I love Arpège by Lanvin. It’s my favourite perfume. I always wear it. Now, I’ve done a bit of research, on account of this blog, and thus – I can tell you, it was first made in 1927, and combines notes of peach, orange blossom, honeysuckle, iris, patchouli, mimosa, geranium, vanilla and musk. And probably lots of other stuff.

Most of the time, I’m not great when it comes to identifying particular scents. I’m not totally clueless. I can tell the difference between a lasagne and a gas leak, but I really think you could blindfold me and leave me with several dozen bottles of perfume and I’d always be able to find mine.

However, there is some truth to the idea that particular scents smell different on different people. It must be something to do with how the perfume mixes with the skin. I couldn’t say for definite. I’m not a scientist.

Still, I have two buddies who wear the same aftershave. One of them smells intensely manly. It’s a very musty, musky, woody sort of smell on Big Kev. I imagine a woman less like me could catch a waft of Kev and immediately feel the need to book a hotel, and find some uncomfortable underwear and an awkward shape to make herself. And yet, the exact same bottle smells incredibly floral and slightly like candyfloss on Stevie. He still pours it on with abandon, so it’s still his signature scent.

Aimée tells me that a person’s natural smell is always there, at a point right at the top of their heads. If that’s right, her natural smell is vanilla. I know because I stood on the coffee table to give her a sniff. I did explain what I was doing. I didn’t just mount the table and run my nose over her head. I’m not that peculiar.

My natural smell, it turns out, is Imperial Leather.


I don’t know what I was expecting her to say. “Soap,” somehow felt a little flat. However, it does mean that Arpège, on me, smells like it does in the bottle. I am, therefore, delighted.

And there you have it. Day one-hundred-and-four of #365HappyDays – Arpège by Lanvin.