweet, this is what my alter ego would wear on her softer days.

Picture this: It’s getting cooler, a grey tweed wool coat is layered over me. I glance over the French landscape. It’s brisk outside, and the sweet, aromatic scent of my perfume warms me. With coconut, apricot, and spices, I settle into the colder weather.

Serge does me no wrong. I'm already a fan of their Un Bois Vanille, and this is a more refined, slightly less gourmand scent (read: it’s classified as a Woody Oriental). If you’re looking for something sweet yet refined, Jeux De Peau has you covered.

  • Do you ever wear perfumes and play a little with who you want to be that day?
  • What unisex scents do you wear the most?