Musings Of A Stationery Designer

Scent of | a Woman

Fashion + Sense with Bronwen Llewellyn

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Once a year or so Hermes debuts a new fragrance, and I inevitably attempt to fall in love with it.  This year that fragrance is Voyage.  A unisex fragrance, Voyage is the scent of places to come, rather than places we have been.  While Un Jardin sur la Nile and Un Jardin Apres les Mousson speak of journeys remembered, Voyage was to be the journey not yet taken.  Well, not quite.

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As it turns out, Voyage seems to be a journey taken by Cartier some years ago.  And while I love Cartier (and Declaration was the scent my husband wore when I met him), it is an acquired taste.  Apparently now acquired by Voyage.  Perhaps this is not entirely fair.  Voyage evolves over time, beginning with a strong citrus burst, then drying down into the Cartier-type fragrance.  But Hermes promises a “woody, fresh, musky scent” and this I do not get from it at all.  And for $125 I kind of expected it to last more than four hours.

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In contrast, Hermes’ Eau de Merveilles lasts a bit too long.  I wore this on Thursday and made the mistake of skipping breakfast.  The combination resulted in a slight nauseous feeling around 11:00 a.m. and a trip to the ladies’ room to try to wash it off–to no avail.  It would not budge.  Even twelve hours (and a good scrubbing with damp paper towels) later, this one is going strong.  Hermes describes Eau de Merveilles as “A surprising, woody-amber fragrance capturing the spirit of wood, the memory of the oceans and the sparkle of a constellation”…highly romantic and evocative, and very unusual.  I think I first experienced this as a sample insert in a Neiman Marcus holiday catalog and it was love at first sniff, but a little goes a looooooooooong way, so beware!

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Perfume and cologne need not be expensive to be fabulous.  Take Curve, for example.  A (comparatively) inexpensive cologne by Liz Claiborne, Curve reminds me of poetry on a spring afternoon in college—trees beginning to bloom, a hint of falling in love, the whole world before me…all the wonder and promise of the future before I ruined my life by going to law school.  And if scent is a memory trigger, this is one of my favorites.  It is actually a men’s fragrance, and when a friend of mine purchased a kit and didn’t want the lotion, I eagerly swiped it and decided one day to wear it.  I can remember my long drive back to town that day from a morning class at campus in another town, class being canceled that evening, and stealing away to a park for an exciting rendezvous.

Citrus and black pepper, vegetal and water, air and iron…whatever your preference, you can find it.  But try it first…woods may not smell like the woods your mind conjures up, and leather among the flowers may not be quite what you expected.  And now I have to go check the fall course schedules and find a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.  If you will excuse me…

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3 Responses to “Scent of | a Woman”

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  3. Jenn says:

    thank you! bronwen llewellyn is my guest blogger who writes the fashion + sense articles… she is wonderful! i will tell her you enjoyed it!