Perfumes for Every Occasion

I love perfume. Honestly, the fragrance that one wears can be so therapeutic sometimes, especially since it has been shown that scents can affect your mood in a number of different ways. From making you feel energetic, tired or even focused, the effects of smell are unparalleled, to say the least. What you wear is also a great indicator of the way you feel, which is why we all wear different fragrances depending on where we’re going and what activities have been planned for the day. With that in mind, I’ve included my five favorite fragrances for a number of different moods. Keeping these on your night stand will ensure that you’re ready for whatever life throws at you!

1. Chance by Chanel


Ah, Chanel. There was no doubt in my mind that I would start with this fragrance to commemorate the post. The first perfume I ever got was the classic Chanel Chance Eau De Parfum, which soon developed into a craze that led to the addition of two more in the Chance series, Eau Fraiche and Eau Tendre. While I usually hate it when companies try to capitalize on the success of a product by giving other products similar names and marketing them in the same way, I was very thrilled with the way the other perfumes turned out, and actually regularly use Chanel Eau Tendre on days I want a change  from Gucci’s Flora. However, my perfect classic perfume for a sophisticated night out has to be the original Chance. It’s a mature scent, and very strong. It definitely lasts a long time. Chance in French means ‘luck’, but even if you go by the English meaning, the perfume sticks to its name. Taking a ‘chance’ on unexpected flavors, the top notes of the classic fragrance go the fruity route, with pineapple, pink pepper and lemon adding a hint of sweetness. After that, the perfume switches to flowers, which are not as sweet as the top, even though the notes are still feminine – hyacinth, jasmine and iris are quite subtle without being overly so. Ultimately, the base notes of the fragrance come out, which leads to muskier undertones of amber, patchouli, vetiver and white musk. This makes the scent ‘older’ than a standard fruity or flowery fragrance, but I think in a good way. It is perfect for a refined night. However, if the scent of the classic fragrance is too much for you, Chanel has developed the lighter Eau Fraiche, which has notes of lemon and cedar at the top, pink pepper, water hyacinth and jasmine in the middle, and a plethora of base notes – teak wood, iris, patchouli, vetiver and musk. The omission of the pineapple, amber and iris, along with the addition of teak wood, gives you the same scent as Chance without the strong after scent, along with a more citrusy tone. The last fragrance in the Chance series, however, is completely different. Flirty and tart, it starts off with notes of grapefruit and quince, leading to tinges of jasmine and hyacinth. Finally, it gives way to musk, cedar, amber and iris. Sweeter than the other two fragrances and less woody, it is a happier and more energizing fragrance used for a fun night out, which is embodied by the absence of the heavy patchouli smell.

2. Flora by Gucci

This is my ideal ‘daily’ fragrance. Most of my friends will attest to smelling it on me way more often that not, and sometimes, I agree, I tend to go overboard. I love this scent because of how simple and light it is.  As the name so obviously suggests, the perfume smells like flowers. However, don’t underestimate it to be some kind of juvenile flower-filled mix, without any underlying tone. Instead, Gucci’s Flora mixes magnolias and gardenias for its top notes, allowing a breezy feel. Next, you get the scents of violets and roses, which finally give way to musk and cedar for a woodsy, long-lasting emulsion, similar to that of a forest. One reason why I love this fragrance is because its versatility allows it to mix both floral and woody themes, and it is so light it perks me up instantly. In addition, since it is available both in ‘eau de parfum’ and ‘eau de toilette’ mixes, you can go even lighter than the original, although for my perfume to last all day, I definitely need the parfum version. Light, breezy, feminine – is it any wonder I love this perfume so much? In fact, due to the popularity of the Flora line, Gucci has added three variations – The Garden Fragrance line offers Magnolia, Tuberose and Magnolia scents. While I tend to stick to the original, those looking for specific flowers should definitely try the other fragrances in the line! Subtle and wearable, Gucci Flora is my must-have.

3. Happy by Clinique

Ah, citrus. I love citrusy fruits and citrusy smells – there’s something about a mandarin scent that automatically makes you think of sunny days, warm breezes, laughter and good times. It’s no wonder then, that Clinique’s iconic Happy fragrance boasts a myriad of citrus bursts. The top notes involve oranges, ruby-red grapefruit and bergamot for an immediate splash of cheerfulness. In addition, the fragrance also makes use of exotic scents that you are unlikely to find in other fragrances, like boysenberries and white tropical Hawaiian flowers. These indulgent notes are perfect for cheering you up because they’re so rare and hard to find. The fragrance also tends to mellow out by the time you reach the base notes, with spring mimosa to round off the scent, allowing you to picture a perfect tropical day. Fresh and vibrant, Happy truly does what the name implies – it automatically boosts your mood all day while providing you with a spark of energy. For days I’m feeling low or tired, or even just ‘blah’, a spritz of Happy is all I need to help me get through my day. Well, that and a cup of coffee, of course! 🙂

4. Miracle by Lancome

The best way to describe this fragrance would be ‘fresh’. I love that the creators got a little original with this scent – it has a fruity top note with litchi (one of my favorite fruits), which instantly gives one the impression of being on a tropical island. The middle notes of spices and flowers include magnolia, jasmine, ginger and pepper. Now I know that some would find the flavor slightly weird, considering the mishmash of all the different scents, but Miracle makes it work. Add the undertone of musk and amber, and you get a slight smokiness that doesn’t let the fragrance get too sickly sweet. This used to be one of my ideal fragrances when I knew I would be out and about all day – running errands, meeting friends or going on lunch dates. However, my little sister liked it too much and so, as big-sister rules dictate, I gave it to her. Still, I would recommend this fragrance to anyone who has a busy day planned – the scent lasts all day and is a perfect mix of sweet, spicy and fruity. I love the fact that it can be worn practically anywhere, and that versatility and unexpected mix of sugar and spice makes it ideal for any event you might need it for.

5. Candy by Prada

Cozy woodside fires, fall sweaters, warm lattes, and if you’re in Bombay in the midst of August like I am right now, cuddly blankets and the pitter-patter of rain outside all invoke a feeling of calm. For days where the weather is cold, gloomy or rainy, we usually crave woody scents to associate with that weather, and nothing screams comfort like that perfect childhood staple – candy. The interesting thing about Prada’s Candy, however, is that it is an extremely complex fragrance. Far from being a simple sickly sweet fragrance aimed at teenagers or young children, Candy invokes a sense coziness thanks to its use of musk, caramel and vanilla. The benzoin adds a more exotic feel, but it soon fades away into the yummy sweetness of the flavors that we all know and love. Sensual and sophisticated, this fragrance is an ultimate cold-weather fragrance, perfect for a lazy day spent brunching, curled up in a warm blanket, or at the movies.

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