Welcome to our series, My Life in Perfume. We’re asking our favourite fragrance fans to reveal all – from their first perfume purchase to their signature aroma; here are their scent stories…
Anita Brown is a London-based fragrance enthusiast and blogger who runs the Instagram account Follow My Sillage. Anita has created a community that discusses everything scent, from the best niche perfumes to buy without blind testing to the most long-lasting aromas. Let’s take a look at Anita’s life in perfume…
My First Perfume
My first perfume was Lancome La Vie Est Belle. My dear mum bought this for me on my 18th birthday, which was very close to my heart. I wore La Vie est Belle as a signature scent, and as a chronic over sprayer, this scent is now etched in my memory and reminds me of my late teen years.
I wore La Vie est Belle everywhere – through sixth form and my first year at university, and it was my confidence booster, I wore this on my first date, and it is the scent I feel welcomed me into young womanhood. Unfortunately, it reminds me of my first heartbreak too, so I no longer own or wear it. I miss it, and I might buy a small bottle for a keepsake!
My All-Time Favourite
My all-time favourite perfume has to be Oud Ispahan by Christian Dior. After almost 100 bottles in my collection (and counting…) Oud Ispahan is yet to leave my top 5. It was my first Oud perfume, and I still feel very confident, sexy and on top of the world when I wear it. It may lean a little masculine for others, but it’s perfectly unisex to me. Oud Ispahan pushed me out of my comfort zone of wearing feminine-leaning fragrances, and now I think I can wear just about anything.
My First Perfume Purchase
The first perfume I purchased was my second bottle of YSL Black Opium. After a few years of wearing La Vie est Belle, I felt I needed something more edgy and bold (I was done being the sweet girl) – Black Opium was just that! I saved up for my second bottle, as my first bottle was a gift. It became my signature scent between 21-23 as I journeyed to find myself.
This perfume was first released in 2014, so it’s been around for a while, but it is still a great scent. I have held on to my bottle, which still has just a tiny bit of juice left, and I spray it from time to time.
My Everyday Scent
I don’t have an everyday perfume, as I pick it depending on my mood, weather, where I’m going, etc…. however, if I had to choose one, it would be Versace Dylan Blue Pour Femme. I go for this when I’m unsure what to wear but still want to smell clean and put together. It’s the perfect sweet, fresh-out-of-the-shower, shampooish scent, with notes of granny apple, rose, jasmine, petalia and musk.
I’ve also recently fallen in love with Prada Paradoxe. It’s such an easygoing, girly scent, and although it does remind me of a few other fragrances, I can’t help but reach for it over the others!
First Mind-Blowing Fragrance
The first fragrance I was blown away by was Parfums de Marly Delina Exclusif. This was my first introduction to niche perfumes, and I haven’t looked back. Delina Exclusif was/is the epitome of femininity and embracing that in its fullness. It is a rosy perfume with lots of vanilla, incense and oud, perfect for a special occasion.
Delina Exclusif was a blind buy (crazy, I know), but after watching hundreds of YouTube videos and re-reading Fragrantica reviews, I felt I had already smelt it and knew it well! That gorgeous pink bottle with the glorious tassel didn’t help my obsession – I had to have it.
I purchased it as a gift to myself on Valentine’s Day last year, and it is still one of my absolute favourite fragrances.
My Most Sentimental Perfume
My most sentimental perfume is Cairo by Penhaligons. I wore this 2 years ago for my 3rd-anniversary dinner with my partner, and it was the most romantic date I’ve been on. We went to a different city to celebrate, and I hold many wonderful memories from that trip, especially getting ready for that evening and spraying Cairo.
Cairo is a unique rose and oud combo fragrance with the best sandalwood dry down, very befitting for a romantic setting!
My Favourite Brands
I own a few bottles from Parfums de Marly and Initio. Fragrances from these brands have given me my most ‘goose bump’ moments, and I love the uniqueness and quality of their scents. Both brands take the time to create artwork bottles, and I truly appreciate that, as I’m a sucker for packaging.
My favourite(s) from Parfums de Marly have to be Delina Exclusif and Oriana. Oriana is a yummy bubble gum, marshmallow and orange blossom scent perfect for spring/summer. It’s very playful and an all-around enjoyable one to wear!
From Initio, Oud for Greatness! Oud for greatness is one of my collection’s most incredible airy but bold, complex scents. It is incredibly long-lasting and the best compliment-getter.
My Perfume Collection
My perfume collection is growing as the months go by, and I am about 100 bottles deep (eek)! I started collecting fragrances in the summer of 2021, so it’s fair to say I’ve amassed a big collection since then.
To me, perfumes are liquid art, and it’s mind-blowing what emotions and moods can be evoked through perfumery. As I discover more brands, I am amazed by what is out there, and I look forward to exploring more in 2023.
I fall pretty hard for fragrances, and it doesn’t take much to convince myself I need a bottle of it on my shelf. However, my goal for the next year is to implement a ‘one in, one out strategy because I am running out of space, and it’s becoming more of a challenge to organise them all!