The First Luxe Items I Ever Bought {& Still Do}

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

I was 21. I had walked into the Armani shop on Bond Street and was immediately greeted with the most amazing scent.

The store had been fragranced with dozens of Diptique candles in “Figuier” which has a fresh woody aroma – one of the main ingredients is fig leaves.

The cost was eye-waveringly prohibitive compared to my salary at the time but I was determined that even though I couldn’t afford to eat anything other than Laughing Cow cheese spread on toast, my recently purchased first home was going to smell just like the Armani shop on Bond Street. It was my first significant “luxe” purchase, and I didn’t regret it for one minute. My two bed terrace might have been 50 shades of peach (a hue favoured by the previous owners) but goodness me didn’t it smell expensive. Sometimes it really is the little treat purchases that make all the difference.

I have bought “Figuier” every year since, and it was my ultimate recommendation for the bride box competition* we ran on Rock My Wedding recently.

Another luxe purchase I discovered at a too-young-to-really-afford-them age was Wolford 80 denier black opaque tights. My Mum bought them for me as a birthday present and nothing else compared for years. Price per wear they actually worked out to be excellent value – they really hold their shape and don’t snag particularly easily. In recent years I have favoured Falke Pure Matt in 100 denier, they are slightly cheaper than the Wolford, and I find if I purchase a size bigger than my normal size, they work really well for pregnancy – pulled up over the top of a small bump and rolled underneath as you get to the stage where you feel like a giant melon on legs. I am wearing a pair as I type in fact.

Cosmetics wise it was Chanel’s Rouge Coco Baume. My Mum buys my sister and I a little something from Chanel every Christmas, usually a piece from their Autumn/Winter collection or an item they have released especially for the festive season. The balm was initially gifted to me approximately 15 years ago and nothing compares to this lip conditioner for priming your pout before lipstick. It softens and moisturises without being goopy and definitely assists in preventing feathering and unwanted bleed/smudging. It’s been decades and that shiny black and gold Chanel casing and that satisfying click never loses it’s appeal.

I summarise from this feature that my mother has a lot to answer for.

What was your very first luxury purchase? Is there anything you bought decades ago that you still invest in today?

P.S *you still have an opportunity to win – and you don’t have to be a bride-to-be to do so either, just a lover of pretty free things, you can enter via Rock My Wedding.

  • Wolford Tights
    Wolford Tights
  • Chanel Lip Balm
    Chanel Hydrating Lip Balm
  • Falke Tights
    Falke Tights
  • Diptyque Candle
    Diptyque Figuier Candle
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
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20 thoughts on “The First Luxe Items I Ever Bought {& Still Do}

  1. 2004 – offered my first permanent role for a job I loved in London (I was in Leeds at the time). I invested in a bottle of French Lime Blossom perfume from Jo Malone, the start of my long love affair with the brand and my first lux purchase.

    I still have a bottle of that fragrance with me, having gone through quite a few of them now, although I now have a fragrance wardrobe of nine Jo Malone scents to choose from.

    1. Nine Caroline – that is VERY impressive. You almost have a different scent for every month of the year….. #goals

  2. When I was 12 my grandma took me to Chanel and I stood and gawped longingly at the earrings. I couldn’t believe I was in the shop and as I resigned myself to never owning a pair and looking like Paris Hilton in the Simple Life she told me to pick a pair…and such began a love affair with Chanel.

    Two years ago age 23 I parted with an obscene amount of cash and bought a handbag. I treasure it everyday and despite crying in Harrods I won’t ever forget it! I love luxury haha!

  3. YSL Faux Cills mascara was my first luxe make up investment, and still to this day I haven’t found a better mascara, that was until you recommended the Marc Jacobs and now I’m addicted to that, I save it for nights out only though xxx

  4. Call me shallow but there’s nothing I love more than a luxe purchase. It’s those little, special things that make a big difference. I love treating myself to charbonnel and walker choccies every now and again and on the rare occasions I go to London I like to pop into Fortnum and Mason to treat myself to some luxury essential bits…F&M tea is the best!! X

    1. Oooh Sarah I too treat myself to a C & W bar sometimes, it fact you’ve reminded me – I haven’t in a while. Also Hotel Chocolat, just a small box of truffles but ALL FOR ME (I don’t do sharing when it comes to expensive food) x

  5. I don’t have a beauty or fashion luxe must have, but I have recently become a little addicted to buying limited edition china pots. This sounds crazy. But I started a couple of years ago and now every time the designer brings out a new collection I feel I must buy some. It used to be one or two collections a year but now it’s like 4 or 5 a year. I love the designs. I don’t even really use them for anything and I’m not really one for knick knacks about the house. Recently I have bought 3 separate pieces and they are £120 a pop. The last one I bought I put in a shelf and didn’t tell my husband about it and he still hasn’t noticed it. 🙈
    I feel silly for spending this money on these things, but I don’t spend lots on many things so I justify it that way.
    This feels like a confession.

    1. C I love this confession, just today I bought some blue Le Cruset (a cast iron pot, an oven dish and a caffitiere) admittedly hugely discounted at Bicester village but still, so expensive for cooking paraphernalia. I am really not sure how often I’ll use it but I know I’ll like looking at it!

  6. With my first ‘proper’ paycheck I paid the rent and purchased a red halter neck flippy Ghost dress. I ate baked beans on toast the whole month!

    1. I love this Jo. Did you eat baked beans whilst wearing the dress? I was probably sat there in some Wolford tights, with the scent of a diptique candle……making myself some laughing cow on toast 😉 x

  7. My mum also introduced me to Chanel make up. I don’t remember what age I got my first lipgloss from them but it never stops being a treat. The first luxe item I bought myself was a Jo malone Pomegrante Noir candle when my now husband and I moved in together. We slept on a blow up bed and ate jacket potatoes that first month, but the place smelt great and I’ve loved Jo Malone ever since.

  8. I think my first luxe make-up was something from the Clinique counter. Have moved on to Bobbi Brown these days although I always rate a Clinique lipstick. In a slightly different category, I have this thing with original artwork. Over the past few years, I have bought a number of paintings – now we are only talking in the £300-£500 price bracket (much more money could be easily spent) but I have got some much pleasure from having these originals hanging in my house!
    Also love some Pink Champagne Truffles from Hotel Chocolate – nothing else measures up X

    1. Bridget we were only talking about investing in art to a client a few months ago, I find the whole process fascinating. Did you watch Riviera on Sky Atlantic? I didn’t love the series as much as I though I would but that was essentially based around the art world which I found really interesting x

  9. I must admit I’m not partial to Luxe. I have several Mulberry handbags from my pre children London life and they are in pieces. I don’t take care of things properly to justify a whack regularly. We had Jo Malone candles and room fragrance at our wedding and I’ll occasionally buy myself one as a treat but I can’t tell the difference between the Aldi scent and Jo these days.

    I do like NICE things and I like good piece per wear for classic things like coats over Primark numbers but I struggle to find things I LOVE enough to justify the spend.

    The whole ‘don’t buy anything unless you love it’ policy has literally left me with nothing.

  10. When I was 18 my grandparents gave me some ‘you’re an adult now here’s a cheque’ money, promptly headed to a Christian Louboutin boutique in London with my halls-mate. No prices on anything… picked a satin black pair of pointy toe 5″ heel courts, and crossed my fingers. Then lived on Uncle Ben’s microwaveable rice for the rest of the year (love this reccuring theme on the thread!)

    They still live in their box in my cupboard, worn once because I subsequently discovered I can’t wear pointy toe shoes without limping within 10 seconds. 12 years later I’m a bit more sensible now and do have to love something to buy it, but White Company Cassis candles and Jo Malone perfume (most recently Oak and Hazelnut) are my weaknesses. Love a bit of luxury.

  11. Got to love the Wolford and Falke tights 🙂 I still spend a FORTUNE on tights, Wolford Miss W 30s are the dream (also wear them in pregnancy, don’t even both sizing up and just pop them below the bump when I get to that stage, a couple of weeks behind you but already the size of a melon so that’s about to happen 🙂 ). I am also an investment purchaser so I tend to buy sparingly but well (read expensively, poor credit cards) for clothes, which usually last at least a decade, no joke. And art. I too love original artwork, and it’s something I’ve passed on to my husband which is very unfortunate as we really can’t afford it at the moment. Who needs to go out for dinner when you can stare at some gorgeous art?!

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