My farming childhood was a long way from the bright white halls of David Jones and Myer, where immaculately groomed ladies stand behind illuminated glass boxes with pretty bottles promising youth, wealth and success. I couldn’t play smelly dress-ups with mum’s toiletries as she never wore perfume - dad long ago declared it offensive, preferring to sniff his own ‘natural ‘ body odour - so at sweet sixteen when my boyfriend gave me a bottle of Opium, I thought I had died and gone to olfactory heaven. Surely now I was a woman.
I don’t have a signature scent; rather a string of moments misted in perfume. Summers, holidays, relationships, are all coupled with a limbic soundtrack. I admit I am seduced by packaging and advertising, by the fantasy, the promise. However, it wouldn’t matter how visually stunning the bottle or appealing the smell, I could not purchase a product named after Paris Hilton or Brittany Spears. I am enticed by fresh citrus, oriental wood, fruit and tropical floral notes – not too heavy on vanilla or toilet freshener flowers. My current selection is Kenzo 7.15am Bali (limited edition), Biotherm Eau Vitaminee, Body Shop Neroli & Jasmine, and Tinderbox Orange Blossom.