To me, fragrance is everything. I can be wearing the slouchiest sweatshirt and not a drop of makeup, but if I spritz a bit of perfume on my pulse points before heading out the door, I instantly feel more girlish, more sexy, more put-together. That's not to say I like to be visually unkempt, but it does demonstrate the power of fragrance. When you add perfume to the hair and the makeup and the clothes? Well, then you've just catapulted yourself into a whole 'nother ballpark.
Now, I'd like to add a disclaimer here. I'm not particularly fond of Valentine's Day. I get that, like pretty much every other holiday on the calendar, it's commercialized and, as a result, displays of love lose a bit of their authenticity. Still, it's an excuse to pamper yourself and treat the one you love. And, for all the single ladies, it's an ideal opportunity to get together with your gal pals, watch horror movies or snuggle with your cuddly pets. Pets need love on Valentine's Day, too. Don't forget the pets.
Anyway, since Valentine's Day is all about love and lingerie and chocolate and romance, I decided I'd do a little roundup of cheeky, title-appropriate fragrances. May you go forth, eat all the chocolate, drink all the wine and be the best-smelling person at whatever restaurant (or bedroom) you occupy on February 14th.
Vera Wang Lovestruck
Notes: pink guava, mandarin, tuberose, lotus blossom, woods, musk.
According to Vera Wang, Lovestruck was inspired by the tragic story of Romeo and Juliet, which, by the way, was a tale set over the course of only a few days. Talk about dramatics.
Theatrical teen love stories aside, this scent is actually quite nice. It's subtle enough to not disturb or provoke your neighbors, but if you get in close enough proximity, it's quite tantalizing. To me, it has an almost warm, buttery undertone that softens and mellows the floral and citrus top notes. The smell slowly fades throughout the day, so I'd reapply at noonish.
Clinique Happy Heart
Notes: mandarin, cucumber, primrose, water hyacinth, wild carrot, woods.
Oh, Clinique Happy Heart. I can smell Happy about a mile away, as it was my staple fragrance throughout high school. Happy Heart is just as girlish as Happy, but way more floral than it's citrusy sister. Every once in a while I like to spritz myself with either one and catapult myself back into my more spritely, carefree years.
The scent is very light, fresh and clean. Think fruit basket-meets-fragrant-bouqet. It's perfect for the spring months and, if you're like me, will make you feel youthful and blithe through the night. The initial spritz is quite strong, but after a few minutes the alcohol edge subsides.
Ralph Lauren Romance
Notes: rose, marigold, ginger, chamomile oil, freesia, violet, lotus, lily, patchouli, oak moss, musk.
I'd describe this fragrance as ultra-fresh--as in clean body/clean clothes fresh--and sensual. It's pleasantly musky and almost has an asexual quality about it.
It kind of smells as if you're walking through a flower garden and catch the faint scent of someone doing laundry. If that makes sense. In three words, I'd say it's provocative, pure and invigorating--perfect for both day and nighttime wear.
Lush The Smell Of Freedom
Notes: lemongrass, lemon myrtle, neroli, jasmine, ginger, fire tree, clove, black pepper, sandalwood, oudh, orris.
Did you think I'd forget about those of you without SOs? Of course not! What better way to celebrate your singledom than via a scent titled The Smell of Freedom?
According to Lush, this one's a blend of three distinct fragrances: fire tree (citrusy/herbal/woody), Old Delhi Stations (ginger, clove and black pepper) and Oudh Heart (powdery/woody).
It's definitely spicier and sassier than any of the other perfumes mentioned here and it smells an awful lot like the Lush store in general. Perhaps more peppery and woody, though. Like most of the Lush scents, it's got this really rich, earthy and natural quality about it. A little goes a long way, which is always good.
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
Notes: jasmine, rose, sugar, orchid, freesia, patchouli.
At 10 years old, this fragrance is a bit of an oldie, but it's totally a goodie. Out of all the perfumes listed here, it's definitely the sweetest one. On a scale of 1 to 10--with 10 being super girly--it's like a 15. Basically every spritz is like an explosion of sugar-covered blossoms.
I'm not always a fan of really syrupy perfumes, but this one has enough of a zesty kick to it that I find myself reaching for it whenever I want to play up my femininity and innocence. One spritz is plenty to get you through the day or night, which means this one will last you a long time.
The Body Shop Strawberry Body Mist and Chocomania Body Butter
Notes: strawberries, chocolate.
Whoever said you couldn't mix scents? I say go for it, especially if you've got a winning combination like strawberries and chocolate.
The Body Shop's strawberry body mist is surprisingly pleasant to my scrupulous nostrils. I say "surprisingly" because I am typically off-put by super-fruity scents. This one's more perfumed and nuanced than cloying and artificial, though. Very yummy.
Pair it with the super moisturizing Chocomania body butter and you're basically one delicious, chocolate-covered strawberry waiting to be devoured. That's kind of exactly where you want to be on Valentine's Day, no?
Givenchy Absolutely Irresistible
Notes: mandarin, red berries, red pepper, jasmine, heliotrope, cedar, amber, orange blossom.
Sensual, bright and intoxicating are the three words I'd use to describe Givenchy's Absolutely Irresistible. It's another one of those really feminine scents, but maintains this balance of maturity and girlishness that's, well, kind of irresistible.
This one's got a bit of a vintage kick to it, as well, which I'm really drawn to when it comes to fragrances. It's just classic, timeless and sexy. If I recall correctly, Absolutely Irresistible was discontinued for a short while, but demand must have brought it back because it's stocked pretty well at the moment.
Notes: soy, rhubarb, red fruits, Indian tuberose, grapefruit, musk, vanilla, woods.
With a motto like "Have sex every day," Desigual's Sex fragrance is totally apropos for V-day shenanigans. It's ultra-sensual, warm, and lingers on the skin for hours. I'd say this one's more fitting for colder months than blazing hot summer days, as it evokes this sense of coziness and heat the second it leaves the bottle and melts into your skin.
This is a brand new scent, actually, and is one of three by Spanish brand Desigual. The other two are Fun and Love, which are also befitting for Valentine's Day if you ask me.
Now, tell me: What fragrance do you plan to wear on Valentine's Day? And what are you plans for the steamiest day of the year?