My First Perfume


When I was little, I wasn’t allowed perfume but my auntie had a little bottle of something that I was allowed to wear when I was playing dress up which smelled gorgeous. The bottle had a distinctive blue and gold label and always made me feel grown up, stonking around the house in an old satin negligee and someone else’s high heels. At that time I had no idea what it was, but I’m delighted to say that I tracked it down as an adult and still wear it – although not quite as liberally as I used to.

A classic eau de cologne, 4711 is still available now and the smell is still as citrus fresh as I remember. The citrus comes from bergamot, which gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive taste, lemon, orange and neroli, with lavender and rosemary providing a herbal base on which the citrus sits delicately. The actual combination, apparently, is a trade secret but if you have a decent supply of essential oils, I expect it would be fairly easy to replicate. At the very least, it would be great fun experimenting!

Just don’t blame me if your children smother themselves in it and disappear with your best heels and party frock. It’s what I would do, after all.


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