White beach sandals in winter?
Recently on the shopping mile, I walked past a couple when the woman caught my attention swaying her hips with every step. She had loose hair enveloping her upperbody like a curtain and was clad in a tight, light beige knit tunic which rather resembled a homewear. Now, I usually don't really care or watch what other people are wearing or look like, except for people dressed in eye-catching colours or a (yet) unfamiliar style, like those increasing "slip dresses" in broad daylight on the streets, with a generous back neckline reaching the buttocks revealing more than bare skin; obviously designed to be worn under clothing and not as a public summer dress instead. This woman in the tight tunic only remained in my memory because I could smell her perfume while overtaking her: She was wearing Agent Provocateur Maitresse.
While I do like that perfume very much, it was the first time I had smelt it on someone else, and the impression I received made me think. Until then, I had felt that Maitresse possessed an intimate air, but still not to the degree to be called a "boudoir perfume" - despite the brand's apparent intention, since I personally miss any sexual suggestiveness which would make me feel awkward wearing it in public. I had only worn it for my own enjoyment at home, but would've considered it for a casual going-out.
After being given the opportunity to observe the matter from a 3rd point of nose, I was not so sure any more whether I would want to wear it in public. Moreover, I was neither convinced any longer that the frequently heard and more or less shared motto: "Wear what you like, whenever and wherever you like (unless you overspray)" would apply, even to more subtle types of fragrances.
This question of the fragrances' occasion-based appropriateness had occured to me already once last winter, when I encountered an otherwise attractive woman in the supermarket whose intense perfume left a literally strong impression in a split second. It was a biting cold winter's night with the shop lit almost blindingly bright, and the young woman was wearing something with a heavy honey note, reminiscent of Lady Million mixed with a tropical, musky-sugary, sunscreen-like scent.
In either case, the perfumes definitely felt 'out of place': Maitresse to be worn on a busy shopping mile on a humid day, the other one with a musky, tropical suncream scent not unfolding well on a freezing winter's night. And, while I do respect everyone's right to wear whatever takes your fancy, I also found that from my subjective conception, these fragrances did not work out nicely for neither of the wearers; although I appreciated her taste, Maitresse was a great mismatch to the overall 'loose' homewear-fashion; as for the honey-sugared-musky-tropical scent, it even influenced my perception of the wearer - the thought that instantly crossed my mind was, "What a pity this otherwise attractive woman is smelling like that".
Wear what you like, whenever and wherever you like and feel comfortable with, unless you are bothering people, you can't please everyone - this still holds true. And yet, are there no fragrance equivalents for such things like white beach sandals in winter, or a 'not quite fitting dress/suit' affecting the impression of the wearer in a negative way? I wonder...