Ibegan the year in duty free, glum at the prospect of leaving family and friends once again just because I have a great job that I love in a city thousands of miles away (that I am slowly claiming as mine with every passing day).

What the brain knows is not necessarily what the body feels. And so, feeling very sorry for myself, I sought to plug the hollow feeling – one I haven’t felt with such intensity in 25 years, since Dad loaded my boarding school suitcase into the car – with “bougie parfumée”. Thank you, Jo Malone.

Seeking pleasure in carefully concocted scent was ingrained in me by my mother. For her, scent is glamour, and the heavier the scent, the more substantial she feels. My first perfume memory of my mother is Chloé; she has always believed in the classics. Catching a whiff of it – a much rarer occurrence as I get older – sends me back to being five or six, and rubbing my wrist on hers to transfer the scent before she walked out of the door. Sometimes, Mum would spray a little in the air and tell me to walk swiftly into the misty cloud. As it settled, every little droplet felt like a tiny anointing.

The thing about perfume, even the mass-produced stuff, is that it’s always perfectly unique; your own body chemistry reacts to and alters the scent as it chooses. If you can’t afford haute couture (and with its prohibitive price tags, who can?), perfume is the next best thing when it comes to exclusivity: the most customisable luxury.

This shopping trip I went fruity: something to fool my body into feeling summery for the dark few months ahead. And wow, I smell like a new peach.

Since you’re here …

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

I appreciate there not being a paywall: it is more democratic for the media to be available for all and not a commodity to be purchased by a few. I’m happy to make a contribution so others with less means still have access to information.Thomasine F-R.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as £1, you can support the Guardian – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.


Post Navigation