Nearly forgot about my scent series! Not really, but I just wasn’t happy with the photos I’d taken at the time. Let’s discuss some perfume then.
2004 was the year that The Body Shop brought out a little fragrance case called Invent Your Scent – a flat plastic pack that contained 9 little vials of Body Shop created eau de toilette, which, depending on how you felt for a day, you could spray and layer on at will in all sorts of combinations, making your very own signature scent.
For however much it cost back in the day, I thought it was a brilliant find and concept. Having inherited my mother’s hypersensitive nose, most ‘proper’ perfumes were off limits for me. The fragrance case, however, just contained a little of everything, and was therefore perfect for experimenting and finding out once and for all what I did and did not like.
From that 9, I loved 3, and of that 3 today, I only have one.
The official description ran as such –
Chic and Spicy: Hints of ginger, freesia, and cedarwood swirl in this spicy and chic fragrance.
There’s a lot of ginger in this scent. A lot. Along with a decent hit of orange citrus. The base is firmly cedarwood, and is probably the unifying note that stops this spritz from smelling like the beginnings of a Christmas cake batter.
Obviously The Body Shop is not a proper perfumery, and most of its product offerings revolve around skincare with ethical roots and natural origins. Some might say that alone should mean this fragrance is cheap and would smell so too.
However, I’m not looking to wear something that someone sniffs and says ‘oh yes I can fraternise with you because you smell of my socio-economic demographic’. When I wear perfume, I wear it for me. When I catch a whiff of what I am wearing, it should make me smile internally and externally. It should make me feel like I’m luxuriating in a cocoon of olfactory goodness that makes me comfortable and reflect the mood I’m in.
This is what Zinzibar does for me. I feel invigorated, energetic, happy, and perhaps a little self-conceitedly adolescent and youthful if I wear in the day time. At night I feel the spice lends to an air of mystery, Indian or oriental in nature without drowning you in cherry blossoms or lilies. (Can I just say though, how do cherry blossoms even have a smell? I lived for 2 years in Japan and no matter how many cherry blossoms I stuck my nose into during hanami, none of them smelt of anything! Well, definitely nothing that people bottled and labeled ‘Cherry Blossoms’ at least).
Zinzibar is warm, very spicy and aromatic with an unsweet fragrance. There is no amber, jasmine, or any other heavy musk base. That fact alone though, means that it doesn’t last long on the skin (well, my skin at least), and a top up in the afternoon may be necessary. But I’d rather something that didn’t linger impolitely than something you smell first before seeing the wearer arrive.
Unfortunately Zinzibar and its 8 other brethren in the Invent Your Scent series were discontinued a very long time ago. I managed to buy a few bottles a few years back thanks to some sleuthing on eBay.
This perfume, otherwise, is a relic of my early adulthood.