Welcome to Mood Scent Four: First Love Perfumes!

The Good Old Days- photo from youbeauty.com

Do you remember your first love? I’m talking about perfume of course, not Morten Harket or Patrick Swayze (Just me? Surely not!).

Fragrance has been proven to give your memory a powerful jolt  and one sniff of these first loves and I can tell you what I was wearing, where I was going and what I was doing as far back as the late eighties.

Welcome to Mood Scent 4!

MoodScent 4 is a blogging collaboration in which four perfume bloggers from four different countries write on the same theme. My colleagues are meganinsaintemaxime, Tara from ABottled Rose, and Esperanza from L’Esperessence.  Follow the links to find out what their first loves were ( except dear esperanza, who has sadly had to sit this one out. Get well soon!).  Here are mine. Do  any of them match yours?


Avon Pretty Peach

The very first fragrance I ever owned was Avon Pretty Peach.  I had a little splash bottle, and splash I did. I must only have been around six or seven years old, but I thought I was the kitten’s mittens smelling of fresh peaches and wearing my very own perfume.  Check out the gorgeous packaging. Who could resist?  Not me!

Avon Eau Givree

In my early teens, it was another Avon fragrance that scented several formative years of uncertainty, crushes and trying to imagine a future where we all wore silver space suits. Space 1999 was on the telly and it felt utterly possible, folks.

Avon had a beautiful green hesperide scent out around this time that was called Eau Givree. It had a frosted pale green bottle, a black lid and silver lettering.  Long since discontinued, my retrospective nose would guess that it was full of grapefruit, bergamot and lemon. Divine in summer!

The Good Old Days- photo from youbeauty.com

The Body Shop White Musk

Surely the scent of every High Street and college in the 1980s, along with the ubiquitous Dewberry! I  remember every bus in Exeter smelling of Dewberry around this time. Personally, I was a Body Shop White Musk girl, and to this day I am never without a bottle. I much prefer the oil to any of the sprays, and find a little goes a long way, not to mention the nostalgia it evokes in men my age!

LouLou. Oui? C’est Moi.

Once I hit seventeen, Cacharel LouLou was invented and I would wear half a bottle at a time (sorry train passengers!) and replace it as casually as if it were shampoo. I still love that plummy aniseed tuberose and the wonderful art deco bottle.

Givenchy Amarige

Towards the end of my LouLou era (I’ve still got a bottle), I experimented with high street launches of thee early nineties and enjoyed a whole summer smelling of Givenchy Amarige.  With its massive sillage, its huge bouquets of jasmine and tuberose, and that soapy green tobacco accord, Amarige still offers much to enjoy, although I  find today’s version a little thinner than the old cloying blousy days of it.

Chanel Cristalle

Once my experimental phase was over, I settled down with Chanel Cristalle from the age of 21 until I was 36. After that I entered a period of olfactory promiscuity and a blog was born. These days? I have a wandering eye and Pretty Peach and Eau Givree have long since gone, along with the bespectacled daydreamer who wore them.

How about you?

What were your first perfume loves? Do you still wear them? Or have they long gone now? I’d love to know.


26 thoughts on “Welcome to Mood Scent Four: First Love Perfumes!”

  1. The first perfumes i bought with my on money were little bottles of oil from Miner’s – Patchouli & Musk were my faves. They stained my wrists a grubby green colour. Then I moved to Charlie – loved the solid perfume in the silver apple pendant. Next was Fidji – and a massive bottle of Chanel No 5 given to me as an 18th birthday present (still have it – don’t wear it but still smells good). Happy memories!

  2. Hi Sam. I loved reading this. You have some classy perfumes there. We have The Body Shop in common though! I was head over heels when I discovered the store. I also remember really wanting Amarige as a glamorous friend had a bottle. I had Ysatis – which never really felt like me. 💕

    1. Did you ever have The Perfume Bar in The Body Shop or are you too young to remember that? Did they do that in NZ? xx

      1. Well my first time at The Body Shop was in the UK. It took years to get to NZ. I can’t remember the perfume bar though. 😉 I have fond memories of buying all those bath salts and bubble bath products though.

  3. My early high school years were filled with Charlie and Cachet until I was gifted Lauren (which I initially didn’t love but wore out of obligation). College was YSL Paris and my first grown up purchase-Coco (edt) while not worn often, is my forever scent. Like you, I’ve become promiscuous in recent years. While I initially eschewed green scents in favor of whatever was trendy, I’m accepting my inner green these days and am even wearing Charlie again at this moment!

    1. I wore Cachet! It was BIG wasn’t it? YSL Paris is still one of my favourites. It’s so beautiful. I also love Coco and far prefer it to its more famous sisters. You have great taste! (like me! :-))

  4. I have wonderful memories of Wild Musk perfume oil by Coty, which was my first real fragrance and was the one I wore when I met my first boyfriend. My best mate and I then went through a phase of wearing Brut, much to my mother’s disgust! I’ve always loved experimenting with different fragrances. During college years, I owned an eau de toilette from the National Trust, Panache (which I have again now), Anais Anais, Charlie and two of Boots’ fragrances (one rose, one clover). When I started work and had a little more money, I could experiment a bit more. I loved Fidji, White Linen, Eau de Givenchy, Vanderbilt, Le Jardin, Paris and Guerlain’s Jardins de Bagatelle. Over the years I have fallen in love with many more, some favourites being First (Van Cleef & Arpels), Paloma Picasso and Oscar by Oscar de la Renta. Couldn’t tell you how many I own now – but funnily enough, one of my most-worn is the one my mum has used almost every day, good old Coty L’aimant.

  5. After reading this, I literally spent the day ‘down memory lane’! From my earliest memories of pinching a bit of my Mum’s Rive Gauche, or Gres Cabouchard, to a quick foray into Tweed, Laughter, Panache and Chique before swiftly moving on to Anais Anais and Chloe in my late teens, with a bit of Metal by Paco Rabanne thrown in. I then started working for YSL who at the time were partnered with Charles of the Ritz. How I loved Ritz! A sharper, bolder, soapier zingier version of DKNY Woman (well, in my mind anyway) For some reason, under the YSL/Ritz banner we also sold Versace and Blake/ Crystal Carrington fragrances and I do admit I was partial to the odd spritz of Crystal, or was it Krystal?! Then it all changed. I caught a whiff, and for years, never looked back. Estée Lauder Private Collection. I literally drowned myself in it. I actually went to work for Lauder, and walked around in a Private Collection fragranced bubble, complete with ‘layered’ bath products right in the middle of the days of Vanderbilt, Giorgio Beverly Hills (and Giorgio Red, which was quite nice) and Poison and Obsession, I felt fresh and sophisticated. Until someone came up to me in a (smoke filled, stinking) pub and said Sarah, you’re a lovely girl but….. and then they came, those words that cut like a knife…. “you wear too much perfume” Mortified. Wounded. Devastated. But! I picked myself up, and moved on to the Ozone type frangrances of the day, Escape, Issey Miake, Body Shop oceanic oil, and sprayed far, far less of them. This phase was short lived though, before I sidled back to my beloved Estée Lauder, embracing Beautiful and Pleasures, both of which I still love. There have been many, many fragrances in my life which have defined special moments. Like when I decided to go backpacking around the Greek Islands, and took my 50ml Chanel No5 edp with me, or living in Peckham with my two friends in my Gucci Envy/ Clarins Eau Dynamissante era. Or wearing Angel whilst pregnant, not realising it was the fragrance that made me feel so nauseous rather than the pregnancy ( sorry Mr Mugler). So here I am, about to celebrate my 50th birthday on Thursday. With a fragrance wardrobe which now includes gems such as Lady Vengeance by Juliette has a gun, Magnolia Nobile by Acqua di Palma , Terryfyc Oud by Terry and the wonderful Modern Muse by my beloved Estée Lauder what will I be wearing?? It has to be my most favourite discovery of recent times; Dahlia by Yardley. It’s truly divine. X

    1. Thank you Sarah for that rip-roaring ride through the perfume ages. I share some of your early perfume loves. (I’m a small tiny little tad older than you). Glad you got over that dagger-through-the -heart comment, haha, it takes more than that to keep us perfumed gals down. We just bounce back bolder.

      1. Aww thank you Cassieflower, there are many more that we could all write about I’m sure and you’re right, we do bounce back. No such thing as too much perfume!! !

    2. Sarah, Forgive me for being late. I’ve just taken up full time work and my husband has been poorly all week. Things are looking up now. I couldn’t possibly let your beautiful piece of writing go by me without joining in your wonderful trip down memory lane. I was nodding in so many places at your post. I love everything you mentioned, although I am hesitant about Angel- I admire it but it smells better on others rather than on me.

      Isn’t it curious how one sniff of an old favourite can help you picture the exact flat you lived in and the colour of the walls and the detail of a night out you might otherwise have forgotten about? Not to mention the people and the old romances it all evokes.

      I think I feel an affinity with all your fragrances because I ma nearly fifty as well so we would have gone through similar phases at similar ages. And I have to add a big YES in capital letters to dear Old Yardley- I swear they are the best in the business for unfussy simple florals. I’m never without their roses or violets.

      Your post was so wonderful to read and tells the story of you. I am SO on the same page!

      Sam xxxx

  6. Ah, Sam…just seen this!

    My first real perfume was Pretty Peach (and I think I’m a bit older than you) but before that there was a little wax pot from Boots that was just called “clover” I think. I remember a Pretty Peach soap on a rope (it looked like An Actual Peach) that I don;t think I ever actually used, so enchanted with it was I…

    After that, a bit later, was a Babe girl…..in all its faux Art Deco glory. It was warm and spicy and I think, even at this distance, a fairly good perfume for its price.

    Dad went away abroad a few times for work and I will never forget him coming home with a small bottle of St Laurents “Y” for me. I was about 14 and took it in to my Black Country comp for the delectation of my mates, who were all allowed to carefully have one drop each of the precious elixir…

    Laura x

    1. YSL “Y” is a fantastic chypre. Your Dad, whether on purpose or not, bought you a true classic. I also remember the peach shaped Pretty Peach soaps! I really miss Avon soaps. I used to love getting a box of them at Christmas. I reckon if they did a nostalgia or heritage range we would clean them out! xxx

  7. OOo and I forgot Body Shop..I did have White Musk (I think it was pretty much compulsory) but also wore something called “L’Aird” which was the most fantastic copy of (you would never guess) “L’Air Du Temps”

    It didn’t seem to be around for long, I can imagine Nina Ricci org suing, it was so good a facsimile

    1. I was also a White Musk girl, Laura, and still wear it. You wouldn’t believe how many blokes have told me I smell like their flatmates/first girlfriends in the 80s! As for Laird, I would have been all over that one! I love L’Air du temps. Still one of the greats. xxx

  8. Sheesh! Reading the comments has been fun! Amarige was a love, Lou Lou took me YEARS to get my head around and I remember the perfume bar of the Body Shop. I bought litres of sandalwood oil.

    My first buys were Fahernheit (I still go gaga over that), Youth Dew, Coco, Tresor and Miss Dior.

    Kate xx

    1. Fahrenehit is a work of art. Absolutely superb! LouLou isn’t an immediate “Love It” but in the 80s, you could smell me a mile away! As for the Perfume Bar- I’m so glad you remember it too! Wasn’t it pure heaven? and so cheap. Those little plastic bottles would last forever and smell sooo good. I used to love Japanese Musk, Mostly Musk, and of course, White Musk and my Mum loved one called Annie. Do you remember that one at all? xxx

  9. Just thinking about my early perfume journey brings forth a rush of memories.(Lots of happy, but some sad). I find that scent can virtually drop me in the middle of an era or situation where I can see what people are wearing or doing and what music was playing. It’s absolutely true that scent is our baser emotion, so much is tied up in something that we can’t quite explain.
    The journey for me began when my mam bought me a little bottle of something by Avon, can’t remember the name of it but brought it to school to brag. The next pressie was Hartnell In Love, probably aged around 10 or so. Stevie B was by Max Factor and a friend and I used to gift this to each other for birthdays,
    when we were pre-teen. It came in a dinky red and white 10ml ish tin. (More on this later).
    Then it started in earnest! Looking back I realise I was destined to be a perfumed ho😉 I was the youngest of 3 girls, my best friend had an older sister, and perfume was plentiful in both our houses. To cut a long story short, my enduring love to this day is thanks to K, my bestie’s sister. A bottle of Fidji Parfum that sat in the centre of her dressing-table was like a little piece of heaven had descended, and I have sought it out many times since (I have a whole Fidji family now, grandmother right down to naughty niece😺). Think I’m sorted for the rest of my days with it.
    At 14 I got a Saturday job in a chemist shop that had a vast selection (to me, anyway) of perfume, and that’s where my education really started. This was at the start of the 80s so a lot of the stock was stuff that can’t be found in its original formulation now. Of course, I could never afford to buy the high-end stuff but I surely had my finger on the pulse of the new, and cheaper end of the market. Yardley Liberty and Chique, Lentheric Panache, Elle and Tramp, Max Factor Epris and Le Jardin, Prince Matchabelli Chimere. These inexpensive beauties saw me through my teenage years, with the odd foray into slightly more spendy stuff such as Calandre and Métal. My 20’s saw a departure into grown-up juice such as Opium, Cinnabar, Ysatis, Maggie Noire. My 30s brought discovery of big white florals, my favourite of which is JP G Fragile, of course discontinued, and my education is ongoing to this day. I’m like a blue-bottle, I’ll try anything.
    Back to the Stevie B! I recently scored a bottle of this, and it still smells amazing, so my still-BFF is getting a generous decant for her birthday next month, along with Tramp, another happy discovery online. See, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. God, but I do ramble on. . . It’s old age wot does it😏

    1. Oh wow, Cassie! What a fabulous olfactory life story! It’s so true how visceral a scent memory can be, isn’t it? Some of the drugstore classics you mention really do stand the test of time even now. Chique and Panache are both superb and under rated if you ask me. You clearly had amazing taste from early on. I adore Fidji and just wish you could still find the EDP. I had a bottle as a teen and I remember one of my friend’s Mums telling me I smelled nice.

      Opium, Cinnabar, Ysatis, Magie Noire- all classics till Hell freezes in my book.

      I’d never actually heard of Stevie B before now. I love the story of how you and your friends gave each other bottles of it. I remember being very jealous of a girl at school who wore Emma by Laura Ashley. Such unattainable glamour!

      What dreams perfume can give us. Thank you so much for that wonderful piece of writing. I am so touched you shared your life in scent! xxxxx

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