The first time I really thought about owning a fragrance was at the age of 11.
My brother and I were visiting my father, who was going to Europe on business, and he asked me if I wanted him to bring me back something.
The fact that he had even asked this question was pretty revolutionary, so I quickly asked if he could bring me some ‘channel perfume’. He laughed derisively and then corrected my pronunciation. I was mortified but it was worth the humiliation when he turned up with a bottle of Chanel No. 5. And so the addiction began.
Intricately related to my love of all things fragrant was my obsession with my nose. For as long as I can remember, I have had an issue with it. It reminded me of my father’s, and every time I thought I had come to terms with it, there would be a sneaky little reminder.
When my children were small – let’s face it, that’s when they are the harshest and truest critics, before they develop filters (oh, who am I kidding, that never happens) – they would say, ‘Mummy, you have a big nose.’ So, even though more thoughtful souls would reassure me that that my nose was ‘fine’, I never really believed them.
I would go for months at a time without thinking of it, and then catch sight of myself at an unflattering angle, or caught like a rabbit in the headlights without my photograph face on.