Some days, you just want everyone to want to want you. To see you storm the street with a bounce in your step and your head held high, and not to think “I bet she’s going to an important business meeting!”, but to have a sudden flash of you with your mouth open and eyes closed, hair piled on a pillow. To make them need to imagine you screaming their name because they have forgotten it. To make them forget that any other woman has ever existed – even if it’s for less than a second.
This is why we wear perfume. Everything else we put on our bodies might give a very cerebral message about our lives – an astronaut’s helmet here, a “world pie eating championships” sweater there – but perfume is pure sex and sensation. Never try to smell “like a meadow” when you could smell “like having it off in a meadow”. Scents react differently to everyone’s skin, and a really awesome fragrance will only warm and enhance the pure animal musk coming out of your pores – isn’t that the most carnal thing you ever heard?
But how, I hear you ask (which is odd because I have very poor hearing), how will I know that the people smelling me will be thinking ‘sex in a meadow’ and not ‘used condom thrown in a field’? Because if a perfume is doing its job, it will make you want to have sex with yourself. If you get a waft of something lovely on your shoulder and immediately have to throw your coat over your lap for some crafty self sufficient time, you’ve got a good thing going. Making strangers crave you is a hollow and meaningless exercise if you’re not already engorged with desire for your own genitals.
Here are some fragrances that will make you want to throw your knickers out of the window and lock your bedroom door for a week:
Marc Jacobs Femme
This is the one to put on when you’re wearing nothing but white broderie anglaise, and you’re at the mercy of someone else’s wandering hands in a verdant, deserted park. This smells like cool cotton sheets on sunburn and kissing that went too far. This is what Nicole in Tender Is The Night would have worn during her affair with Tommy. It’s the gardenia. Gardenia is what good girls smell like the moment before they fall.
Hermes Kelly Caleche
It’s the scent of a girl on girl teen MILF porn trope, albeit one with very high production values. There’s a powdery hardness to it – it’s all a bit gilt and marble, ‘do me in the Trump Tower’, but when it stops just sitting on your skin and yields to it, there’s a sensory rainstorm. You might smell it on your best friend’s mum’s scarf as you lean in to kiss her cheek, and then spend the rest of the day squirming with guilty, horny confusion.
Versace Bright Crystal
I suspect this is what Marissa Cooper was wearing when she lost her virginity to Luke in The O.C. You know, before she went massively emo and probably started wearing something manly from Creed, or motor oil. It’s joyfully, trashily, irresponsibly adolescent, sparkling and smouldering simultaneously. If you’re giving your first blow job at your boyfriend’s parents’ beach house, spritz some on your hairband before you tie your ponytail. Use your Jersey trust fund dollars for multiple bottles you can keep in your car, bag and any bedrooms you wind up in.
Thierry Mugler Angel
This is an odd one. On me, it smells like a Magic Tree that has been hidden in an old trainer for reasons that probably seemed sensible at the time. But on some ladies, it’s a superpower. A force of nature.
During my first term at university, I befriended a girl called Alison. I thought we’d be pals because we both had our Reading wristbands on, and she decided I was a good prospect because I was carrying a bad pink Dior handbag. (I was wearing Pink Crystal at the time). Alison had attended a very minor public school and thought she was posh, and inexplicably spoke in a high pitched fake Australian accent. Despite claiming a connection with the Rothschilds, she had the most suburban highlights I’ve ever had the misfortune to lay eyes on. Anyway, after about three days of misery I decided to distance myself from this whiny, human chihuahua, but bumped into her at a social event and ended up snogging her. All night. (I’m pretty much straight, and I wasn’t doing it to impress any boys – we were locked in a cleaning cupboard.) She was wearing Angel, and it was as potent as LSD laced MDMA. It made her irresistibly fanciable. If this one works on you, it could be someone else’s Kryptonite.