At the beginning of every month, after I've finished work, I'll pop into WHSmith and buy the latest Vogue/Elle/Company. That's my guilty pleasure - the feeling of getting into a deliciously comfy bed (newly kitted-out with Next bedding, if I may add) with a pot of tea, holding in my hands a crisp, new magazine, its sleek cover untouched as if it's just been delivered hot off the press.
New magazines make me feel just that little bit more special, more luxurious, than some of the other minutiae of everyday life. But flipping through the pages and finding that, stuck to a stunning photo of Cate Blanchett, there is a new fragrance ready for approval? Well, that's another feeling completely.
I've always wondered about those old fragrance samples that they used to stick in magazines - the ones where you rip off the protective layer and underneath is a somewhat spongy bit of netted material drowned in eau de toilette that you're supposed to... what? If you handle it with your fingers, they become soaked in concentrated perfume (and don't try eating any fingerfood afterwards. It does NOT taste good), then you look like a fetishist rubbing a flimsy piece of material all over your neck, and THEN what are you supposed to do with this little rag once you've finished? Try and shove it back into its pouch on the page and hope it stays? Seems like such a task just to sample a bit of fragrance.
Which is why I think Giorgio Armani has the right idea with its latest perfume, 'Sí', endorsed by the endlessly fabulous, Cate Blanchett. Instead of the complicated and rather pointless swatch as previously described, they've created a printed information card which unfolds to reveal the scent entwined in its paper. Complete with breathtaking photos of the Australian starlet, alongside various affirming captions in Spanish (but don't worry, they've translated it all for you on the last page), the card is a refreshing approach to perfume sampling. And it has very much succeeded in making me pine after a perfume that I never thought I'd be interested in.
As for the fragrance itself? Well, that would require an entirely new blog post to describe. But you can find out more about it here!