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Fashion / Beauty

Now Hear This — Our Favorite Perfumes and Memorable Scents

Smelling the Moment

BY // 03.14.19

Scents change our mood. They can also conjure up memories of past periods of our lives. At last year’s epic The Prom I Wish I Had, 1980s, celebrating the birthday’s of Brian Bolke, Lael Brodsky, Gonzalo Bueno, Suzanne Droese, Piper Wyatt and Lucy Wrubel, the hosts were smart to provide vintage perfumes and colognes in the restrooms of the Dallas Country Club for their guests.

When I sniffed the bottles of Calvin Klein Obsession and Drakkar Noir at the party, I was immediately brought back to my high school years. During that time, I always had a bottle — the green one — of Polo Ralph Lauren on my dresser.

As it takes some time to understand the proper amount to spray, the liberal douse I applied back then likely announced me from a mile away.

In the decades since I have had other colognes that were specific to certain chapters of my life. My L.A. years were generally Chanel’s ÉGOÏSTE and Miami was Gucci Envy.

For this week’s Now Hear This PaperCity Dallas office question, I decided to ask a twofer. What scents provoke memories for you? What are you currently wearing?

I wish that online we could find a way to provide these scents, like the wonderful perfume ads one still occasionally finds in print magazines. Maybe that’s a great new project for our digital team. A way to make our smartphones scratch-and-sniff.

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Christina Geyer, Dallas Editor in Chief

The scent I currently wear is Floralie by Creed. The scent debuted in the fall and I immediately fell for it. To me, smell is one of the most powerful senses. One whiff can bring me back to a very specific time and place – I have been blessed and cursed with what I like to call 20/20 memory.

And oh-so-many memories flooded in when I first spritzed Floralie — as its light tones of rose, tuberose, amber and wood instantly reminded me of my time studying abroad in Cannes as a second-year student at Southern Methodist University. 

We visited French perfumerie Fragonard‘s factory and boutique in gorgeous Eze, and while there I bought a very similar-smelling fragrance.

Something about it was cheery, and today still recalls summer days by the beach and those incomparable colors that embody France’s southern region. I can’t remember a happier time in my life.

Our days were spent studying the French language in a former historic music conservatory converted into a school. And when not in class, we shopped Cannes’ local markets, pretended to be members of high society dining on the Croissette, and spent so many hours swimming in the Mediterranean.

While I have since used all of that beloved Fragonard fragrance — the empty bottle is stashed away somewhere, and I must find it for a re-order nearly 10 years later — Floralie by Creed is a close second.

Every morning when I give a little spray to my wrist, I’m reminded of that glorious summer. You could say it takes me right to my happy place — if only for a brief moment.

Billy Fong, Culture and Style Editor

One of the things that comes with being a magazine editor is unannounced swag. I’ll often get a wonderful little package in the mail or as I am exiting an event, which might be a fundraising gala or a store opening. Thus, my nose has been having a field day exploring new scents.

A wonderful Christmas gift I received two years ago was a Cire Trudon candle. I found out they were carried at Forty Five Ten and popped into the store since I was interested in buying one for a friend. Until I saw the price.

Granted, the size I received was a little large, but it was $540. I had never heard of a candle that cost that much money. However, the smell that enveloped my entire living room was intoxicating.

They describe the candle as “inspired by the elaborate parquetry of Château de Versailles’ famous Hall of Mirrors, this regal perfume radiates vapors of wax, candelabra and palace. A sumptuous trail of incense weaves through a tapestry of coniferous trees, cut with solar rays of citrus fruits.”

I found the scent to be very masculine and not overly frilly with floral notes. Given that my partner and I are boys, it suits our home. And yes, it’s definitely worth the $540 since we have used it sparingly and only light on special occasions now, two years later.

Currently, I am wearing Niven Morgan’s Rue 1807 Black Cypress Cologne. First off, I adore Niven — he and Shelby are one of my favorite Dallas couples — but second, this scent makes me dream of travel.

With notes of absinthe and bourbon, cypress and moss, vetiver and incense, it conjures of notions of dark, romantic spots, but not in an overpowering way. It’s perhaps the most subtle way to make your entrance into a room.

I am dying for a bottle of Tom Ford’s Fucking Fabulous. My man Tom is always pushing the envelope and who knew he could do so in a chic and shockingly way with just a name? And don’t we all wish that becoming Fucking Fabulous was just a spray of fragrance away?

Alas, the price has kept me from acquiring a bottle to display proudly in my boudoir. Hopefully there will be a party soon where I might find some in my swag bag.

Lisa Collins Shaddock, Senior Editor

My all-time favorite scent has a rather special story. I always knew I wanted to choose a special perfume for my wedding. When I was a little girl, my mom would sometimes let me spritz myself with Joy by Jean Patou which she always called her “wedding perfume.”

I thought perfume would be a great “something new” and a way to try and lock in the memories of that day. Of course, when it came down to it, finding a new scent that I loved and wanted to forever remind me of my wedding was harder than I thought it would be.

I finally visited the Creed counter inside Neiman Marcus at NorthPark and thought I might pick up a bottle of Fleurissimo as a tried-and-true failsafe — it was, after all, created for Grace Kelly’s wedding.

The lovely sales team ended up giving me samples of a few options, including White Flowers, a dreamy complex floral that is part of their pricey Les Royales Exclusives collection, and I, of course, fell in love with it.

Given the steep price, I said I’d mull it over. It was then they let me in on a secret. The day before my wedding, they would be running a special promotion during which they would fill one of their travel atomizers with any Creed fragrance of your choosing.

When the day came, I had my sister run out on a special errand to pick it up for me. Everyone at the counter remembered who I was and were all so excited to hand the package off to her along with their best wishes. 

I ended up getting my perfect “bridal” perfume in a darling white leather atomizer, which I considered a bonus. It was even more perfect because it was so easy to pack in my bag for our honeymoon, which is now what I think of every time I spray it! 

Hillery Stack, Dallas Publisher

Oh my gosh, how much room do I have? I love scents. Perfumes, room diffusers, candles, scented sugar cubes. You name it, I have it.

One thing you can always count on when coming to my home is that I have a candle burning in every room. Nest, Lafco and Diptyque are my go-to candles, I love L’Occitane’s room diffusers and my go-to perfume is Bond No. 9 NOHO or Chinatown.

I can remember falling in love with my grandmother’s scent, Red Door by Elizabeth Arden, and still to this day, if I ever wear one of her dresses or sweaters, I can smell her.

Maggie Wilson, Events and Partnerships Manager

The first perfume I ever received as a young girl was Marc Jacobs Daisy. I think I was in middle school when it first came out. I loved that scent and I’ve stayed true to it since those days. I’ve slowly added in new Marc Jacobs perfumes and tried various other scents but Daisy will always be my favorite.

My mom used to always give my sister and me perfumes for Christmas and slowly began to notice I was only running out of Daisy, so she always tried to buy Daisy from then on.

I love how fresh the smell is, but it’s not too overpowering. I’m not always a huge fan of floral scents but there is a fruity aspect of the perfume that makes it perfect.

Samantha Olguin, Sales Account Director and Director of Business Development, Dallas

Now I can’t tell you my favorite scent specifically because then people might smell it and start liking it and then wearing it, and then it’ll no longer my signature scent and that would be an absolute travesty!

But for this article’s purpose I will let you in on some scents I am really drawn to.  The first is so basic, Santal 33 by Le Labo. I mean — it’s just so good.  I find myself being a huge fan of a leather and sandalwood scents. I know it is rather masculine, but I just love it.

And then my second favorite, which I always have in stock and is the complete opposite from above is Miss Dior by Christian Dior.  It’s just elegant and beautiful.  It is described as the perfume of a woman in love, the scent of boldness, renewal and freedom.

The third is The One by Dolce & Gabbana.  The bottle itself is so classic and luxurious and the undernotes of white flowers make it the perfect scent combined with musky tones of vanilla and amber. 

Linda Kenney, Account Executive

Where would the world be without lovely scents?

They evoke sweet memories of days gone by and loved ones who are no longer with us. My mother’s favorite perfume was Diorissimo by Christina Dior. There is a sweet memory when the scent wafts to me.

My current scents include Jo Malone’s Blackberry and Bay cologne for day. Vibrant and verdant, this scent energizes. My choice for evening is Hermès Eau des Merveilles Bleue Eau de Toilette; it is sparkling and warm and underscored by notes of ambergris and wood.

I feel very special wearing it. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

If you ever have something you want our team to address, shoot us your thoughts via social media or email (@papercitydallas on Instagram; facebook.com/papercitymagdallas on Facebook; or yours truly, billy@papercitymag.com). Or, better yet send a message to the office, handwritten on the Smythson stationery of your choice — and feel free to include a bottle of Veuve. Champagne really helps get the ideas flowing.

Look for the next installment of Now Hear This from Billy Fong next week.

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