Monday, 23 April 2012

Guest Post: What Your Perfume Says About You

I'm off to do my monthly inspirational talk again at The Princes Trust today, so have organised a Guest Post from my friend Andrea in my absence. Enjoy!

Perfumes do say something about us, whether we are aware of it or not. As it happens with any message however, we know what it means when we send it, but we don't always know how it will be received.

For example, what a perfume says to others won't always match with what we really want to express with it.

Monika, a colleague of mine, started to wear Miss Dior Cherie recently, which I personally really like, because as I said to her  it's a good-girl fragrance. There was no irony in that: that's the genuine reason why I like it, but now, every time I say "oh, is it Miss Dior Cherie? It's really good?" she's like: "it's good, yes, but you said it makes me smell like a good girl, and I don't wanna smell like that."

I understand Monika's slight disappointment. When I tried Bleu de Chanel, I liked it because I felt that the spices in it gave a hazy, mysterious air. When I asked a friend of mine what she thought, she said I smelt like a boy who goes to mass every Sunday in his neat clothes. Nothing against church boys of course, it's just that I had something different in mind.

And then there's also the case where what a perfume says to others won't match with the idea that they have about us.

I proudly reached out my wrist to a friend of mine the other day, to show off my brand new Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia (a sadly discontinued unisex white floral). "What do you think?" I asked. "It's good, she said, but it's nothing to do with you" and she was absolutely right. And to my credit: I'm aware of that, I just wear it because I love it.

What's the way out of this conundrum, you may ask. How your perfume is perceived is one side of the issue, another side is choosing one that suits your personality. While we should get over the fact that we'll never have full control over the first we can still have a say in the latter, following three practical tips:

  •  liking it is not enough: you have to feel comfortable wearing it;
  •  quoting the most famous perfume reviewer, Luca Turin: don't wear a perfume that has more experience than you;
  • owning one single perfume is not enough, there are too many variables: seasons, moods, social occasions. There should be at least two fragrances on your shelf, but with five, it would be even better. 

But we could also shift perspective and start from the perfume instead: when you try a fragrance for the first time, what does it tell you? Here's a list of opposite adjectives:

Fresh vs warm
Modern vs classic
Clean vs dirty
Transparent vs mysterious
Simple vs sophisticated
Bright vs dark
Innocent vs sexy
Young vs mature
Flimsy vs deep
Watery vs earthy

Note that these are extreme opposites, and that most fragrances will fall at some point on the continuum, but the important thing is that these adjectives can be applied to people as well.

See where this is going? Whatever the perfume says to you, there is a chance that it will say the same thing to most of other noses, and if that is what you want to express in a given day, then go for it.

About the author: check out Andrea's perfume blog with reviews about the fragrances mentioned in the article and many many more.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Brighton C on: Being too embarrassed to go to your hairdresser and dumping them

This post was inspired by my recent visit to a new hairdresser. I chose this particular hairdresser for 2 reasons.
1. I was too embarrassed to go to my usual hairdresser
2. The salon across the road from my office

I was pleasantly surprised with my experience. My office is based in a rather quiet retirement ready coastal town. I had often wondered about visiting this particular salon, but had seen many a mobility scooter parked outside which made me feel uneasy about how modern a new cut I would get if the majority of the salon's clientelle were part of the bllue rinse brigade.

The salon was modern inside, I got a nice big coffee, and my stylist was funky. She was also nice. This is a big factor for me. I need to have a rapport with my hairdresser so that I can be honest with them about my hair, what I like, what I don't like etc.

The reason I am writing this post is because, after leaving feeling confident that I had found "the one" I suddenly realised that I am a hairdressing hussy. I am entirely guilty of dumping a couple of my hairdressers who were very skilled, and had worked wonders with my hair. I dumped them because I was too embarrassed to return. And I never learn. If they were boyfriends, I'd tell them, "It's not you, it's me"

Good hairdresser 1 came in to my life after me never having a steady relationship with a hairdresser and always going for the cheapest quickest option (and getting what I paid for, a bad cut!) He worked wonders on my hair and after seeing him for a year my mane was growing and glossy. I then moved house and jobs and he wasn't close by any more, so foolishly went back to the cheapest, closest and quickest ways to book a cut.

Good hairdresser 2 was approached after a dreadful wonky graduated bob that I had treated myself to in one of the quick and easy salons. He very kindly and diplomatically agreed with me that I had done the right thing by coming in to his posh and rather expensive salon for a consultation a week after the bad cut. Later that week he fixed my bob and changed my hair for the better, as well as talking about long term plans for growing it back, and growing out very old traces of bleach that had frazzled my hair. I was happy again and made sure I always booked my appointments ahead to keep up with my 10 week visits. Overtime 10 weeks became 12 weeks and 12 became more, and summer crept in and so out came the bleach again and I really frazzled my hair again. I felt guilty, he had worked hard to get my hair back to good condition again and I had ruined it. Time to move on.

I'd seen a new salon pop up in town that summer, and who was in the window working his magic but good hairdresser 1, my old flame. I knew he was as good as and a lot cheaper than Good hairdresser 2 so went back. As soon as I walked in he was pleased to see me, but commented on the bleach and my dirty re-growth and immediately booked me in for highlights, which weren't cheap. He also cut my hair really nicely. As the highlights grew out, I put a dark colour on my hair. I was brave and returned for my next cut. He said he much preferred me dark and didn't tell me off. Maybe I could stay with this hairdresser. Maybe I needn't be ashamed anymore of my flighty attitude towards hair colouring. Again I was good with my regular appointments until I got really busy at work recently, and didn't have time to travel to see him nor the funds to pay for a cut. So gradually my hair became more bedraggled, my colour is faded and awful and my hair was in a rotten state so I was really too embarrassed to go back to him. So I dumped him. I dumped him for the new salon I went to last week.

Now I have built a rapport with my new hairdresser. She is nice, she understands I know I have abused my hair and I think she believes me that I won't do it again. She is putting my colour on next week. I've also told her about my wedding next year. So I think she's safe at least until then, because I will be nice to have someone to update on the progress of all the planning.

I am sure I am not the only one to be a hairdresser hussy. Are you?


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

My Floozie French Frost Gift

Today is my 2 year anniversary with AF! And he has been surprisingly romantic this year. He delighted me this morning with a beautiful gift box, containing a very nice French Frost "Floozie" lingerie set. Silky, lacy and incorporating my favourite colour purple. Exactly the right size too. 

Now I'm not going to display my new undies on line for you all I'm afraid, but I did think the label was very cute and has a little vintage feel so have taken a little picture of that instead. 


Saturday, 14 April 2012

So here is Brighton C's big news!

Whoops -  nearly a month seems to have gone past since I promised to reveal my exciting news! Where does the time go? Well actually I know the answer to this question; my time has been spent trying to keep my business running smoothly, re-organising myself (of course) planning. !!

Yes, that's my exciting news - AB proposed to me whilst we were on holiday, so he will now be know as AF (Amazing FiancĂ©!) Here's a picture of the ring, and if you would like to follow a bit more about my wedding plans I have started a blog especially and you can also follow my wedding planning pinboards on Pinterest as Tom's Bride. 


Saturday, 7 April 2012

My New Bikram Yoga Kit

When I first started writing The Re-Organisation of a Brighton Creative, I wrote about how much I like going to Bikram Yoga at Bikram in the Lanes in Brighton. Since then on and off I've been enjoying progressing my bendiness and relaxing, so have decided to invest in a proper kit so that I'm not tugging at my baggy ageing leggings or peeling my Primark vest off my any more. 

At the studio they have some great professional Yoga kit, but unfortunately it's professionally priced too, so is a little bit beyond my budget. So I took a trip to Sports Direct (not as chavvy as you'd think) and managed to pick up some real bargains. For the price of one professional top, I managed to get some proper yoga shorts, a cropped supportive vest and a pretty funky sports bag in my favourite colour that makes me feel a bit like I'm in the cast of fame. I'm off to yoga today so took a little picture of my bargains.