Sunday, February 7, 2021

More About Perfume: Trying to Appreciate House of Sillage


After showing some love for Fragonard, I’ve been thinking more about the perfumes in my life.

 Perfume is tied into many of my memories. I can remember what perfumes I wore in middle school and high school. How my mom loved to buy perfume and would give me and my sister a bottle each Christmas. It wasn’t Christmas to her if she couldn’t buy some perfume.

She had a few favorites. When I was really little, my mom wore L’Air du Temps. I’ll always associate the scent with her.

After church every Sunday, we would go to eat, more often than not at the mall food court where our (me, my mom and my sister) diverse tastes could be accommodated. Usually that meant parking at a major department store and walking through it on the way to the main inside of the mall, always passing the fragrance counter. Always stopping to smell at least a few of them on the way by.

I wore White Diamonds for a time. Then Passion. Or vice-versa. Elizabeth Taylor was big in the perfume world when I was growing up. Perry Ellis 360 had a short stint on my dresser counter. It was a complicated fragrance, though. Some days I liked it, other days not so much. Followed by Tuscany by LancĂ´me. It was much too mature for me at the time, and still a little stodgy.

One year my mom gifted me a bottle of Red Door. I was confused. It was because I had gone on a vacation and taken a small sample-sized bottle of red door with me as my travel perfume. It was out of convenience that I took it, not because I liked the fragrance. We returned that bottle and got something else.

When I was in France in 1996, I found Eau Belle d’Azzaro. It had light citrus notes with deep pepper underneath. At least it smelled like pepper to me. (It doesn’t have any pepper in it.) I stuck with that as my main fragrance for many years. I still have two bottles from those Christmases.

Then came Le Monde Est Beau by Kenzo. It smelled like magnolias to me. My mom liked a lot of the same perfumes I did. Then Light Blue by Dolce and Gabbana. I often return to light citrus scents, even though they don’t linger.


Anyway, targeted Facebook ads. Sometime last year, I started getting targeted ads by House of Sillage. The company offered two things I love: perfume and excellent packaging. I browsed the website, but was discouraged by the prices. Could I afford to spend $1000 on one bottle of perfume? Maybe? And if I decide to get one, you can bet I’m splurging on a limited-edition bottle. But was I willing to take the chance on it, nose unknown? No.

But the ads kept coming, and I was constantly tempted. Lucky for me, they have travel sprays which are much more affordable. And a good way to try something before making a real investment in it.

The first travel spray I bought was The Trend #5 (Tropical Jungle). It’s supposed to be Tunisian neroli, Bulgarian rose and Tolu balsam. I have misplaced the box with the second refill bottle in it, but meh. Did I like it? Not at all. Did I like the travel container? You bet. Was I done trying out these perfumes? No.


I have bought two more travel sprays. The Trend #3 and The Trend #10. I’ll admit it. I’m shopping based on packaging and not at all on what the perfume might smell like. Luckily, these were much more to my taste.

I adore the packaging on The Trend #3 (Beauty & Grace). According to the website it is orange flower, black tea and powdered sugar. I’ve had it for several weeks, but it isn’t my go-to scent. And as an aside, those cute little boxes are difficult to open.



I just got The Trend #10 (Lace Up). Calla Lily, jonquil and freesia musk. I like this one the best, so far. My biggest problem is that the scent disappears on me almost instantly.



I also got some samples with my purchases. I have a sample of the limited-edition Mickey & Minnie Collection fragrance. Bergamot, mandarin, orange blossom, coconut milk, amber and vanilla. The vanilla comes through the strongest for me at first, settling into coconut, cut with sharp notes of the mandarin.



And I have a sample of The Trend #9 (City Dreams). Jasmine, praline, musk. Thoughts on it, so far, is that it is ok. Maybe I’ll buy a travel version of it next. I'm still not convinced that the House of Sillage products are worth the money. They are beautiful, but I haven't found the scent that blows me away, yet. I'll keep trying.



One thing a lot of these perfumes have in common, in addition to sparking memories, is that they make me long for a different scent. Lately, I’ve been trying to catch a memory of the scent of Japanese honeysuckle. We had a large bush growing in our backyard in Texas. I would go outside, pick the flowers and suck out the sweet drop of nectar from them when I was little. I’d like to get a more tangible version of that memory back.

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