Throughout the existence of fashion, industry insiders have stated that you are not completely dressed until your fragrance is applied. Jane Leslie Alperin, owner of Jane Leslie & Co, Kingston, has an amendment to that statement. She likes to think that fragrance is the thing that dresses a woman – no matter what she are wearing.
Jane should know – her boutique carries some of the finest scents in the world, from Bond No. 9, a luxury perfumer famed for its New York-named scents, to Ginestra, an Italian brand that has been producing pure fragrances since the 1200s, and even classics like Penhaligon’s, a British blend that was a favorite of Princess Diana (Jane even carries Diana’s signature scent, Bluebell).
“Fragrances are reflections of a person and that person’s mood. A person could have one scent that they use forever or they could change their scent depending on the season. Every fragrance is different and every person is different, but there is always a fragrance to fit every person,” said Jane.
Jane, a fragrance psychic of sorts, is ready to find that scent for anyone who wants to step away from the department store beauty counter and into her boutique. “Janie will suggest a scent to people and it’s normally the one they will like the most,” said Rebecca Grinaway, Jane’s sales associate, Plains.
For me, Jane suggested Ginestra’s Carnation – a tailored but exotic scent with pure and classic notes. It took a second to process what I was experiencing, as I had never smelled something like Carnation before. It had strong, masculine moments followed by pure floral notes. It was clean but distinct.
She then suggested Bond No.9’s Hudson, a favorite of Rebecca. Upon smelling the two I had to laugh out loud because I would happily wear either. Hudson was more daytime feeling to me, with a lighter, fresh feeling. Carnation was more intriguing.
I couldn’t believe how accurate Jane’s suggestions were but she wasn’t surprised.
“People look how they smell,” she explained.
Jane tends to choose her scent based off her mood. Rebecca prefers to match them to her outfit – an idea that Jane echos. “If I’m wearing Ralph Lauren, which is tailored and structured, I will tend to go toward a more masculine, tailored scent – something strong enough to stand with the outfit,” Jane said.
When searching for a fragrance, Jane and Rebecca have a few tips.
• Always try the scent on your skin because it will smell different on you then it will on the tester.
• Only try so many scents on at a time, your nose will exhaust and you don’t want to buy perfume that you don’t actually like.
• Finally let the perfume sit for 20 minutes after applying it. Perfumes have levels of fragrance notes – after 20 minutes the base notes that you will smell all day reveal themselves.
Jane Leslie & Co. is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and encourages testing and sampling scents. If you’re lucky, Jane may even read your psychic scent mind and find the fragrance of your dreams that you never even knew existed.
While people may not remember what you wore to an occasion, they will remember how you smelled – so find your fragrance and feel dressed.