Do you have a favourite perfume, aftershave or an aroma that just makes you weak at the knees? A scent that really lifts your spirits, or makes you feel cosy and loved?
I feel that the most powerful human sense – our ability to smell – is hugely underrated. Scent can change our emotional state and our mood and we may use it in this way without even truly, consciously, appreciating what we are doing.
I’ve worn perfume for many years and have used scented creams, lotions and body sprays. At home I’ve used all manner of products to create a comforting and welcoming environment – candles, plug-in diffusers, reed diffusers, potpourri, incense, pillow sprays, room sprays and in the 1980’s, Shake N Vac (“You do the shake and vac to put the freshness back…”).
I took it to another level when I set up Dotty’s Oils. I discovered the real benefits of using essential oils in 2016 and a whole new aromatic world opened up before me.
By 2017, I was ready to share what I’d learned with others. My mum (Dotty Senior) and I have tried and tested all sorts of Recipes using essential oils from fabric conditioner, dishwasher tablets, hand sanitisers, wet wipes, facial serums, body sprays, to cakes and kebabs! Quite a bonkers mix of things really but it just shows how versatile essential oils can be.
Even though I use essential oils daily, I still love a good perfume. For many years I was a Chanel girl. I wore Allure, Mademoiselle, Chance and latterly Beige (not a particularly enticing name).
Then, about five years ago, on a trip to the Hampton Court Flower Show, I met Chandrika Thomas. Chandrika was showcasing her amazing collection of fine fragrances in the Country Living Pavilion. And so it was that I left the Flower Show with some of Chandrika’s perfume (as well as two cases of fine wine, some artisan cheeses, a set of knives and a Hosta).
One of Chandrika’s most popular fragrances is Marrakech. I can do no better than cut and paste what her website says about it:
“This fragrance has a sensual background of warm musk, cedar wood and patchouli enhanced with amber crystals. A twist of clove, vanilla and tonka with a hint of ylang ylang support the white floral heart of orange blossom, tuberose and jasmine sambac. This is crowned with sparkling bergamot, lemon and mandarin and the fresh green tones of spring florals, hyacinth and violet leaf”.
It is just the most gorgeous fragrance. Trust me. When I visited the Flower Show the following year, as well as purchasing some more Marrakech and a few other perfumes, I took a wad of Chandrika’s business cards with me.
Because time and time again people would stop me, actually stop me in the street, and ask me about my perfume. I began handing out Chandrika’s cards and spreading fragrant love to complete strangers (and no, this is not a paid advertisement).
I should say that my husband, Nick, is also a huge fan of Chandrika’s fragrances. He wears Cocoa Bean and Juniper Berry but don’t get me started on that heavenly scent, that is a whole other world of loveliness.
The really cool thing about Chandrika’s perfumes, quite apart from their absolutely gorgeous aromas, is that you usually purchase two together. Say what?
Well, when you purchase a 100ml bottle, for example, you also get a 15ml bottle. This means that there’s a bottle for home use and a bottle for your handbag / travel case. Ingenious. You can even mix and match different perfumes.
I have got to know Chandrika in recent years, and she is a remarkable woman. She set up Chandrika Thomas London in 1989 with the help of the Princes Trust and with lots of hard graft and a focussed determination, she has grown a truly luxury brand.
Chandrika is kind, generous, smart, witty, and attentive. It is said that people buy from people and so I consider myself very fortunate that the person I choose to buy from makes the most amazing fragrances. Purchases are just better when you know who you are buying from, don’t you think?
oilwards and upwards