Sunday, April 3, 2011

What's your signature?

Years ago I read an interview with a big deal actress, and the author described his subject as having the chic woman's holy trinity: a great haircut, a good watch, and the faint hint of the right perfume.

Is it that easy?

After years of fighting with my hair (thick, wavy, prone to frizz), I think I have figured out a cut that flatters without being too high-maintenance. When I get a professional blowout, I LOVE my hair; when I do it myself, it looks pretty good. One day I dream of being able to afford blowouts three times a week (how much does one need to earn to afford this?), but for now I'll call this good.

I haven't worn a watch regularly in a while, but I do love the look of a classic style with a little bling, or a chunky boyfriend style that jingles ever-so-slightly with every movement. I am absolutely in love with this little bauble:

Cartier Tank American (a bajillion dollars)

If Cartier would like to send me a tank watch to review, I promise to devote an entire post to it. Two, even!

The one thing that I have definitely figured out is the right perfume. I wear Stella by Stella McCartney every single day -- my signature scent.

Stella by Stella McCartney ($72)
I've been wearing Stella since it was released in 2003, practically my entire adult life. 2003 was also the year I moved to NYC (my little Upper West Side studio was right around the corner from a Sephora, and I will admit that was a selling point), and the year I got serious about taking care of myself and changing my eating and exercise habits. A really great year.

I loved Stella from the very first spritz, and since then there has not been another perfume on my dresser. You probably know that scent is one of the strongest senses tied to memory, and the right whiff of Stella can flood my brain with a million happy moments. I get compliments on it all the time, and I love that friends and even acquaintances associate me with this pretty but sophisticated scent (more than one person has said that they noticed the scent of this perfume somewhere and immediately started looking for me, assuming I must be the source -- how sweet!).

One day I might decide to try something new (or heaven forbid, Stella McCartney might decide to discontinue it -- sometimes I think about hoarding bottles away just in case), but I love that this scent will forever connect me with all of the crazy/happy/scary/wonderful memories of being single in New York City in my 20s.

So tell me -- do you have a signature scent, and has it evolved over time? Are there some perfumes that can immediately take you back to special times in your life?

PS -- Do you find that you stop smelling your perfume a few hours (or minutes) after you've put it on? This used to drive me crazy -- everyone else could enjoy it but me! Try dabbing a little Vaseline on key pulse points (I put it behind my ears and on my wrists) and then spraying your perfume. You'll get to enjoy your own perfume for hours longer.

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