For me, fragrance is highly indicative of my state of mind at any given moment of the day. Practically speaking, this means that my scent preference when I wake up in the morning is likely to have changed by afternoon. Take today: a variety of factors (temperature, sunlight levels, outfit colors, outfit textures, makeup and skincare, lingering shampoo and conditioner scents, skipping breakfast, sleeping in 20 minutes past my alarm, etc) roughly translated to two sprays of Diptyque Philosykos. Then I noticed the sun around lunchtime, and realized that Philosykos is better suited to rainy, grey, chilly days—when I want to smell like water, dirt, trees, figs and sweet warmth, in that order.
(Maybe only to me. Every other review I’ve read casts this as a summery scent.)
It was still cold, so I went for Arquiste The Architects Club next (gin, white smoke, vanilla, amber, laughter in a Mayfair smoking room in the 1930s. Yeah, you can definitely smell that last one). Do I love both? Of course I do; they wouldn’t be in my collection otherwise. But I’m hard-pressed to say that even the most compelling perfume is good enough to wear 24/7. Or even two days in a row.
So this brings us to Maison Francis Kurkdjian À la rose, which holds the distinct honor of being perfume most-emptied over the shortest amount of time. No contest. It’s largely due to the fact that this is the only perfume I had during my entire stint in Europe, discounting tester samples from the mall for trips. A good bit airier and lighter than what I tend to expect from the house, but beautifully crafted, as you can always expect from Francis. I like that it maintains a honeyed sweetness and warmth alongside that lightness—it’s crisp, but doesn’t attack you with greenery. I always feel obligated to add that there are 250 Centifolia roses from Grasse and 150 Damascena roses from Bulgaria packed into each bottle.
This is not a particularly challenging or complex scent; pretty might be a more apt word here. I don’t even tend to gravitate toward rose. But here’s the thing—this is the scent that immediately reminds me of my time in London, so how could I not love it? (That said, I won’t pretend to be anything less than overjoyed to have options again.)
It may also be true that what I really love is this particular bottle, which found its home on the bedside table of my London flat. It’s still covered in layers of fingerprints that I never bothered to wipe off, and the printed flower continues to slyly wink back from the inside of the Maison’s signature flacon. A little secret, wherever we go.
More soon! & peep my 2015 fragrance gift guide (his & hers) for Forbes.com here.
Full disclosure: This post contains press samples & affiliate links. For more information on my posting policy, see the disclaimer section of my about page.