Thursday, May 21, 2009


Recently I nearly came to blows with a friend over the matter of perfume. I was both surprised and upset by what this person said, which was, basically, that he liked people's "natural" smell and preferred women to wear no perfume at all. I was surprised because it had never occurred to me that any woman would go out - or stay in, for that matter - without putting perfume on, and upset because I drown myself in YSL Paris every day and it's as much a part of me as my make-up and clothes. I've always regarded perfume as essential and have been proud of wearing a scent that has become my "signature" one. My friend pointed out that some people may not like it, to which my response was that they could stay away from me, then, though I did take his point about allergies. But heavens above, as an asthmatic I suffer from enough allergies myself and I don't think a good perfume can be classed with something positively harmful, like the odour of tobacco smoke. Anyway, I'd be grateful, dear readers, if you would take a minute to do the poll in the sidebar, as I'll be interested to learn what you think.

Now to a different sort of odour and not a pleasant one. This is what the area around all the communal rubbish containers in our otherwise lovely, Baroque city looks like at the moment and the smell pervades the whole town:

Yes, the Comune has run out of money again, so the refuse collectors have not been paid! The Comune has also once more had all its phones cut off for non-payment of the bills. I therefore deduce that the next time I try to order water for the condominio I will be told that the service is sospeso. All this always seems to happen in summer; a nice welcome for the tourists, don't you think?

When I'm not avoiding the stink of piled-up rubbish bags I am attempting to restock my summer wardrobe. Regular readers will remember that, since becoming ill in October, I have lost a lot of weight and have had to chuck most of my clothes out. Even the things I had altered don't fit now. Something like a summer wardrobe is beginning to come together: yesterday I went out to buy a pair of jeans but came back with the kaftan you see on the bed and today I was spurred on by the offer of a beach chair if I spent 80 euros in the same shop, a task which I accomplished with no difficulty! [I'll show you the chair when I figure out how to put it together.] Now I need some shoes to go with this lot!

Talking of fashion, I wonder what you all think about jewellery? I am of the opinion that the right piece of costume jewellery can "make" an outfit and have been known to buy a brooch or necklace first and then get an outfit to set it off! But I also believe you can wear too much of the stuff, a view not shared by the majority of Italian women, who pile it on. Chanel famously advised,

"Look in the mirror before you leave the house - and take one thing off!"

That's fine with me as long as that one thing isn't my pefume!


James Higham said...

Recently I nearly came to blows with a friend over the matter of perfume. I was both surprised and upset by what this person said, which was, basically, that he liked people's "natural" smell and preferred women to wear no perfume at all.

Longer reply coming, Welshcakes. :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'll look forward to that, James - I think!

sally in norfolk said...

i am afraid that as most perfumes give me migraines especially the heavy ones ..i prefere the natural smell or a very light perfume.
Infact i think a light perfume can be very sensual, i like it when you just get a glimmer of a perfume as one moves about. :-)

jmb said...

For years I wore light cologne to work every day but then the hospital demanded a perfume free environment. So then I got out of the habit and now have to consciously remember to wear it if I dress up.

I think allergies to perfume are more of a problem than you imagine Welshcakes and more public buildings are putting up these signs.

I loathe perfume myself but prefer eau de toilette as it is not overpowering.

Poor you. A garbage "strike" or whatever you want to call it. Only in Italy would some town not pay its telephone bill.

I am not so fond of jewellery either, as I hate things hanging off me, especially bracelets and necklaces. I do like rings and earrings however. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend but I don't have a single one.

Liz Hinds said...

I usually forget to wear jewllery - although I think it can make an outfit - but never forget my perfume!

James Higham said...

It's done.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Sally. I am allergic to many perfumes myself, so I do understand. I woukld agree that a light perfume can be sensual. Hi, jmb. Yes, they probably are and I've had trouble with perfume allergies many times. But now I use one which lasts on me and does not cause my skin to blister or give me asthma. I have diamonds in my grandmother's engagement ring. I'm never without earrings but I like chunky necklaces too. Hi, Liz. Glad we agree on perfume. Hi, James. Thanks for responding with a post and it's a good one. I'll link to it in the next post here.

Whispering Walls said...

You need your scent to take your mind off the rubbish! I'm with you re jewellery.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Quite so, WW.

rochambeau said...

Hello Limoncello~
I would like to weigh in on this topic, as it is a very important one that I have thought much about. Must preface by saying: My most profound sense, is the sense of smell.

There is a lotion from France that puts me into heaven (like your YSL Paris, does for you).
I told a friend about it, and she bought some and like it too. Her husband hated it so much he threw it away.

What I learned from this experience is:
1)We all interpret smell differently.(My belief is that it must have to do with our own chemistry).

3). One mans heaven is another mans hell. Certain perfume's can make me cry and flee! There is a woman I run from because I know that her scent is going to upset me.


Will be by your current post later tonight or tomorrow!

Minnie said...

Since childhood, I've always adored perfume, scents, etc - still do - so had to read this and comment.
Luckily, I'm not allergic to perfume(s) - bring 'em on! Although I've met a lot of men who really dislike them (as well as a fair number who find them aphrodisiac).
Budget means I can't use as often as I'd like; but when feeling extravagant, its l'Occitane's eau de toilette - either Ambre [autumn/winter] or Bergamot-The Vert combination [spring/summer]. I love their range, and they're local - ish, to me - which is always good.
Me, I can't go out without lipstick or, at my most slobbish, lipsalve or Vaseline! Otherwise, no make-up. I DO have diamonds (inherited) which I wear on spesh occasions with wedding rings + a very chunky gold link bracelet (also inherited). Day-to-day, don't bother - except for plain gold cross on fine chain around neck.
Love the colours of the clothes, Welshcakes. Glad you recovered from your illness; but weight loss sounds alarming - do take care.
Bisous from the similarly ever-fragrant Phidelm ;-)
And how do you link to past posts?! Am pig-ignorant newcomer ...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, Constanc3e and thank you for commenting on this. The sense of smell is much more powerful and much more evocative than we realise most of the time. I do know what you mean about perfumes and am allergic to many myself. I would agree with you that our chemistry is an important factor here.
Hi, Phidelm. Thank you for commenting here too. You have good taste in perfume! I can't go without lipstick either, or without lipsalve under it. Even my doggy understsnds, "Wait a minute - lippy" before we go out! I do wear full makeup all the time, partly because I'm so pale. I have a watch that my Dad gave me for my 21st and a gold pendant of a Sicily map, given to me by friends here years ago, and I nearly always wear both. I also have my grandmother's Welsh gold ring but was devastated recently when I lost a ring my Mum had given me. It just fell off because of the weight loss and I never found it. And I can't be without earrings! the illness was a nasty period but at least it enabled me to write about Ital hospitals! I've had, and continue to have, marvellous medical treatment here, I must say. For linking to past posts, go to You don't even have to sign up! It's really easy to get and it'll be up and running in minutes, just like it says. On your layput, it will look like it's going to install itself in your sidebar but don't worry - it won't. It's just showing you that it's there doing its thing! contact me if you have any probs.


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