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French Perfume {Essentials}

I’ve always been really into perfume, and I can remember just about every.single.scent I’ve worn throughout my whole life, at least the ones that I’ve worn during the more significant times of my life.  I’m also the person who a few years ago took a day trip to NYC just to pick out a new scent…I was set on something by Byredo, and they didn’t carry them in-store anywhere in the Philly area at the time!  

Going back to well before Gabrielle Chanel spritzed that first spritz of Chanel No. 5, the French woman’s love of and attitude towards fragrance is like a way of life, and they take perfume wearing and selection super seriously.  There’s even perfume for babies and children.  While were often a little haphazard with fragrance, there are even certain ‘rules,’ so to speak {more HERE}, that every French woman {and man, for that matter} seems to know and follow religiously {don’t ever ask, ‘What perfume is that?’ – a true French woman will never tell}.  They’re loyal to a particular scent for years, and Parisiennes wouldn’t be caught dead leaving the house without perfume.     

Have you ever noticed how a scent can instantly bring you back to a time or place or person?  {One sniff of Stella McCartney’s Stella and I’m instantly transported back to my first ‘real’ job, and Clinique’s Happy brings me back to high school, and Oscar by Oscar de la Renta will always remind me of my aunt}.  Scent is powerful, and a memorable scent on a woman can be a statement like no other.    

A longtime fan of Chanel perfumes {I’ve worn Allure, Coco Mademoiselle, and Chance}, I wanted to try something different – and get something extra special – when I went to Paris.  The thought of bringing perfume home from Paris still makes me feel all the warm, dreamy feelings – even a year after my trip!

Annick Goutal is a classic Paris perfume house, and I knew I would find something I loved there.  There are several Annick Goutal shops in Paris, and we stopped into the one near the Place Vendôme.  There was a wonderful clerk working in the tiny shop, and I was the only customer there at the time, and it was magical to talk about what I was looking for and to have her undivided attention!  There were so many different kinds of scents, some light and some stronger, but they were all exquisite.

As I mentioned before – rule number ONE is to never spill the secret of what perfume you’re wearing…but I’ll break that rule just this once!  I settled on Eau du Charlotte, and I’ve loved it every day since.  I was initially drawn to this because my niece’s name is Charlotte, and I just thought that was so sweet {she’s also my goddaughter}, but I really fell in love with the scent.  It’s pretty distinctive – sweet and floraly, but not TOO sweet and floraly, with a hint of vanilla, and the faintest hint of what I think smells like baby powder.  It’s light, but it lingers, and lasts all day.  I wear it every day to work {favoring something a little spicier and more intense for evening}, so it’s something familiar, but also something that always takes me aback each time I spray it on.  

I’m in the market for a new ‘evening’ perfume, and I’m honestly excited to start the search sometime soon.  I’m wondering…what have been your favorite perfumes {if you’ll share the secret!}?  Do you change often, or are you loyal-as-a-French-woman?  


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