I found this site while doing research for a book. I hope no one minds if I jump right in with a question.
For the book I am writing, I am in search of two feminine perfumes that would have been worn circa 1918. I wonder if anyone could suggest (historically correct) possibilities for me if I describe the two characters? I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.
This book is based on a manuscript that my great-grandfather wrote about his true experiences. Perfume plays a very important role because he was blinded in the war.
Character one: *She wears an Italian perfume that is quite distinctive. While the perfume is never named in the manuscript, it is described as a floral blend. It is also described as having a pervasive scent. This perfume was apparently difficult to obtain or little known.
I will describe the character, because if anyone wants to suggest something that would have suited her looks and personality, I would find that quite helpful. She is a 22-year-old woman, born of a French upper-class family. She is petite, has dark hair that she wears in an elaborate chignon, and large, luminous black eyes. She dresses stylishly despite the war, in dark well-cut suits and pearl earrings. She always wears high heels and has a fast, tripping walk. She is sweet and brave, but loves pranks. She can be reckless. She grew up in a semi-rural environment, in a chateau just outside Paris, and has always loved to be around animals. She is well-educated for her times, and enjoys opera and singing. She has volunteered with the Croix-Rouge, and spends time talking with soldiers, reading aloud the newspaper, and accompanying them during hospital transfers. She has a very sympathetic heart, though she is often overcome by melancholy. Her two brothers and father were killed in the war. Her mother died of grief. She is chaperoned by her traditional and correct uncle and aunt.
Character two: Her perfume is only described as being very attractive, but less distinctive than the first woman's.
This character is from the Philadelphia Main Line. She is twenty-seven years old. Her hair is a dark chestnut color. She has fair skin and blue eyes, fine features, and a willowy slender figure. She speaks French and German fluently, plays the piano and organ, and also is interested in opera. She comes from a family with many doctors and was trained as a nurse for "something to do". She has come to France to work in a Base Hospital. She is imperious, determined to have her own way, and used to being obeyed. Her manners are very elegant, but hide a certain amorality. She can be gentle and endearing, but is ruthless when crossed. She habitually wears expensive earrings and rings, even during her nursing work. Several of the nurses are afraid of her, or resent her airs. The rest obey her without question.