Do you ever have the perfect idea of how you want something to look/be in your head and then get terribly disappointed when you can't find it in real life. It happens to me ALL THE TIME. Case in point: sundresses and perfume.
If I could wear one article of clothing (given that the weather doesn't change) for the rest of my life, it would be a sundress. It's light and layerable, easy to take from day to night, and fun and flattering on most body types. Now in my mind the perfect sundress is something along these lines. It has the shape of this dress from Topshop but with more of a sweetheart neckline. The skirt is an a-line, the length is between midthigh and just above the knee, and it's a thick cotton-blend, matte fabric. The print is white with florals, but not a cute little ditsy floral, a big, vibrant, almost savage hothouse floral, and the straps are a medium tank width. But can I find this magical dress? NO. I saw something like it on Anna Friel in Pushing Daisies but I think it was vintage :( This Topshop dress is a decent option, and it's not that expensive (but I have no idea how Euros convert to dollars so perhaps it is).
As far as perfume goes, I'm one of those people that really wants a signature perfume. So far my signature one is Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel. I tend to like heavy orientals with a hint of sweetness and some florals/fruits. Ideally I want to smell like chai spices--spicy with a dry heat and then honey and vanilla snaking around in the background and adding a mysterious sweet twist to it all. Look at chai spices. Aren't they pretty? I love that smell, all the cinnamon and cardamom and nutmeg, because it's so sassy and spicy, but it's also very comforting and cozy. Coco Mademoiselle has some of the spiciness and the coziness, but all the florals and fruits take it into slightly too girly, generic territory for me to 100% love it. I pulled up Black Phoenix Alchemy lab for a friend this week, and now of course I've realized that they have all the perfumes I want and I will be forced to buy them. Gah. BPAL is a sort of underground California-based perfume oil company. They sell hand-blended perfume oils (aka little tiny vials of extremely concentrated perfume) at decent prices and the scents and descriptions are literally OUT OF THIS WORLD.
The three I'm thinking of ordering are Bengal, O, and Katharina. They're all $17.50 for 5ml (which sounds like a little but it will last FOREVER) or $4 for a little 1ml sample. Bengal is a "sultry and unruly blend that emulates the ambient scent of the markets in ancient Bengal: skin musk with honey, peppers, clove, cinnamon bark and ginger." Doesn't that sound delicious? I think I want to order a big one of this. It just screams mysterious and elusive and exotic and basically awesomeness incarnate. O is "The scent of sexual obsession, slavery to sensual pleasure, and the undercurrent of innocence defiled utterly. Amber and honey with a touch of vanilla." I don't really think that needs to be explained. I've heard some mixed reviews of it so I think I'll start with the sample size and see how it goes from there. Last but not least, Katharina (named after the character from Taming of the Shrew! Aka my fave Shakespeare character) is "a strong, willful blend with a soft, utterly lovely soul: white musk with a trickle of bright, sharp apricot and orange blossom." I love the idea of smelling like apricots--they're so crisp and tangy, and the orange blossom would add some delicate sweetness while the musk grounded it all.
What do you all think? Would you order from BPAL? Even if you aren't convinced, go wander around their website. It's wonderfully morbid and offbeat (in a fun way) and they have more than 500 perfumes in the most interesting categories/series. My favorites are Wanderlust, a series of global cities--past and present--and what they would smell like conceptually (so London is a twisted, dark tea rose, etc), and Sin & Salvation, which is 7 deadly sins themed.