Expert advice on finding a new signature perfume (mine is Bella Freud’s Close to my Heart)

— by Alyson Walsh

Close to my heart knit £300 and fragrance £95

Eureka. I have a new signature perfume. It’s Bella Freud’s Close to my Heart  which launched last night, at Fenwick of Bond Street. Created by the award-winning perfume designer Azzi Glasser, who works closely with Bella Freud on her fragrance line and manages to capture what’s hot right now, in a very Bella way. Close to my Heart is brilliantly described by my friend, beauty writer and fragrance expert Vicci Bentley as, ‘Softly, slutty tuberose and a ‘hug me’ amber base. A lovely, modern floral that’s not too frilly, a bit like Bella.’ Can’t beat that. Tuberose according to Vicci is the flower of 2016, and is a very difficult note to pull-off without smelling cheap, ‘Giorgio Beverley Hills was banned in some restaurants,’ she explains, ‘because it was so fucking offensive and cloying.’

Alyson Walsh; That's Not My Age;

Bella Freud fan. Photo: Dvora @Fashionistable

Not so long ago, I turned to Vicci (@craftycrone) for help finding a new fragrance and we had a spritz-athon at her office. Described by Vicci as ‘edgy back in the day’, I’d been wearing Comme des Garcons Odeur 53 for about 20 years. She quite rightly pointed me in the direction of Bella Freud’s Ginsberg is God (good call, I’ve long been a Bella Freud fan); and along with a sample of Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino Acqua and Jo Malone’s Wild Strawberry & Parsley cologne, this turned out to be one of my favourite scents. So, it was fun to go together to the launch of the fabulous new Bella Freud pop-up shop at Fenwick (third floor, month-long residency) and sniff out my new signature scent. A fantastic party with all the right ingredients: excellent music, potent cocktails and a cool crowd. Very Bella.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Bella Freud attends the Bella Freud Fragrance Launch at Fenwick Of Bond Street on September 6, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Darren Gerrish/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bella Freud

LONDON (Photo by Darren Gerrish/Getty Images) Bella Freud

And Vicci Bentley’s expert advice on finding a new signature scent is:

•  Shop when you’re in a good mood. Because of the scent and memory link, it’s impossible to forget how you felt when you first found that perfume. There’s total recall in every spray…

•  Might be an idea to wear your favourite clothes…. you’ll feel very ‘you’. So the scent will always conjure that confidence.

•  Keep your nose open. Don’t try and recreate an old favourite – you’ll miss some great surprises. But don’t step too far out of your comfort zone either. If you’re a floral kind of girl, it will take a lot for you to love woods, say.

•  Go to a scent boutique rather than a crowded store where everyone’s pushing something. Get independent advice from an expert.

•  Take your time. If you like a scent, try it on your skin, then wait at least a couple of hours to see how it develops.

•  Never buy a scent because you liked it on someone else. It might smell quite different on your skin. This is your signature, remember?

The red ‘Close to my Heart’  sweater is exclusive to Fenwick and available in store; other colourways are available HERE. Close to my Heart perfume is also available HERE. And the Bella Freud 1970 sweater is available HERE.


What’s your signature scent?


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