I love powdery scents – they can be cooling in the summer, and cozy in cooler weather. Of all my favourite scents and perfumes, the ones that evoke a clean powdery feeling are among my most worn. I’ve written about powdery scents here, but I have some more to recommend.
Guerlain L’Heure Bleu is one of my most powdery and beautiful perfumes. It’s a classic scent from 1912, created by Jean Paul Guerlain to celebrate the very moment “when the sun disappears beneath the horizon and the sky is painted with night’s velvet” – the blue hour – when “the night has not yet found its star”. It is a gorgeous and almost heartbreaking scent with a hint of ennui. No one puts emotion into perfume like Jean Paul Guerlain. On the top the aniseed bergamot are very gentle, and the carnation and neroli heart notes evoke warm clean skin. The oriental dry-down becomes soft and powdery with notes of iris and violet. And then a softly warm powder with the Guerlain dry down of vanilla, benzoin and tonka bean. This will always be a favourite of mine. My preferred formulation is the eau de parfum, a perfect balance of warmth and powder without being cold. (Most perfumes smell very different between eau de toilette, eau de parfum and parfum)
Chanel Jersey: One of the Chanel Exclusifs, Chanel Jersey has been getting a lot of love since I brought it home. Hours after applying Jersey, the scent left behind is a delicate, warm, cuddly and cozy skin scent. It had a little something of the Guerlain warmth that I love so much in it, that warm skin smell that is very hard to describe without actually smelling it. It is pretty, soft and clean smelling. There is a snuggly aspect that works in warm or cool weather, likely due to the cooling & calming lavender notes. The musk/tonka combination adds a sweetness to the dry down that is sweet & enticing on the skin. It has a lovely spa effect, which I suppose one might expect from lavender. If you like soft elegant perfumes and you like lavender, I recommend you add Chanel Jersey to your sniff list.
Etro’s Heliotrope, with notes of heliotrope, sweet almond, vanilla, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, and petit grain, is the perfect scent to wear to when you want to feel cozy. Heliotrope is powdery in a delicious way. The scent of almond adds to the powdery softness of the heliotrope, and the vanilla makes it slightly sweeter – it reminds me a bit of Amaretto. Heliotrope is an interesting flower that is often talked about as having a “cherry pie” scent. I sometimes find cherry and almond share a similar scent so maybe that is what gives it that Amaretto/marzipan scent. This is a wonderful scent to wear after a long day full of stress and headaches. It’s so calming and sweet, comforting, the perfume equivalent of a hug.
LT Piver Heliotrope Blanc is a soft heliotrope scent, a lot like Etro’s but a little more floral and even softer, if that’s possible. This is another one of my favourite soothing bedtime scents. A simple yet sensual combination of jasmine, ylang-ylang, heliotrope, vanilla and almonds, LT Piver Heliotrope Blanc conjurs up the sense of warm skin that is softly perfumed and powdered. Simple and lovely, and happily available for a song online at various retailers.
L’Artisan Vanilia is an older (discontinued) scent, having been released in 1978. The notes given (or that I have compiled online) are simple- ylang ylang, vanilla bean, amber and sandalwood. There is a fruity note that perhaps comes from the ylang ylang with the vanilla making it almost foody- but it is never too sweet or cloying. It dries down with the amber & sandalwood adding a smoky, powdery scent, that sits and warms on the skin never becoming cloying. The smoke is barely hinted at before it settles into a softly sweet and powdery vanilla skin scent, with a soft barely sweet incense. Vanilia is a bit of a shape shifter, one minute being a soft vanilla scent then becoming an amber-y floral. Perhaps it is the amber that adds the powdery aspect. Tip: The fragrance line Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier (founded by the same person as L’Artisan Parfumeur) Fleurs de Commores is almost identical to Vanilia, so you can still experience this wonderful scent.
File Coty Lady Stetson under the cheap and cheerful category. It also reminds me of Chanel No22 and Santa Maria Novella Melograno. An airy, dusty, powdery fruity (peach?) note that dries down to a soapy incense note. It is such an unusual composition for a drugstore perfume, and I’m kind of amazed every time I wear it because it smells like expensive powder. It is odd, and definitely won’t appeal to everyone, but if you are intrigued by my description, you should search it out and give it a try. As mainstream as it is, I have never smelled it on anyone, perhaps due to it’s import status in Canada.