What's your perfume identity?

Love's Baby Soft-
First. Perfume. Ever. I can still smell (and maybe even gag over) its powdery sweetness and feel the sticky slickness of its roll-on applicator.
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Thu, Oct 6, 2011 2:47 PM EDT
I did not smell good this weekend. I was in Vermont with my sister, learning to ski for the first time, and I'd forgotten not only deodorant, but also didn't have anything to spritz on and scent me up like the pretty human I try to be. The experience made me realize that I'm kind of in a perfume funk, I don't have a scent that I like and I don't know what my signature fragrance is nor what it should be.

For years, I just stumbled into scents. I started with Love's Baby Soft (check out its creepy ad at left-ahhhh! How did anyone let little girls wear this stuff?), moved on to whatever I came across in the drugstore or Body Shop, and finally ended up with the Hilary Duff perfume, because I love her and she once gave it to me for free (I've created a timeline of my life through eau de toilettes, above).

And that's it. Now I am 35-years-old and I have no idea which fragrance is right for me, which will make me feel sexy and feminine, or what aroma I could handle smelling every day.

But I want to know. I fantasize that I will someday be one of those perfectly pulled together women who removes her crisp trench coat and silk scarf and leaves a faint, lingering, pleasant, ladylike scent behind. I'm looking for something that both my future children and my current husband will identify me by, a cologne that is not too overpowering, nor too froo-froo, but one that makes people feel comforted and happy to have smelled it.

I would also like this magical scent to evoke seduction when it has to, the kind of smell that I can rub on my pulse points (behind the knees, on my wrists, etc) and it will make me feel instantly more alluring. I recognize that this is a tall order for one little bottle to live up to, but this is the ideal, it's everything we imagine a perfume to be. In the next few weeks, I am going to find it. And then I will report back all of my adventures.

In the meantime: What are your favorite perfumes?