The mark of a truly sublime outfit is one that indulges our senses. Sight is usually a given, but scent should never be remiss.
Perfume can drive home your style’s message in the most intimate way; it can also taint it in the most intrusive way. Make your message a good one.
We all know about the importance of wardrobe staples like the white blouse or the blue jeans. We are endlessly advised of fashion trends and wardrobe tips, of countless style ingredients necessary to compose a sartorial narrative. Though these suggestions hold true and have their merit, few things you wear make as much of a lasting aesthetic impression as your scent.
Your scent is your most important statement accessory
Our olfactory wardrobe is of primary importance, exceeding traditional mandatory staples like the oxford shirt or the ballet flat. It is the invisible but multidimensional accessory deserves the utmost attention.
Our scent precedes our visual ensemble and then gives it context, adding further depth to our sartorial narrative—all while inviting (hopefully not repulsing) third parties to indulge their senses in your style story.
The invasive nature of scent imposes itself on anyone within radius, permeating the air, infiltrating the inhale and exhale of a captive audience. This trait alone marks its importance above all other sartorial elements. A well-rounded personal style is then not something to simply be observed by others, but something to be experienced.
Your fragrance is the setting to any outfit’s story. It is the background within which the outfit’s plot may be told. It is the invisible but statement accessory that rounds out the composition of your ensemble. Scent is the most important cap to a perfect ensemble, adding further depth to the themes your outfit conveys. In the same way you match your accessories to your clothes, fragrance can also mirror your clothing
Your signature scent is your reputation
Most importantly, a scent can not only round out the essence of an outfit, but also the essence of you. It is the compilation of molecules that make up your aura.
A scent can be sultry, flirty, modest, daring, fun, subtle, earthy mature. It can also be overbearing, suffocating, repugnant, and offputting. It is the primary part of your wardrobe that can make such a lasting impression, feeding your reputation, calling your aura to memory long after you have left the room.
Sarah Jessica Parker offered thoughtful insight into this narrative to light in an interview with the Cut about her fragrance:
It’s this really weird relationship because it’s immediately communicating more than your clothes, which we think tell our story, right? But clothes don’t invade anybody else’s space. You know how you feel when someone hugs you and they’re wearing a fragrance you don’t care for and it’s stuck on you and you go to the ladies’ room and you try to really carefully, discreetly wipe it off?
It’s unique in that way. Your makeup doesn’t do that. Your bag doesn’t do that, your shoes, or your clothes, but fragrance completely lives in both worlds.”… “It was as if she stepped into somebody else’s world but it was very passive so that people wouldn’t object to whatever she left behind.
These words will be in good company among wise words from other style icons concerning fragrance.
Quotes on perfume and scent from more of fashion’s most prolific icons
“You are never fully dressed without perfume” – C. Joy Bell C.
“Perfume is the most intense form of memory.” -Jean-Paul Guerlain
“No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory.” – Coco Chanel
“Fragrance speaks the loudest on a subliminal level” – Marian Bandeth
“Perfume is the indispensable complement to the personality of women, the finishing touch on a dress.” – Christian Dior
“Long after one has forgotten what a woman wore, the memory of her perfume lingers.” – Christian Dior
And to put it bluntly, Coco Chanel asserted that “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.”
Your perfume precedes you and lingers when you leave. It is the essence of your aura. Further, smell is the strongest sense connected to memory, so our nostalgic imprint should be positive, pleasant—never invasive—and always indicative of who we are.
It is the elevator pitch of who you are, a simple and quick sniff, that can send someone falling head over heels or scrambling for a breath of fresh air.