Sprayed by Daisy - Fragrances for Love
When I was a fat, unfanciable nine year old, I saw an amazing product in the Innovations catalogue. I LOVED the Innovations catalogue. It used to fall out of the Sunday Telegraph and I read it with the same fervour that children in the forties read adverts for magic tricks and special muscle potion. “Look, Mum! It’s a bracelet that can cure rheumatoid arthritis! It says it’s a “classic style that works from day to day or with evening wear.”
My twin obsessions were diseases, especially those that I might be claimed by and die horribly from (thanks, Little Women), and shiny shit I could decorate myself with in order to distract people from my chubby shins and chins. At the time, I was rocking a fierce earrings and pendant set made from turkey foil, brazil nuts and sewing cotton. Despite a general lack of self awareness, I realised that I could use something more streamlined.
At least I could put the arthritis bracelet on my letter to Santa with no shame. There was another item I longed for and lusted after. A product I wanted so badly and felt so embarrassed about wanting that I would rather be caught looking at the catalogue’s other odd offering, Anne Hooper’s Lover’s Guide. Owing to the chins and shin situation, I did not see much romantic action as a child. When a dog got loose and pooed in the playground, the question on every boy’s lips was “would you rather eat that dog poo or kiss Daisy?” I knew that one, faraway day I would meet a boy I liked, and when that day came, I would probably need to trick him into liking me back.
Hello Innovations Pheremone Boosting Perfume! Surely this would make me more attractive to boys than poo. I had no idea how to order it or smuggle it into the house – plans included saving birthday money, buying a postal order, then skiving off school with an imagined malady so I could attack the mat as the post hit before parents noticed.
Fortunately, I never bought the magic perfume, and have since seen it on sale in enough petrol station forecourts to doubt its authenticity. (Honestly, if it worked, you’d notice an insane increase in dogging.) And I have learned that you don’t need to smell of anything to “trick” anyone into fancying you – just a crack mac’n’cheese recipe and a strong collection of jokes about Max Bygraves. However, there is something thrillingly mystical and sort of scientific about a love potion. If you are very keen for a love token or display of interest around the 14th of next month, one of these will definitely do it. Even if you are the interested party. Because self fancying is THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL.
Oscar De La Renta, Live In Love, £39 for 30ml from Harrods.com and selected stores Nationwide
It’s impossible not to wear Oscar and feel like une petite Parisienne. Imagine Bunuel came back to life and remade Belle De Jour, casting Taylor Swift in the Deneuve role. This sounds like madness, but that’s the vibe – this fragrance is as knowingly sexy as it is youthful and hopeful. It’s dewy, but controlled. The sparkle comes from the bergamot and the smoulder emerges through the sandalwood. It’s the scent of a woman who knows when it’s time for Veuve and when it’s time for Talisker.
Reem Acra, Reem Acra, £72 for 90ml from Harrods.com
Reem Acra’s first fragrance might have a bridal motif, but it’s not for trembling virgins in white dresses – in fact, the amber heart is so headily sensual that if you wear it to a wedding, at least one of the newly espoused couple will halt proceedings in order to pursue you. It’s powerful and evocative, and softens as the day – or night – progresses, like a stiff, luxurious silk dress that slowly yields to the heat of your body.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse, £60 for 50ml from QVC
This is the scent of a June day as the light drops and the dew starts to fall. The tuberose is seductively, intensely feminine – but there’s a perverse pepperiness that will make your paramour wonder whether you’re channelling a Wodehouse heroine or one of Raymond Chandler’s fallen angels. It might lead you to the love of your life, or the love of the next hour. If it’s the latter, one day someone will be in a garden or florist and, remembering you, start to weep with lust.
Lalique L’amour, £94 for 100ml, available exclusively from Selfridges
We all wish that we could “love like we’ve never been hurt”, but if I were to get rid of everything that reminded me of any of my exes, I wouldn’t have any socks. Luckily, Lalique have created the next best thing – a fragrance that makes you feel certain romance can only bring happiness, adventure and possibly presents. The sweetness of gardenia is balanced by smoky Neroli and it has a creamy sandalwood heart. It’s the scent of a certain kind of luxurious freedom – the sort that comes with dancing in a satin petticoat with your handsome, adoring husband who just happens to be a multi millionaire Earl.
Love Thy Self
Timothy Dunn, Blue Rose candle, £42 from Liberty
If you’re performing any self love rituals over the coming month, you’re going to need to light some candles, ideally whilst ratting your hair and wearing a broderie anglais night dress with ruffles that fall to your ankles. Timothy Dunn’s has the maximum girl-in-a-book appeal, with a rose and violet heart that will capture that of the grumpiest and most reluctant romantic.