International Friendship Day is celebrated every year on the 30th of July. This tradition started in the 1930s as a celebration where people would send each other cards and flowers to remind them of their special bond. After a while the idea was discarded until it was reintroduced in the late 1950s by the World Friendship Crusade and then again, officially, by the UN in 2011.
The tradition is still kept alive today and many friends like to celebrate it by getting together and exchanging small or large gifts. By choosing and giving a perfume, along with a card, we can surprise a friend with a special gesture to celebrate this day!
If the rules of Bon Ton discourage making gifts that are too personal, you're invited to inform yourself of the tastes of others before giving a perfume as a gift, there is an olfactory and behavioural etiquette that leads me to the conclusion that time spent and dedicated to others, especially friends, is a precious moment full of meaning, even if sometimes it's not exactly the perfume they would have liked to receive as a gift.
In perfumery, as in so many occasions in life, "never say never" is a constant: to surprise by gifting a perfume, can, on one hand, be intimidating because it touches the other person's personality too intimately, on the other hand it could be an unusual way of celebrating such a special occasion, compared to ordinary habits, and become a sweet discovery.
Let us not foreclose the knowledge of any perfume, beyond its name, the shape of the bottle and the colour of the liquid, because it is always a personal enrichment.
But how do we choose a perfume for another person? We can, as always, follow our personal taste and perhaps give OUR favourite perfume as a gift, but it would be even more fun to try and guess which olfactory note and fragrance is in line with our friends' personality.
I have tried to summarise some of the distinctive traits of other people's personalities, with the main aim of finding perfumes that contain those raw materials which, through their olfactory profile, are well suited to our friends' personality.
- Is he or she an extremely friendly and sociable person? Is he willing to help those in difficulty and always seeks harmony? He certainly plays an important role in the group, he's honest and sincere. I thought of perfumes with notes of mimosa, and it's no coincidence that the colour yellow, in the language of flowers, means happiness and friendship. The absolute of Acacia decurrens (mimosa), in its pure form, has a solid and very hard consistency, similar to petrified caramel, rather difficult to make fluid. But its heart is intensely floral, warm and sweetly honeyed. It goes well with many different materials.
- An emotional person has instinctive reactions, and is more susceptible to respond emotionally to certain situations that other people pick up on with more difficulty. This is why I thought of a short-lived, delicate perfume with a tender and often shy beauty, the violet. Its projection is almost always discreet, but its olfactory evolution presents unexpected nuances.
- The extrovert likes to be the centre of attention, loves to interact with others and with the outside world. He organises parties and is always the first to dance. Social interactions are a source of positive emotions and energy. He is chatty, likes to turn the attention to himself and can be the talk of the evening, making everyone laugh out loud. How can we not think of Bergamot? The opening of almost every fragrance. The spotlight on the stage just before the start of the show. Bergamot notes harmonise with everything and give versatility to the fragrance. Fresh, juicy, sunny, fun, in one word: dependable.
- Introverts, on the other hand, are quieter, independent people who are comfortable when they're alone. They are often more reserved, their comfort zones become a constant that they rarely share with others. They make little noise, seem distracted, in eternal conversation in their silent world. I want to match this personality with a Mysore sandal. It has bitter, spicy overtones, the initial approach can be complicated but its heart brings back the scent of freshly cut wood and is enveloped in an almost sacred intimacy.
- She is a shy and reserved person, she is a dreamer, she loves to dream about a little pink cloud. She is often embarrassed and surrounds herself with the usual few. She loves nature. I imagine a perfume that has soft, delicate top notes with rich, green evolutions. Iris comes to mind, it's wet with woody undertones that dance intertwined with hints of soft, talcum-like musks. My suggestion falls on Green Tea by Alyssa Ashley in edt which contains iris as a base note. Do you want to enhance its intimate side? My suggestion is to try it in combination with Purple Elixir eau de toilette.
And again, why not organise an olfactory tour of the perfumeries in your city? We could use a subterfuge to take our friend to a selected perfumery and, with the assistance of suitably trained staff, offer valid support in choosing his or her next fragrance, based on the fragrances he or she will smell, taking advantage of that fleeting moment to get to know his or her personal olfactory tastes better.
Another fun idea is to find out what his olfactory profile is by filling in the special quiz, which will reveal your friends identikit, and suggest notes and scents.
What could be better than paying tribute to friendship through a moment of sharing like choosing a perfume? In the worst case, you will have had a fragrant experience because, as I always say, perfume unites us.