There are women who love clothes. There are those who go shoe-crazy. There are the jewellery whores. Don't get me wrong; I love all of the above. A masterfully constructed leather sandal, a fine Irish linen shirt or a classic gold hoop earring can bring out the acquisitive demon in me just like any other gal. The product that really transports me, though, the commodity I'd spend countless thousands of dollars on if I had the means to do so, is perfume.
Perfume is not just about smelling pretty. I have an extraordinarily keen sense of smell and of all the senses this is the most associative, the one that best transports me to places, people and occasions in my past, creates a mood, makes me deliriously happy just by sniffing my wrist or catching a whiff of something delicious on my pillow, or on a man.
If the sense of smell is the road to wherever I travel, perfume is the powerful, high-performance vehicle that takes me there. It can be capricious or whimsical, lighthearted or deep-blue-twilight nostalgic, indulgently melancholic, quietly joyful or emphatically euphoric. It can conjure elegance, discreet sex, or the powerful animalic kind. It can even conjure... money. Perfume is smoke and mirrors, mystery and mania, quiet and noise, control and obsession. It can attract; it often repels. It can heal or nauseate.
Six months ago the name Sophia Grojsman meant nothing to me - then I discovered she was the 'nose' behind Eternity, a 90s signature fragrance and one of my favourites ever. Since I'm constantly updating my perfume wish list and reading excellent perfume blogs (Now Smell This, Perfume Smellin' Things, Bois de Jasmin) to get an idea of whether or not I might like to experiment with a scent, I've stumbled across Ms. Grojsman's name again and again. Finally, I read an interview with her on Bois de Jasmin and discovered that she has created not two, not three, but EIGHT of my top 10 fragrances.
This has reinforced for me once again that there's no such thing as
coincidence. I've chosen these perfumes out of hundreds over a 30 year period. Of the scores I've owned I've loved only about 10 - and Sophia Grojsman created very nearly all of them. Take Estee Lauder, for example: the only three scents from this line that I've been able to wear are the three she created: Beautiful, Spellbound and White Linen. Did I know back then that she had created them all? No. All I knew was that I liked these - and none of the others.
Don't assume that the smells are similar, because they're not. What do they have in common? Their beauty, their quality - a Grojsman fragrance can never be mistaken for a cheap scent - and that she usually incorporates rose accords. She also creates perfumes from the base up, whereas other perfumers start with the top notes and work from there in to the mid and base notes. Perfumery is a science - Ms. Grojsman has a Bachelor of Science degree in analytical inorganic chemistry - but at the high end it's also very much an art. Sophia Grojsman creates masterpieces.
Among her best-selling fragrances are:
* Bill Blass Nude
* Boucheron Jaipur (1994)
* Bvlgari Bvlgari Pour Femme (1994)
* Calvin Klein Eternity (1988)
* Calvin Klein Eternity Purple Orchid
* Celine Magic (1996)
* Christian Lacroix Christian Lacroix (1999)
* Elizabeth Taylor Diamonds and Rubies (1993)
* Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds (1991)
* Estée Lauder Beautiful (1985)
* Estée Lauder Spellbound (1992)
* Estée Lauder White Linen (1978)
* Frederic Malle Outrageous! (2007)
* Gloria Vanderbilt Vanderbilt (1982)
* HRH Princess Elizabeth E
* HRH Princess Elizabeth Jelisaveta
* Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars (1994)
* Kenzo Kashaya (1994)
* Lalique Lalique (2002)
* Lancôme Trésor (1990)
* Lancôme Trésor Sparkling
* Laura Biagiotti Sotto Voce (1996)
* Paloma Picasso Tentations (1996)
* Perry Ellis 360°
* Prescriptives Calyx (1987)
* sexual - Michel Germain (1994)
* S-Perfume 100% Love
* Yves Saint Laurent Paris (1983)
* Yves Saint Laurent Paris Premieres Roses (2003)
* Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne (2009)
* Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse (1993)