Miss Asprey: The story of a lost fragrance. Lest we forget.

17th December, 2010

My infatuation started in the late 1980’s.

I would wander down Bond Street in my ripped jeans, MA1 jacket and treasured Gucci two tone suede loafers and with quite some aplomb, cruise into this hallowed store. It smelled and tasted of wealth. The silence produced by the rich muffled purple carpets, the smell of leather and wood and the distinctive ever present, glorious taste of ‘Miss Asprey’ in the air.

I had no idea that I wasn’t the atypical customer. I simply ignored it and headed directly to the corner area on the right where the purple encapsulated, golden hewed, glowing liquid winked at me and enticed me reeking of wealth, affluence, indulgence and aristocracy. That’s how I became obsessed with Asprey’s ‘Miss Asprey’. That’s how I ended up selling back a precious vial to the archive team at Asprey, in order they preserve the brand that has since been so altered as to make it unrecognisable by its watered down accessibility: ‘Purple Water’ was indeed the brand’s new direction.

I guess that even then I was unusual. I had no idea of my synaesthesia or the effect this would have on my future life. I liked fine things. I aspired to a life that was so diametrically different to the one I had with my Glaswegian roots (albeit it academically inclined) that I sought out experiences, smells and divine distinctiveness wherever I could find it. It came in the form of ‘Miss Asprey’ created in 1985 but redolent of a past age and encapsulating perfectly the bourgoise esteemed aura of affluent Asprey. To this day, this fragrance seduces my senses with its rich, fluid aroma and its curious chypre promise of a different life.

Miss Asprey bursts onto the skin like rich purple fur. It tickles and teases in its dry, sweet sensuality before it snakes away from its wearer, slithering its seductive path to wreak its revenge with any lesser mortals. You don’t simply wear Miss Asprey, you become Miss Asprey in all her aristocratic arrogance and intrigue.

Never has a fragrance been so perfectly relayed by its packaging: Rich purple with gold tinged edging and a gold etched 1920s font alluding to days of elegance where women smelled of luxe riche, dripping in diamonds and family jewels. Of

cream lace, of face powder and the swish of long skirts. Of claret and crystal and charisma. Of the lost art of intrigue where scent was heady with latent promise and smouldering intent. Of antimacassars tinged with hair oil and personality and of salons where conversation was polite and laden with restraint. Where powders, oils and potions and purple tinged ‘Miss Asprey’ spoke volumes. Where the air was heavy in scent and sensibility. Where Freud and Jung were just daring to plumb the depths of ego. If they looked harder, they may have found Miss Asprey dripping with her sexual promise and golden, aristocratic upper crustness.

Miss Asprey isn’t coy and demure, peering from behind her fan. She is the period’s Madame X reeking of a daring, bold, rounded femininity alluding to hidden assignations. And all this in the ‘80’s is a time of rampant consumerism. As out of time and disparate to the age then, as it is now.

I wear this love sparingly now I’m down to my last bottle. I keep it safe and hidden. My perfect poison for restless intrigue and imagined passion. I am pleased to say, I have become Miss Asprey.

About the author

Karen is a fashion PR & marketing hack with a penchant for getting to the point. You can read her wry reviews and commentary on fashion, beauty, art & culture at her blog: www.katiechutzpah.blogspot.com

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    • Flora | 18th December 2010 22:22

      Wow, do I ever want to try this now! I hope it gets reissued in its original glory.

    • msmith139 | 20th December 2010 14:47

      Nice article and very interesting...I enjoyed this a lot!

    • Jane Daly | 27th February 2011 22:30

      Sounds gorgeous. Can you compare it to anything?

    • Katie Chutzpah | 26th April 2011 15:46

      No it really is incomparable to anything I've ever smelled.

    • Mimi Gardenia | 26th April 2011 16:35

      Very lovely article . I would love to see Miss Asprey restored . Beautiful presentation from Asprey re. Miss Asprey - from 'the way they were'.