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Scentsuality & A Link-Up

It’s less about the scent,

And more about the real story behind it.


As with any good read, it’s the journey, and not the destination, which makes us turn the pages, one by one by one, to the very end.  So too in the instance of fragrances, I feel.  In the grand scale of things, it isn’t so much the mastery in creating a harmonious accord that which intrigues me, as it is discovering (and walking down) the path leading to its inception.


Of course, at its heart, the simplest answer to why I love perfumes is that perfume, like most beautiful things, make me happy.  The more convoluted response, however, is such a complex topic that some have gone on to establish reputations and careers based on the seemingly basic subject of scents.  Yes, perfume is a labyrinthine subject, one requiring years of study. It isn’t just about the commercial beauty of a product or the innovative design of its host decanter.  There’s that all potent intermingling of chemistry with fashion, and culture, and trends.

Vladimir Nabokov, the author of Lolita, probably described it best in saying that when it comes to great literature, ideas are beside the point; it is the story that matters.  Personally, the stories fragrances tell enchant me more than their technical perfection.

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Far and away more.

Besides its own inherent history, a perfume can be a ticket to creating your own fantasy. 

If I wish it, I can, via a scant spritz or two, live out a film noir fantasy (think Iris and dark leather notes).  Or travel to Morocco (orange blossoms, cedarwood, and a roguish prince, anyone?).  Head back into my childhood (camellias and fresh rain).  A delicate pump of the decanter, and I’m instantly transported where no airplane could ever take me.  Or, in the case of the Gilded Fox, drop it like a bombshell.

As a working woman with children (read: harried, frenzied female whose hair leans frequently towards the greasy rather than the coiffed), my typical day is more about routine than glamour, but perfume is one of the methods I deploy to pretend otherwise.  To loose myself, albeit for a little while, in a make-believe world of whatever I have the inclination for, at any given moment.

When my nose first met Gilded Fox, I was overwhelmed, yes, I readily admit it.  Overwhelmed by a smouldering potion reminiscent of a smoky jazz bar and femme fatales.  And a hint of Crème Brûlée.

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Overwhelmed because I’m the last person in the world to ever place myself even within the vicinity of the bombshell category.  Or siren.  Or anything remotely sultry.  I’ve always believed myself to be a little manly.  A little rock n roll.  A lot sassy.  A lot feisty.  Not very feminine, certainly not sexy.  Unapologetic.  Introverted.  Sometimes shy.  Oftentimes rude blunt honest.

Certainly nothing that would fit the bill of a bombshell.  Or femme fatale.

And yet, there was something about Gilded Fox which made me not dismiss it after that virgin whiff.  Afterall, if experts are to be believed, one cannot formulate an opinion on something quite so emotive as a perfume based only upon the first encounter.  It’s like proclaiming a passionate loathing for Bach after listening to a mere five seconds of one of his Fugues.

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Any perfume, however simple or complex, requires more than a single encounter.  For instance, professional tasters subscribe to the belief that it can take up to ten tries, to determine if you dislike a flavor, and that this same theory applies to scents.  Since a fragrant blend will change its character (and style) over time, it’s especially important to be patient.  Why, even the mood in which you smell can play a crucial role in shaping your judgement.

But should we continue with something we don’t like?  There are camps which proclaim that our first whiff is the most honest, and telling.  Also, aren’t there enough scents out there with which we immediately feel a connection?  There’s a very fine balance between forcing oneself to like something, and keeping an open mind to new sensory thrills.  In my books, the biggest satisfaction (and the most exhilarating pleasure) of perfume is in discovery.  We all naturally gravitate to certain types of aromas, but when you push the boundary just a smidge, you might just stumble upon the most unexpected of treasures.

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I took my time in experiencing the Gilded Fox.  Savouring it, even.  Over a period of time.  A month, to be precise.  Of course, it was tempting to (a) shove it aside after that first time; or (b) forging ahead in the completely different direction, spritz myself all over with it (I’ve never believed in doing things in moderation).  But then I remembered that when it comes to perfumes, the enjoyment lies often in the anticipation of pleasure.  Especially when it comes to scents which don’t immediately appeal to me.  I challenge myself by wearing them, repeatedly, and, on occasion, I stumble upon.

And that, my friends, is how I’d describe my relationship with the Gilded Fox.  It is heady.  Bold.  Quite memorable.  With a hint of vulnerability and sweetness.  It is the perfect embodiment of a woman who uses perfume to embellish her moods.  Who believes in seducing herself, first and foremost, which makes for such a refreshing twist in this day and age when the vast majority of perfume commercials suggest naught but making the opposite sex swoon.

Gilded Fox is for a bombshell, afterall.  A bombshell believes in her own fantasies.  Who behaves as if all of life is a movie and she is the star.  And that perfumes are part of her wardrobe and her emotional set design.

I can work with that.

Love, Sheela

p/s my photos by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.


  1. Pingback: Black Denim & White Tank - Twenty Something Fashion

  2. robjodiefilogomo says

    I think it’s very interesting how you describe this perfume. Because smelling it out of the container can be totally different than after it’s been on your body—and how it reacts to the chemicals on your skin!
    Our olfactory sense is amazing in how it can conjure up memories or emotions—and that, to me, is the mark of a great perfume!


  3. happinessatmidlife says

    I used to love perfume but have shy away from them over the years. I love how feminine a scent can make me feel.

    Thank you for hosting and hope you are having a fab week!


    Hope to see you for TBT Fashion link up.


  4. shelbeeontheedge1 says

    Great post, Sheela. I absolutely felt transported to another world with your detailed description of your experience with perfumes. After all, it is our sense of smell which is our strongest sense and the one with the longest memory. Aromas and other scents have the ability to transport us back in time to more nostalgic and carefree years of our childhood. They also have the ability to trigger long forgotten memories…pleasant and unpleasant. So, yes, the power of fragrance and our olfactory sense is powerful, indeed.

    For me, though, it is a much different experience, unfortunately. One whiff of any perfume triggers the most intense and unsavory migraine one can imagine. I don’t quite remember when this reaction began. I used to wear perfume daily in my late teens. I remember I absolutely adored Christian Dior’s Poison fragrance back in the mid-nineties. And one day while wearing it, it struck me that the scent absolutely disgusted me. Just like that. It actually turned my stomach. And I stopped wearing it at that point. Then years passed and when I tried perfume again, migraines followed.

    Bad for me. But your relationship with fragrance sounds wonderful, for sure.

    Thanks for linking up with me On the Edge of the Week. I hope to see you again next week. Have a fabulous weekend!



  5. kavyaede says

    I’ve never heard of this before! It sounds amazing! I will surely give it a try! Thank you for sharing babe! ❤


  6. I really enjoyed this post, Sheela, you are such a wonderful writer! What stuck with me to the end, though, was the beginning actually. I really needed to read this quote today, “As with any good read, it’s the journey, and not the destination, which makes us turn the pages, one by one by one, to the very end.” These words are so true and I’ve never really thought about life this way. I mean, I’ve always heard, life is a journey, enjoy it. But, I’ve never heard it likened to a book before, which really resonated with me, as I love to read. I never read the end because why? Like you said, it’s all about the journey. Thanks for sharing these wise words, I needed it today 🙂




  7. Face to Curls says

    Beautifully written and love how you described this perfume. I have never heard of this perfume before but I love discovering new and interesting scents to wear. This one sounds intoxicating! Thanks for sharing! xo

    Ann-Marie |


  8. Sounds like a wonderful scent! I love the way you describe it! It’s like I can smell it from the blog post!


  9. Sheela, this post is so beautiful and feminine and showcase a softer and sentual side of you that we don’t get to see much and it is so lovely!! I love the photo location as well as the story that goes with it. I rarely wear perfumes now after I’ve had two kids (one of them is allergic to strong scents) but when I do wear my favorites from the past for special occasions it brings back fond memories. Thanks for hosting and have a lovely weekend!

    xo Sheree
    IG: @poshclassymom


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