Coco Chanel made me do it

Coco Chanel made me do it

want to hear a not-so-bad-but-really-might-actually-be news? I’m addicted to perfume. yes, that’s the bad news. no, I’m not exaggerating. perfume is, as we know, a luxury. the more expensive a perfume is, the better their longevity is. not a complete guarantee per se – since perfume’s longevity may also depend on how your skin adapts to it – but most of the time, that’s just how it is. I think the more expensive a perfume is, the more essential oil it has, the better it will last.

let’s start with the person who influenced me to wear perfume and that is Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. I listened to stories about her thanks to a podcast by Parcast Network called ‘Great Women of Business’, which I really recommend by the way. the podcast basically tells the story about Coco Chanel, from her upbringing to her business. what intrigued me the most was the history of Chanel No.5 — a cult classic, legendary fragrance that, instead of adopting floral scents like many other perfumes during that time, used (or should I say use?) synthetic ingredients and lots of aldehydes to create a “simple scent of a woman.” being a woman who’s ahead of her time, Coco Chanel wanted to give women “an artificial fragrance that is composed.” among all the samples given to her by perfumer Ernest Beaux, Gabrielle chose the fifth sample and named it Chanel No.5. the rest after that is a history worth reading into, especially if you’re a perfume lover.

Coco being Coco, she had said a lot of things that we still quote today. one of her sayings that really flipped a switch in my head was this: “a woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” of course, this seems like an exaggeration because let’s be real, a bottle of perfume doesn’t determine your future but I guess, quotes aren’t meant to be digested raw. whatever it is, for some reason this quote really inspires me to find and experiment different types of fragrances I could get my hands on. with each concoction of scent I am able to close my eyes and imagine a scenario to represent the overall bottle. 

my first proper perfume was the popular Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh – I say proper because even though my first fragrance purchase was Zara’s eau de toilette twin set in Cleo & Tiz, they were essentially kids ‘perfume’ and I never really wore them as they should, only spraying them on my pillowcase when I go to bed. the Daisy collection from Marc Jacobs is an extremely popular one and are known to have very fancy, beautiful bottles with plastic flowers on the bottle cap. this scent particularly reminds me of a free spirited, vibrant flower girl getting ready for some berry picking; it’s fresh, a little fruity only in the right ways and definitely airy with slight hints of delicacy beneath it. it reminds me of water signs, possibly Cancerians, and certain air signs like Libras, due to the perfume’s lively yet delicate and radiant persona.

Daisy will never be a long lasting perfume for me – because it simply isn’t and it only lasts for 3-4 hours at best. the flanker is, after all, marketed as an eau de toilette instead of a perfume. nonetheless, it will forever remind me of that joyful feeling I had when I first sprayed it.

after trying out Daisy, I began reading deeper into perfume glossary, particularly about perfume ingredients and the scent pyramid to understand what are top, middle and base notes. I have reached the point where I even bought an easy perfume atomiser so I can carry my ‘fragrance of the day or week’ on the go. throughout my research, I realized that I learn more towards sweet gourmands, some greens and citrus notes as well as woody base notes. of course, in the end, a great formulation is key to your preferred scent.

some people collect stamps, other people collect perfumes. I never thought I’d be the latter but look where I am now. I won’t lie, perfume is indeed a luxury and it’s a very luxurious purchase nonetheless, especially when you live in a country where all these fancy perfumes are imported from dollar-driven countries. yet despite knowing this, I still want to start and grow a collection on my own. some people say collecting perfumes makes them feel like they’re collecting memories in a bottle. to some extend, I sort of feel the same way too. there’s just something magical about finding the right scent for the right occasion — for example, when wearing woody, spicy scents like Hermes Eau des Merveilles makes me feel like a fiery, determined French vixen, wearing a powdery, floral scent like Chloe’s original Chloe or Estee Lauder’s Pleasures serve as a fresh pick-me up to work; under different circumstances, ‘weaker’ types of fragrances like the Wild Rose & Apple fragrance mist from Bath & Body Works works great on my pillow case and helps me to sleep faster (also because fragrance mist will never stay more than two hours on your skin).


no matter how much you look up to someone as a role model, there’s no way that person is or was perfect. it’s the same with Coco where her not-so secretive scandal involving something along the line of ‘supporting Nazi.’ as I’ve mentioned, nobody is perfect and that includes the person we idolize. to say I idolize Chanel might be inaccurate though, since I was never an avid follower of everything Chanel. however, I do acknowledge and appreciate the thinking she had for us women (introducing casual, chic fashion for women to liberate them from “corseted silhouette”) and some of the things she said — a singsong of female empowerment that we still quote today.

a desire to wear perfume, to smell good (and to make a statement by smelling good) and to never leave home without spraying myself was never something that'd cross my mind. I didn’t care if I smelled plain, like the smell of dissipating fresh laundry under the scorching sun but now, now I do. I want people to pick up the sillage from my perfume, to ask me what scent I was wearing that day because they’re in love with it. I never thought about it before but as of today, all I want is to be a woman whose character is reflected by the scent she wears.
current favourite scent to wear: 

☀️ pleasures by estee lauder (floral and soapy, like spring rain) or dot by marc jacobs (fruity sweet, like berries and vanilla)

🌙 fever by jimmy choo (very gourmand and warm!)

do you wear perfumes? what is your favourite scent?