Portrait of a Lady - Frédéric Malle

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There are two sorts of people in this world: the perpetually early and the perpetually late. I am sadly the former. A goody two shoes to my core, I meet deadlines, worry about everyone liking me, and am always, always 20 minutes early for everything*. But if you are meeting people in central London, then 20 minutes early is great: it means a lil’ trip to the shops, and more often than not a lil’ trip to Liberty. For a long time I would casually stroll up to the Frédéric Malle counter and douse myself in Portrait of a Lady, before wafting off to the pub. It’s a really loud rose, and to my nose aniseed. It’s blousy and bold and people stop you to ask what it is, and you have to tell them ‘Portrait of a Lady’ which is embarrassing, but never mind. It makes me feel festive and sexy and ready for a Big Night Out. 


Other scents that do this to some extent for me are LouLou by Cacharel or Agent Provocateur – Portrait of a Lady is better though, sorry.


*Except for work, natch.

REBECCA: I’m really sorry, this is Claire’s review but I just want to butt in and say that I recently had dinner with a man I really wanted to impress so I borrowed a spritz of Claire’s Portrait of a Lady. And when I met him we hugged and he said ‘Wow, you smell amazing’ and I before I knew it I’d casually responded with ‘I know’ and Jesus H Christ it was so cool.

Don’t worry, glad to report I made a fool of myself eventually.

Rebecca Humphries