meme – your first perfume

Whether its “contents of your purse” or “your first perfume”, every once in a while there is a meme that inspires me to jump on the bandwagon. Hat tip! Smells like a new irregular column to me.


My first perfume – Tommy Girl, acquired in sample size from another girl when I was sixteen (I think it was the step-sister of my boyfriend at the time).  He used to wear Polo Sport I believe.  I was never very preppy or sporty and would never be caught dead in logo-wear, then or now, but I love how bright and fresh and young and clean these scents are to this day.

The only other type of scent I find attractive is vanilla scents, which seem more winter-y to me.  I rarely, rarely wear perfume and sort of have a mental block with it – I find choosing a perfume as intimidating as choosing wine.  Plus so many products are already scented I sort of feel like adding more would be too much – one of the reasons I like unscented products.  (FYI, PunkMedics, a sponsor of the site, makes excellent unscented skin and hair care).  Overall I don’t think a perfume should be too noticeable.  It is something for you and the people you are really really close to to enjoy.  I do think that the perfumes you like do say something about you and your personality, which is what makes this meme so fascinating.

Nathalie Atkinson, who reviews perfumes for the National Post, recently encouraged me to try and overcome my perfume anxiety.  She suggested Sensuous by Estee Lauder.  I’m not sure what I think of it yet but I am giving it a spin. (A spritz?)

So, what was your first perfume?

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17 thoughts on “meme – your first perfume”

  1. Great idea!

    I think my first was Clinique’s Happy – came out when I was in school and I remember walking by the Clinique counter at the mall… it smelled like sunshine, citrus and florals…

    Now I’m rocking (almost exclusively) DKNY’s Be Delicious or L’Occitaine’s Green Tea solid perfume… Vita by Beth Terry or Alexandre Herchcovitch’s “Urban Tropicalia” (courtesy of Dreamsequins)

  2. Ah, my first perfume was Rive Gauche, Yves Saint Laurent! It still brings a smile to my face, even though I don’t wear perfume any more.

  3. My first perfume was Chanel No. 5. I remember liking it because it seemed so classic and therefore sophisticated. I first smelled it at an airport duty free shop and asked for it the following Christmas. I got the gift set with the scented lotion and powder. I was only in high school and probably smelled like an old lady.

    My current perfume is Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker. I like it because it is subtle but is still complex…chic and spicy and sweet, all at the same time.

  4. I also strongly recommend checking out Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez (out last spring, it’s at the library too). It’s the Cahiers du cinéma of perfume. Witty and informative snippets and excellent bedtime reading.

    My first junior perfume was the inevitable Love’s Baby Soft. Although not including the spritzes of Poison purloined from my friend’s mother, the first ‘real’ perfume I ever bought and wore was the way-too-grown-up-for-me-at-the-time Coco (not Mademoiselle but the original), from Chanel. And I’ve been favoring spicy orientals every since.

  5. My first perfume was a Body Shop perfume oil – either vanilla or peach. I’m not as big a fan of vanilla anymore, but I still go with fruity scents, usually citrus.

    My current perfume is Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Colonia–I spent some time with Henna of Canadian Beauty and Noor boutique owner Nahla testing perfumes, and this was the first one I tried, and I just loved it. I can’t stop sniffing myself when I wear it, which I guess is a good sign. =)

  6. I’m also akin to never wearing perfumes at all.

    The only scent I had first and ever loved belonged to my mother’s and sadly the fragrance is discontinued. It was called “Fleurs des Champs” from Dans Un Jardin. Fabulous light, flowery smell, that always reminded me of my mother when I opened the bottle. Since then I’ve had a hard time liking any other scent. I do recommend trying perfumes by L’Artisan Parfumeur, for something completely different and out of the ordinary.

    @Nathalie: I’ve heard of Luca Turin! You should perhaps read a book about him by Chandler Burr called “The Emperor of Scent”. Burr is currently The Moment’s perfume reviewer and he’s fantastically witty and funny. You can also watch Turin presenting at TED. Fascinating video!

  7. I had two perfumes at the same time when I was a teenager. They were Elizabeth Arden Sunflower and Leap by Body Shop. Currently, I wear Human by Fruits & Passions – I highly recommend it.

  8. Oh fun! Personal perfume history! YAY! Great stories.

    I think my first perfumes probably were from Avon – my mum used to sell it, or had a friend who sold it, I was so excited to get all the wee sample bottles.

    All through junior high and high school, Liz Claiborne’s Realities was my signature. Then I moved onto Clinique’s Happy in my 20’s.

    The one I’ve been wearing for the past few years or so if Givenchy’s Hot Couture. Still loving it! Though I am holding out for a lovely gentleman to splurge on me and get me Victor & Rolf’s Flower Bomb. Now if only I could find him… Perhaps I’ll just save that one for my 40’s.

    Funny story about perfume: My gran (cutest, typical Scottish grandmother type) got Anais Anais one Christmas and kept calling it Anus Anus. Shoulda seen her face when she realised she was pronouncing it wrong! Classic!

  9. I was a teen of the 70’s…Charlie! Shelly Hack, looking fabulous walking down the street as Bobby Short sang at his piano. High-waisted jeans and Farrah Fawcett hair on Friday nights at the football game.
    I’ve since moved on to Chanel No.5, but Charlie will always be in my heart!

  10. teen of the 90s – CK One. I also stole my stepfather’s Blue Jeans by Versace that her never used and LOVED wearing that. I’ve always liked less fruit-y scents, and often like the guy’s version better than the girls. Though for the last three years I’ve worn Anna Sui.

  11. it makes me chuckle to remember – i think my first perfume was either that strange “fetish” stuff – who knows what happened to that brand (not shocked – it didn’t exactly have staying power). after that, it was good old GAP Dream. mmmmm.

  12. My first ‘perfume’ was this cheapy brand called ‘Exclamation’ from Shopper’s. My mom used to buy it for me when I was 10. They still sell it! My first real perfume was ‘Moon Sparkle’ by Escada. I’ve since moved onto ‘G’ by Harajuku Lovers for the summer and ‘Daisy’ by Marc Jacobs for the fall/winter.

  13. OK, my first perfume was probably Charlie girl from the town pharmacy, but my first “real” perfume was D&G’s light blue, and I was in love when I saw the new Dolce ads with Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell ( D&G has my favorite fragrances and I am so happy they have a whole new collection! Can’t wait to get one- have you tried them? Which one is the best?

  14. I had completely forgotten about being young… Friday night Football games, high school dances, cheering for our team and stealing a spritz of my sister’s Blue Jeans… loved that scent. I also used to snitch a little bit of their (I had four older sisters) Love’s Baby Soft which I adored as well. A little older I found “Fleur du Champs” by Dans un Jardin which I loved, you only needed a tiny bit and it smelt beautiful. I remember sitting in my office and several head of the departments coming by to ask for an important file I was going over. As I stood and handed it to them at the door of the office, they stopped and almost in unison asked, “What is that smell?” “That is fantastic, terrific…etc.”
    Weeks later when working at the copy machine,grabbing a coffee or trying to locate an important file, it seemed one or the other of these men would be standing behind me waiting their turn and suddenly say “Mmmmmm I love what you smell like.” Needless to say I wore this perfume for many years. It was a hit and not only with me.
    Also I used another lovely scent sold from the Bay in Canada, it was in a peach colored box in a short squat bottle and went by the name of Chloe… I forget who manufactured Chloe but I loved it as well… Only thing was I found I had to use a tiny bit of Chloe at a time as it could be a very overwhelming scent… as with some perfumes.
    Perfume scents, they always made a teenage girl feel pretty and grown up and proud of herself; just a little spritz and I had all the confidence in the world… which lasted exactly half way through the high school dance that night when I sadly realized no matter what pretty scent I wore, it still didn’t get me asked to dance… but my friends loved it… six 13 year olds taking turns smelling each other’s wrists in the school change rooms… oohing and aaahing… ah well… long ago and many memories of first perfume’s…

  15. My sign perfume! I’ve been using this fragrance since 1997 and have not stopped since. If a market this perfume disappeared I would die of grief, because it is my perfume!

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