The sumptuous, rose-infused scent that got my pulse-points racing again.
I have to confess that I have a rather lavish collection of at least 15 bottles of fragrance on my dressing table – and, until a very tough culling process recently in a bid to try to declutter my beauty hauls, there were probably twice that. At least. Although I do wear all of these occasionally, the truth is that I’m really a bit of a perfume monogamist at heart and tend towards being a signature fragrance wearer.
In recent years my dedicated The One has been Cartier La Panthère. But it wasn’t always thus, and taking part in a recent Instagram Live chat with fellow journalist and fragrance aficionado Alice du Parcq, I took a trip down my fragrance memory lane.
Alice hosts a chat called Desert Island Spritz on her account (you can follow her on @aliceduparcq), where guests talk about the perfumes that have meant the most to them in their lives. And so, for the first time in years, I smelled again what was my signature fragrance for much of my 20s and into my 30s: Diva by Emanuel Ungaro (£29.95 for 100ml eau de parfum, allbeauty.com). And gosh, it was love all over again.
The fragrance was created in 1983 (by Jacques Polge, who went on to become the in-house nose at Chanel; his son Olivier now holds the post), during an era when perfume was on a bit of a mission to be noticed. But, although it is no shrinking violet of a concoction, it’s also no headache inducer either. Rather, it’s knowing, confident and quietly self-assured. And, although a list of notes can only tell you so much about how the end result may smell, the fact that Diva is built around rose with tuberose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, amber and aldehydes will give you a sense of its sumptuousness. For me, it just oozes that old-world glamour of a Hollywood starlet in a shimmering silk gown.
As far as I’m concerned, Diva is a fragrance that should be up there with all the great classics (there’s even a hint of Chanel No 5 about it), but somehow it seems to have been left to languish – it’s not even that widely available any more. But I’m so glad that I’ve reunited with it again.
If I can’t convince you to start your own romance with it – though I hope you will ‒ then I’d suggest you take a look at your own fragrance back catalogue and the ones that meant a lot to you years ago. Just as a song can take you back, so too is this a wonderful way to do a little emotional time travel. @edwinaingschambers
Two new storage stars
Beauty storage is always something I’m looking for and, like many of us, I often use empty candle jars for the purpose. But these two new favourite launches dedicated to the cause are splendid and stylish options. First is the brass Guld Kuppen Brush Cup (below, £160, westmanatelier.com), a collaboration between make-up artist Gucci Westman of Westman Atelier and Skultuna, a 400-year old Swedish design company.
Make-up artist Ruby Hammer has just launched a new shade of her Porcelain Brush Holder (below, from £15, rubyhammer.com) which now comes in bright-yellow as well as fluoro pink.
Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson