Perfume, in my opinion, isn’t just a beauty essential; it’s therapy in a bottle. My favorites have an incredibly uplifting effect on me—just a spritz does wonders to get my day (or night) started right! I recently put on my beauty reporter hat (a very cute, vintage find) to interview the brilliant and lovely LaurynX, femme perfume goddess and all-around fragrance connoisseur. The interview began in the morning when I picked her up in a town car I hired for the occasion, and continued at my favorite day spa where we experienced that little slice of femme heaven called the day of beauty. (Sigh) What a perfect day!
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Walking towards the Lincoln as the driver pulls up to the curb, LaurynX looks like a girl who has mastered the art of the tease. She’s wearing dark wash skinny jeans, big gold hoop earrings and a gorgeous satin halter that has cascading ruffles at the bust and ties in a bow around her neck. With just a hint of lip gloss and her fierce and curly Afro, she manages to look stylish without seeming like she’s trying too hard. Her effortlessly cool vibe and confident, drag femme attitude is an irresistible combination. After I compliment her style, Lauryn confides to me that she sees herself as the unlikely lovechild of Erykah Badu and Ru Paul. No wonder I adore her!
Sipping our lattes, we start the interview right away, and you—lucky readers—get to come along for the ride!
SF: First, I have to say, you smell A-mazing! (She swoons) What are you wearing?
LX: (Blushes) Thank you! Lately I’ve been craving my spicy-rose-tobacco, so Fifi Chachnil it is! It’s an amazing pin-up fragrance from a French lingerie designer. It’s a modern take on a previous generation.
SF: Oh my God! You must have admirers throwing themselves at your feet because you’re beyond sexy! Seriously, I’m utterly charmed.
LX: Haha, you’re the first to say so! Most folks don’t say anything about my perfumes, unless I ask. Then it’s like I’m fishing for compliments. Completely pointless! But if someone I like admires my scent, then I am beyond flattered.
SF: One of my most vivid and happiest memories as a child is going shopping with my grandmother, who loved perfume. She adored beauty and glamour but had very little money to spend on herself, so perfume was a luxury she couldn’t afford. When we were in a department store, she always stopped at counters to try fragrances and get free samples, and she encouraged me to try perfumes with her. After that, I was hooked. How did you come to love and appreciate perfume?
LX: Ooo, I’m so glad you asked! I was walking in the mall with some friends and spied a tester of Chanel No.5. I remembered it being the famed perfume Marilyn Monroe wore, and since I’d just discovered my Femme ID and heavily associated it with retro glamour…I spritzed some on. …(humph) Well let’s just say I was disappointed. Looking back I see I didn’t know anything about letting it sit on my skin for a while because later that evening I couldn’t stop sniffing my myself, haha! It was love. (smiles)
SF: I love Chanel’s fragrances, too, including the newer ones like Chance. And I find Allure Homme totally irresistible (fanning herself). I think lots of us love fragrance but are overwhelmed by the bizillion perfumes and colognes on the market, with more coming out every day. What’s the best way to choose a perfume or cologne?
LX: Oh gosh (rolls eyes) don’t get me started about the 800 fragrances that came out last year. It’s ridiculous! No one can test that many. The best way to choose a perfume/cologne is to have a strategy. You can try to look for one that captures a “mood”, you can seek out “classics”, you can start with a certain “family” that has descriptions that sounds good to you. Be familiar with scent families. Fifi Chachnil for example is an Oriental. Orientals are known for having amber, resins(myrrh, opoponax, benzoin), and vanilla as bases, very warm, rich, sensual. Many say they are best for evening, though it’s not a rule. Look online for perfume communities and blogs and search for posts about “classics”…and classics can be from today or yesteryear. It simply means well-loved and of good quality. Oh, and don’t take the flowery descriptions in perfume ads at face value.
Tune in tomorrow for the second part of my delicious interview with LaurynX!