Tag Archives: 4160 Tuesdays What I Did On My Holidays

National Fragrance Day: A Round up of the best Nostalgia Scents

#smellfie
#smellfie

Today is National Fragrance Day! I hope you’re all wearing something that makes you feel fabulous. I can’t make my mind up and have about five on each arm. Check out my #smellfie! Jolly hard without a selfie stick.

National Fragrance Day is the perfect time to look at the role that our sense of smell plays throughout our lives. Carrying on the theme of scent memory, I have rounded up ten of what I feel are the most evocative and triggering scents around. Smelling the fragrances below is like using a time machine. If ten scents could tell my life story, it would be these.

samleo

1. Library of Fragrance Baby Powder

Although I never used baby powder on my children, the smell of this brought back what I fondly call The Wet Wipe Years. Little peachy baby bottoms and those chubby hands that gripped my finger- all brought back in an instant. They were the most magical years of my life. I have forgotten the torture of sleeplessness. All I remember is how entranced I was with everything they did. And yes, I was a crashing baby bore and I don’t care.

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2. What I Did On My Holidays 4160 Tuesdays

This fragrance from Sarah McCartney captures the smell of peppermint rock, sun lotion and the unique vinyl smell that says “seventies caravan interior”. Despite it’s playfulness, it’s worth taking seriously. However, it definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing to accessorize this with a Kiss Me Quick hat.

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3. Library of Fragrance Grass

I once described this as smelling like fairytale grass. This is the opulent green grass that was coveted by the The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Sweet, juicy and green, this is a knockout on a hot day. An honourable mention must go to Library of Fragrance Tomato which took me back to my late grandfather’s greenhouse faster than a TARDIS.


alexis

4. Christian Dior Poison

Although I never wore this myself, one sniff transports me back to the sixth form common room in 1987 when Poison was still new and much beloved of my fellow sixth form girls. It was indisputably iconic and despite me not liking it at the time, one sniff today sends me into raptures that make think of Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter. More than any other fragrance around at the time, Poison WAS the Eighties.

issey

5. Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey

In a similar vein the Nineties could be summed up by one fragrance. Most of my friends smelled of it and I can never smell  L’Eau D’Issey without thinking of those carefree years in London. I wore Chanel Cristalle unwaveringly during this era, but I remember what my friends smell like more than what I smelled like. No responsibilities, very few mobile phones and dog eared copies of Time Out to get my social life in order.

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6. Library of Fragrance Salt Air

This is a magical fragrance that does exactly what it promises. This is the salty air of the harbour in Tenby, without the fish. It has that unique tang of sea spray and seasides. Refreshing and addictive, Salt Air will take you back. And make you fancy a bag of chips from the paper.

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7. Cacharel LouLou

There I was, arriving at Exeter University in October 1988, having marinated myself in LouLou to tell this new world I was coming. You couldn’t miss me. It’s ironic that I thought Poison was too strong, but wore half a gallon of LouLou to breakfast. Belated apologies to my fellow diners.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rex Features (1350527r) Anita Roddick of the Body Shop Various
Photo by Rex Features

8.The Body Shop White Musk

This is another Eighties scent I wore, which along with Dewberry, scented every bus, train, home, school and High Street throughout the decade. I yearn for the long gone Body Shop Perfume Bar. Huge bell jars of perfume oils with long glass dipping sticks. Sit and sniff and then go up and get a little plastic bottle filled from the counter. Sadly there are no plans to ever bring it back, but think how popular it would be if someone did! (hint, hint). Out of every perfume I have ever worn, this gets the most misty eyed comments.

millerharris jardin denfance

9. Miller Harris Jardin D’Enfance Collection

A beautiful capsule collection of three scents inspired by childhood memories of gardens. It’s spot on too: in Cassis D’un Feuille there’s earthy tomato and blackcurrant and fern. In Coeur de Jardin there’s pear, flower petals and moss. Poirier d’un Soir is very, very pear indeed, and has a lovely innocence about it.

19/10/2012 Product photography for Local Morsels web magazine which showcases local products and suppliers in the Bradford on Avon and Bath area.

10. Christmas

And finally, let’s not forget Christmas. For a trip right back to the Christmases of childhood, Serge Lutens Arabie is a rich gourmand that is saturated with rich dried fruit like my mother’s whisky drenched Christmas cake. It also smells very much like Nigella’s Black Cake, in which the fruit is so drunk it has to spend a night in the cells. If you can’t get hold of any, then Library of Fragrance Gingerbread or Fireplace will give you that fireside moment that says “is it cooked yet Mum? I don’t mind it warm.”

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Stockists:

All Library of Fragrance scents are available from the Library of Fragrance website. Prices range from £9.99-£15.00. 4160 Tuesdays What I Did on My Holidays is available from the 4160 Tuesdays website. Christian Dior Poison is available from Debenhams, Amazon UK and John Lewis. Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey is available from allbeauty.com, Boots and John Lewis. Cacharel LouLou is available from Boots and allbeauty.com to name but a few. The Body Shop White Musk is available from The Body Shop. The Miller Harris Jardin D’Enfance range is available from the Miller Harris website.  Serge Lutens Arabie is available from allbeauty.com and Escentual.

Photo credits: Smellfie and photo of me and Leo- my own. Photo of misshapen lollies by Alison Oddy for World of Oddy. Photo of Christmas cake from www.localmorsels.co.uk. Photo of green grass from ravishingraw.com.  Photo of Three Billy Goats Gruff from Goodreads.com. Photo of Anita Roddick by Rex Features. Photo of sea- my own. Photo of Alexis Carrington www.der-denver-clan.de.

Jil Sander Sun by Pierre Bourdon

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Well what do you know?  A Pierre Bourdon that I like. Bourdon is a gifted perfumer but sadly, everything he makes seems to rub me up the wrong way (for a visual, try doing this to a cat- the look on its face!)

My friend Lisa Wordbird, ever generous, let me borrow this one and I initiallythought it was a bottle of expensive after sun.  The packaging isn’t a million miles away from Piz Buin or Ambre Solaire. In fact, there are definite whiffs of both, more of which anon.

photo by World of Oddy
photo by World of Oddy

It was an almost immediate reaction to compare this to the 4160 Tuesdays scent “What I Did on My Holidays” ( see my earlier review).  Both have that appealing, sunny-days-are-ahead feel to them, and have included a little shot of a sun lotion note, and a hint of sugary sweets to keep the nostalgia going in gloomier climes.

Jil Sander Sun has a deceptively large number of notes.  I would have said Vanilla, Orange Blossom, Coconut and Tuberose, with an Amber and Patchouli base.  My evaluation was a bit hit and miss, but  will give you a clue as to which notes are dominant and which are back up singers i.e you don’t notice them individually but the performance would be different if they weren’t there.

Here are the notes as stated by Fragrantica (How I love that site!)

Top notes: Palisander Rosewood, Bergamot, Fruity notes, Cassis, Orange Blossom, Amalfi Lemon

Middle notes: Carnation, Ylang, Orris Root, Rose, Heliotrope and Lily of the Valley.

Base notes: Musk, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Amber, Benzoin, Tonka Bean, Styrax and Vanilla

 

photo by World of Oddy

This is a rather clever Oriental that is designed to work on a hot Summer day. Many Orientals are de trop in hot weather, but this one is perfect. Reading the notes and sniffing my wrist I am marvelling at M.Bourdon.  How does he doe it?

This has a floral sun cream style opening, with the Orange Blossom very noticeable, settling down to a creamy mid note of yes…barely there Heliotrope ( it reminded me briefly of Guerlain Apres L’Ondee in the middle). The flowers are  not light and airy, but rich and milky, with spicy Carnation and sombre Orris Root leading the way into the basenotes.  The base notes last for a long time and make for a pleasant Oriental finish that is both smooth and light. Despite containing heavy hitters such as Styrax and Benzoin, this miraculously seems just right for a day in the baking hot sun.

This is perfectly unisex, despite there being a men’s version, and if you time it right, it could take you from a sandy seaside afternoon into that cool, welcoming bar by the evening. The Oriental notes are just enough to catch on a breeze as you move. Nothing too heavy, but still enough to be interesting.

This is a  clever scent and one where I can finally enjoy a Pierre Bourdon. Prices start at around £20.  Jil Sander Sun would both complement and enhance the scent of any sun screen, but is great worn alone  when the sun can’t be had for love or money.

photo by World of Oddy
photo by World of Oddy

What I Did On My Holidays by 4160 Tuesdays

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You know that smell from when you were a child?  You might not recall it straightaway.  In fact, even photographs might not bring it back.  But the quickest way to bring back a memory isn’t music, it isn’t pictures: it’s our trusty noses, freckles and all (in my case).

What I Did On My Holidays is a fragrance created by Sarah McCartney, founder of 4160 Tuesdays.  I have reviewed two of her scents elsewhere in this blog: The Dark Heart of Old Havana and Time to Draw The Raffle Numbers. 

photo by WorldOf Oddy
photo by WorldOf Oddy

What I love about the 4160 Tuesday scents that I have tried so far is that they are magical capsules of memory.  The memories and vivid mental images they evoke make these perfumes of experience rather than simply being a case of wearing a different fragrance for a day, as you would an outfit. They have a delightful British retro feel to them, as if we are looking back at bright Polaroids taken in the Seventies, unfashionable clothing and all.

The notes in What I Did On My Holidays are Vanilla, Peppermint, suntan lotion and seanotes.  Once you smell it, you will think “Ah, of course!” That is if, like me, you were raised on a diet of UK caravan holidays in or near UK seaside resorts.

What I Did On My Holidays is the smell of the stripes in the stick of rock, the smell of popcorn and candy floss (but NOT in a Britney Spears perfumey way): its the faint coconutty smell of Ambre Solaire (if you were posh) or Avon sun lotion if you were me.

 It’s the smell of going to bed with salty skin in sandy sheets, with a sticky mouth and  chips in your belly. It’s a happy smell. Oh boy, is it happy!  It’s a very rainwashed, grey day here in Wales and none of us can remember what summer feels like. We’ve lost hope that it will ever come again.

But now I can dare to hope, and maybe even book up a caravan and do it all again.

photo by World of Oddy
photo by World of Oddy
photo by World of Oddy
photo by World of Oddy