While we had the hugely knowledgable Roja Dove cornered (poor lamb) at the Harrods gig, we asked him what his favourite 40+ perfumes were. And here they are….
Quelque Fleurs. Houbigant (origin 1912, making her 98 years old)
"Parfums Houbigant is the oldest French perfume house, founded in 1775 and provided Marie Antoinette with three tiny vials of perfume to tuck into her bodice 'for strength and courage' as she went to the guillotine, which just shows how important fragrance can be in lifting spirits. Quelque Fleurs is the mother of all floral bouquets, it's the defining reference for them and is almost the perfect floral."
Mitsuoko. Guerlain (1905, making her a grand dame of 105 years)
"If you speak to a bunch of perfumers they will tell you this is the most perfect example of the perfumer's art and the pride of the House of Guerlain. The woman who wears this is single minded, uncompromising and strong while remaining very feminine. She can't stand 'wishy-washy'." (Spookily, this almost perfectly describes a friend of mine who wears it).
Bal a Versailles Jean Desprez (1962, making her a mere 48 years old)
"Bal a Versailles was inspired by the mirrored ballroom of Versailles, evoking luxury and grandeur. This perfume can only be worn by a woman, not a girl, someone who is confident in her womanliness. The most famous wearer of the perfume is Elizabeth Taylor, and for me she perfectly evokes the type of woman who should wear this, who is assured of the effect she is having and is very comfortable with it."
We've ordered all of these (from Amazon and Fascination Perfumery ) and can't wait for them to turn up so we can check them out. If anyone already wears any of them, do let us know what it is you like about your scent, and what sort of memories it evokes.