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I’d like a perfume that makes me feel like Dame Maggie Smith is offering me a scone and telling me kindly that I’m doing a great job and everything’s going to be OK.

278 replies

Stoechas · 10/02/2023 16:23

For clarification I do not want to smell
like Dame Maggie Smith (although I bet she smells lovely) or a scone.

I have a sometimes grim job in a grim part of the world interacting with sometimes grim people and I’d like to be able to put my nose down my top in private and smell something that makes everything a bit better.

No idea about perfumes. Perfume people scare me. Going to JL next week and would like to have a sniff of maximum 5 perfumes and buy one of them.

Do not want anything remotely sexy, rude, obnoxious, syrupy girlie flowers, loud antibacterial sunshine or clean sheets in the rain I just mowed my lawn in a long dress bullshit.

Anything that fits the bill?

OP posts:
SirVixofVixHall · 11/02/2023 22:23

LoveLabradors · 10/02/2023 17:36

Another vote for Chanel no19. Elegant, calming, hopeful and “green”. I’ve worn it for three decades. Will never waver from it although I do enjoy other perfumes too. Byredo Mojave ghost and also enjoying the Diptyque fragrance discovery box too ( five different perfumes in a beautiful box). Good luck with finding your scent!

i loved No19 but it is so changed , really depressing how different it is now.
Samsara smells like furniture polish.
How about Bois Des Isles ?
Clinique Aromatic Essences is comforting and underrated.

Pigeon31 · 12/02/2023 07:34

Maybe try Mon Guerlain - its very pretty (but not syrupy), very versatile, and does have that comforting vibe.

Aromatics Elixir is good for when you need to get your big girl pants on and go face the world.

YouSetTheTone · 12/02/2023 10:15

I love this thread!
Does ‘Joy’ by Jean Patou still exist? This to me is comfortably old fashioned, it’s one that my mum wore that I always found compelling and interesting (she chopped and changed quite a lot but this one stuck in my memory).

I wear ‘Philosykos’ by Diptique and it’s a bit left field but might fit the bill. It’s a ‘figgy’ scent that might evoke sunnier climates but it’s not light or sugary. It’s quite soulful. Reading this I’m also glad that my children will be able to associate this scent with me 😭 (well, if it remains being made that is…)

YouSetTheTone · 12/02/2023 10:18

Sorry just seen you don’t want to smell of figs!
Good luck with your quest, I hope you find ‘the one’.

Stoechas · 12/02/2023 11:21

@YouSetTheTone this thread has unearthed a memory that Joy by Jean Patou is the only perfume my mother ever owned, she never wore it mind as apparently it was “the most expensive perfume in the world”. A tiny bottle of it sat on her dressing table barely used for the entirety of my childhood and teenage years. We were FORBIDDEN to touch it. Probably even to
look upon it.

In my perfume quest I have discovered that there are companies which sell samples (who knew!) and I found something called Joy Forever by Jean Patou (?next gen Joy). So that went in the basket alongside several other suggestions from this thread.
I’m going to wear it in exactly the opposite way of my mother, to free myself of the
psychological shackles of expensive perfume wearing. Got an absolute bastard of a tree stump that needs digging out next weekend, so going to be wearing Joy Forever for that job I reckon.

OP posts:
OneGoodThing · 12/02/2023 11:34

I also love this thread and now have lots to try!

OP, my twopenn'orth is Liz Earle No 1, her first fragrance. As soon as I smelled this I felt comforted; I couldn't dissect the notes in it, just the sense of comforting familiarity, as if it was just right. It can't be that I associate it with a primary school teacher as I'm Old and it's new, but there's something feminine and capable and stylish and finished that I love. No. 15 is also gorgeous, and I wear it a lot in winter, but I didn't get that same odd emotional 'click'.

My other suggestion is Lancôme Magie Noir, which reminds me of my mum: it changes as it mellows on your skin, and has a lovely 'passing smell' when your nose catches a trace on a scarf.

J-Lo Glow is surprisingly comforting, as is SJP's Lovely. And that classic reassuring smell of warm school jumpers, White Musk.

TheDarrellRivers · 12/02/2023 11:35

SirChenjins · 10/02/2023 17:17

I wear Coco Chanel - have done for many years, and it's a very comforting, very elegant fragrance (unlike me). When I wear it I feel like I should be lounging on a sofa in the library, drinking Earl Grey and eating scones in front of a roaring fire with a lab at my feet and a handsome husband in tweeds next to me reading the farm report from the estate manager (sexist stereotypes alert).

i wear Coco too (for 30 years!!)
you summed it up beautifully

Ratonastick · 12/02/2023 12:16

I think you might want Black Tulip by Shay and Blue. I got it in the M&S calendar (I think) and my friend commented that it was exactly how she imagined Dame Judi Dench would smell! Not quite Maggie Smith, but definitely in the elegant, beautiful, theatrical dame area!

YouSetTheTone · 12/02/2023 14:21

@Stoechas yes that reminds me, I recall Joy standing out a bit partly due to the expense. I think my dad bought it for her in duty free and it was one of the few times he actually struck gold with a present. (The heavy green fisherman’s Mac still gets referred to in hushed tones as an unmitigated failure).

I will get googling re Joy Forever as I’d love to revisit the scent! Wearing it to wrestle with a tree stump is perfection.

kateandme · 12/02/2023 14:31

Aldi and lidl currently doing there £6 dupes lol

PAFMO · 12/02/2023 14:36

Joy was marketed as the most expensive perfume in the world way back. The new Joy Forever I believe is a flanker, so loosely based on the original.

Liz Earle n1 is a good call for green notes. It's very similar to Chanel Cristalle and Annick Goutal Eau du Sud. Sharp, green, straw notes with lime.

PAFMO · 12/02/2023 14:43

There you go. Joy is still one of the most expensive perfumes and Joy Forever is a different beast. To confuse matters further the name Joy now belongs to Dior (Patou is owned by LMVH) while Joy Forever is made by Proctor and Gamble! (I think I've got that right!)

It's like Tweed (name) is now owned by Taylor's and not Lentheric.

kateandme · 12/02/2023 14:43

TheDarrellRivers · 12/02/2023 11:35

i wear Coco too (for 30 years!!)
you summed it up beautifully

I was coming to say coco chanel mademoiselle.
I always feel like I've got it when I smell this reminds me so much of my sister.who is the most elegant,take no shit,beautiful, bagasse,straight at the top of her field.manager men into the ground when she needs to. But has moments where she will say something so empathetic and understanding it makes me want to weep.and is actually a big softee.
This is what she wears lol.and she bought me a small sampler once so I could spray it when I needed her.

kateandme · 12/02/2023 14:45

Ratonastick · 12/02/2023 12:16

I think you might want Black Tulip by Shay and Blue. I got it in the M&S calendar (I think) and my friend commented that it was exactly how she imagined Dame Judi Dench would smell! Not quite Maggie Smith, but definitely in the elegant, beautiful, theatrical dame area!

Maybe check out the Christmas board for the perfume calendars?

Stoechas · 17/02/2023 09:56

Wanted to come back to the thread to say thank you to @alltheevennumbers for recommending Perfumes The A-Z guide by Turin and Sanchez.
I’m confined to bed with the bastarding Covid but 30mins post lemsip the headaches lighten up for a period where I can open the book at random and enjoy the magnificent reviews.
Just read one where they describe a perfume as “like chewing tinfoil while staring at a welding arc” Grin

Obviously it’s making my ‘must try this one’ list much, much longer but I’m OK with that. Once my sense of smell returns that is.
10 little tester bottles sitting there promisingly with nowhere to go and nothing to do right now 😢

OP posts:
alltheevennumbers · 17/02/2023 10:38

Thought it might be up your street @Stoechas.😀

Hope you feel better soon. If you need more light reading to dip into there is also the updated Perfumes: The Guide 2018. This is focused on niche perfumery, which on my budget at least, is a bit less accessible, but it is still a very entertaining read. And if you properly fall down the rabbit hole there is a thriving samples market on eBay.

alltheevennumbers · 17/02/2023 10:42

PS. you are going to have to tell us now which perfume is described as smelling like 'chewing tinfoil whilst staring at a welding arc'? Or we could all try and guess?

Lookingoutside · 17/02/2023 11:07

The Favourite by Penhaligon’s.

It’s a very comforting scent, to me anyway. The bottle alone will mentally transport you away from not very nice people.

It’s a proper perfume, none of the bullshit you want to avoid and exactly the type of fragrance you might wear to meet Dame Maggie Smith.

Lookingoutside · 17/02/2023 11:08

Or Coco Chanel. The original one.

Stoechas · 17/02/2023 11:09

@alltheevennumbers it’s Aqua Allegoria Pivoine Magnifica by Guerlain.

OP posts:
alltheevennumbers · 17/02/2023 11:19

One to swerve😂

ChardonnaysBeastlyCat · 17/02/2023 12:14

I would take their reviews with a pinch of salt. They are entertaining, but really subjective.

Alltheevennumbers · 17/02/2023 12:53

Oooh - that's an interesting question@ChardonnaysBeastlyCat. What would a more objective basis for perfume appraisal consist of given the element of emotional impact (and therefore subjective experience)?

ChardonnaysBeastlyCat · 17/02/2023 13:01

Of course there would be. Different notes in the opening, what’s the dry down like, the silage and so on.

I feel their reviews are very much trying a pithy one liner, and it does not always work.
And agree that it can be mildly entertaining.

Sadlifter · 17/02/2023 13:10

I like fragrantica for reviews.
I didn't like that book.thought it was silly!

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