Something awful has happened.
Something that — even though I know it happened a while ago — I am still really struggling to come to terms with.
My favourite perfume has been discontinued.
This may sound a bit dramatic (OK, I know, very dramatic. This is very much a first world problem and there are much worse things in life) but, nevertheless, I am totally gutted about it!
Since I was in my teens, I have been defined by a signature scent.
When I was 15 it was Lou Lou, by Cacharel. A sweet, intoxicating perfume. Cloying and perfect for a teen. My boyfriend at the time said, whenever he smelled it, he thought of me immediately.
(Which was often, as practically every teenage girl in
the whole world Britain was wearing it.)
Then it was Samsara by Guerlain.
Spicy, exotic, dark and heavy; this was the scent of my youth. More often mixed with sweat and cigarette smoke, as I danced the night away in many a London club.
I wore Samsara from the age of 22 for a decade, perhaps. Grew up. Stopped smoking. Became kinder to my body and mind and knocked the all-nighters on the head.
In between, I had dalliances with ‘flash-in-the-pan’ perfumes. In date order… Eden, CK1, Happy by Clinique, Prada, Chanel No5 but I always came back to my favourite of the moment.
And then I found ‘The One’. Which I have been wearing ever since. The fragrance that absolutely defines me. The one that no-one ever recognises but all associate with me.
Cristobal by Balenciaga.
I first came across this perfume when I was shooting on location.
The location house had a dressing table strewn with beautiful, unusual bottles. I was totally transfixed by this one bottle and even more so by the scent inside. Totally and utterly captivated, I went to Liberty in my lunch break, the very next day, and bought the first of many bottles.
This perfume is absolutely the essence of me. I wear it and it sort of doesn’t even smell like I’m wearing perfume — if that makes sense? It just smells like me.
But one day, I came to buy a new bottle and — horrors — was told it had been discontinued.
Just like that.
I have already resorted to Ebay to replenish my stock and have just a bottle and a half left. Only next time, when it’s gone, it’s gone. The prices have escalated so much that a 30ml bottle of Eau de Toilette — EDT!! not even Eau de Parfum!! — is currently going for £150. Now I love it but I definitely have my limits.
So there we are.
On the look out for a new scent. A replacement for the most beautiful perfume I have ever had the pleasure to encounter. A replacement for the fragrance that lifts my spirits, makes me feel confident and totally and is totally and utterly my signature scent.
What am I going to do without it?
The search is on.
Do you have a signature scent? Or has your favourite product ever been discontinued? How long did it take you to find a replacement — I’d love to know!