Coco Chanel once said, “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.”
I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it’s a great excuse to start spritzing: Every 50-plus woman I know has a to-do list at least a decade long.
And with Mother’s Day fast approaching, now seems the perfect time to rejuvenate the senses of any marvelous moms in your life (including yourself!) with the gift of a new fragrance. Here are my picks of the best scents for mothers who may be dealing with such thorny problems as:
Menopause. Juggling hormonal changes, weight gain, wrinkles and thinning hair is no party, but you can throw one by splurging on the works — perfume and matching bath and body products. Because “meno-moms” with dry skin (or those on a low-fat diet) have a problem “holding” scent, the best way to achieve a long-lasting scent is to layer fragrances, ending with a highly concentrated eau de parfum. You could try either Tory Burch Eau de Parfum (1.7 oz., sephora.com) or Bath & Body Works French Lavender & Honey Eau de Parfum (3.4 oz., bathandbodyworks.com).
Stress. Divorce … medical concerns … adult kids at home … job loss — these are the sorts of heavy-duty issues that justify a “fragrance upper” to lift a woman’s spirits! Light lavender or rose eau de toilette should do the trick: Mist your hairbrush or the lining of your clothes (or spray a trace on your pillow and sheets before bed), then tuck the bottle in your bag for frequent pick-me-ups. Try one of these: Diptyque Eau de Lavande Eau de Toilette (3.4 oz., saksfifthavenue.com), L’Occitane Roses et Reines Eau de Toilette (2.5 oz., nordstrom.com) or Terry de Gunzberg Bleu Paradis Eau de Parfum (barneys.com).
Age. If feeling youthful is your thing, just brandish the latest iPhone or sit near the front of spin class. But keep in mind that our evolving body chemistry means a scent will smell different on you than it does on your twentysomething daughter. Citrus notes in updated blends give off a younger, thinner vibe — and keep you from smelling like bug repellent or floor cleaner. Try Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Eau de Parfum (3.4 oz., neimanmarcus.com) or Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne (3.3 oz., nordstrom.com).
Money. Is the mother on your gift list a coupon-aholic? Does she shop during sales only? Walk for a workout? If so, she’ll probably appreciate low-cost scents that aren’t too sweet or too girlie. In a market clogged with young-celeb fragrances, sophisticated eaux de toilette and body mists are not easy to find — but they do exist. Seek out one of these: Sonia Kashuk Red Promisia Eau de Toilette (target.com) or Essence of Beauty Lilies & Freesia Eau de Toilette (cvs.com).
Dating. Bartenders and baristas witness plenty of meet-ups, so they know that certain scents always attract. For this purpose, consider florals: jasmine, peonies or tuberose, with hints of incense, vanilla or deep woods for a hint of mystery. If you’ve worn the same perfume since the dawn of time, you probably can’t even detect it on yourself anymore, so go with something new like Michael Kors Gold Luxe Edition Eau de Parfum Spray (1.7 oz., nordstrom.com), Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance Eau de Parfum (1.7 oz., sephora.com) or Chanel No. 19 Poudre Eau de Parfum (1.7 oz., nordstrom.com).
For more beauty & style tips for women 50+, check out my Wardrobe Wakeup: Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age.
Photo: Chanel No. 19 Poudre Eau de Parfum from Nordstrom.com
Also of Interest
- 7 Ways to Look Younger, Thinner, Sexier — Fast!
- 10 Must-Have Wardrobe Items for Women at 50+
- Fight Fraud and ID Theft With the AARP Fraud Watch Network
- Join AARP: Savings, resources and news for your well-being
See the AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more