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Walking The Sensory Tightrope

Walking The Sensory Tightrope | Sheela Writes

Fragrance can be a heady force

It evokes memories, triggers longings

Conveys who you are


Why the reference to acrobatic manoeuvres, you ask?

Think of it this way.  Finding a fragrance which speaks most accurately of your personality is, well, akin to walking a tightrope.  It requires perfect balance.  A slight misstep and it’s literally downhill from there.  Spray too little and you’re nothing more than a barely-there wallflower of a scent, nondescript, forgettable, easily missed. Spray too much and you’ll give everyone within a 10 feet radius (1) a migraine; (2) nausea; and/or (3) a reason to strike you off their Christmas list, permanently.

No, I’m no expert in the language of scent literacy.  Quite the contrary.  You see, when I became pregnant in 1999, I developed the most violent aversion and reaction to all forms of smells ranging from perfumes to candles, potpourris to essential oils, and everything in between, including laundry detergents and creams.  A mere whiff and I would gag.  Turn green. And, inevitably, vomit.

You can, therefore, imagine my trepidation when I was very graciously offered a bottle of the HUGO Woman eau de parfum for review.  The thing with gifted products is that I feel obliged to write about them but it isn’t a given that what I write will be positive.  And when it comes to perfumes, it’s very much a game of roulette with me.

Walking The Sensory Tightrope

That it isn’t to say I don’t believe in the transformative power of scents.  Despite my rocky relationship with fragrance, I remain a staunch evangelist of how profound the connection is between our sense of smell and the appetites that move us, give us pleasure, make us fully alive.

Which is why I’m grateful to have somewhat recovered my “nose“, so to speak, making this the perfect moment to conduct a sniff test of HUGO Woman.

Walking The Sensory Tightrope

Marketing sheets are waxing lyrical over the purported tomboyish composition of HUGO Woman.  From its boundary-breaking blend of floral and fruity with musky and woody, to the clean, almost apothecary-sleek lines of the bottle, this is a sophisticated scent.

And while HUGO Woman is positioned as redefining the conventions of female-skewed fragrances (fusing what’s perceived as traditionally feminine with traditionally masculine), it smells all woman to me.

And that's not a bad thing.

A confident, sultry and intense woman with an enigmatic air about her.  An independent, daring woman who experiments and explores.  She is feminine with nary a hint of girlishness, alluring and voluptuous in the most contemporary fashion.  A complex, desirable woman.  Someone who isn’t afraid to show her softer side every now and again.

I’m in.

Walking The Sensory Tightrope | Sheela Writes

I can’t imagine a scent more right for this evolving time when women aren’t just making strides, they’re paving the way.  Achieving milestones in every field.

The perfume itself is bold and opulent, it commands attention.  If you fancy light scents that barely raise their voices but rather, converse in calm, collected cool tones, HUGO Woman is not for you.  It has a very specific profile.

Did you know while most people can distinguish about 4,000 smells, a good perfumer has up to 10,000 elements in their smell memory?

It’s also easy to see how it would be appealing to all age groups.  It’s immensely accessible.  All those velvety notes of Boysenberry with Black Tea and Amber don’t scream any particular audience, and that makes for a tremendous part of its marketing appeal.

Let’s also not forget the inclusion of Jasmine.  Easily one of the most revered and intriguing materials in the perfumer’s palette, the small white flower may not possess the Hollywood glamour of roses or the regal elegance of irises but their scent is so luscious and complex (one moment, it’s the springlike freshness of white petals, the next, it’s a seductive, animalistic pulse), rivals are few and far between. In fact, the merest hint of Jasmine essence easily lends a voluptuous layer to any composition.

And while in my honest layman opinion, HUGO Woman isn’t a statement-making olfactory experience, who cares?  It’s a smooth, perfectly composed scent which deserves a try. I say, give it a go.  I know I am, and I don’t fall for new fragrances all that easily.

Incidentally, did you know that while most people can distinguish about 4,000 smells, a good perfumer has up to 10,000 elements in their smell memory?

Love, Sheela

Linking up with Threads For Thomas, The Wardrobe Stylist, Passion For Fashion Friday, Flashback Fashion Fridays, The Closet By Christie, Casual Friday, Fine Whatever Friday, Fashion Friday, Beauty 101 With Lisa, Claire Justine, Thursday Favourite Things, What I Wore To Work, Thursday Spotlight, Friday Link Party With Osy, Thursday Style Finds, Friday Fab Favourites, The Mummy Chronicles, To Be Wednesday, Mix It Mondays, Mingle Monday, Favourite Fashion Friday, Fabulous Friday, Dallas Style Blog, Sincerely Jenna Marie, A Labour Of Life, Forage Fashion, Book Of LeisureThe Sydney Fashion Hunter, My Girlish Whims, The Red Closet Diary, A Good Hue, Shoe & Tell, Color & Grace, Trend Spin, Two Peas In A Blog, Trendy Wednesday, Happiness At Midlife, Bloggers Who Inspire Me, Visible Monday, Style Elixir, Turning Heads, Let It Shine, What I Wore Wednesday, Style Swap Tuesdays, Style Me Wednesday, Confident Twosday, More Pieces Of Me, On The Daily Express, Personal Style, How I Spring, Walking In Memphis, Pumps & Push-Ups, Who’s Wearing What Wednesdays, Fun Fashion Friday, Casual Friday, Whitney a la Mode, I Will Wear What I Like, Style Story, Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Classy Yet Trendy, A Little Bit Of Cheer and Midweek Muse.


  1. I can’t believe my serious delay in commenting here. You took the time to link up, and somehow I missed it. I apologize.

    And, also, please note, my next walk through the Causeway Bay chaos of smells, I promise to stop and take a whiff. I’ll then come back and let you know what I think of Hugo Woman…

    According to this write up, I do believe we’ll become friends!

    Love, Annie

    Liked by 1 person

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