About Us

How I Got Here

My name is Paige Hales Gordo. I am a fragrance lover, a lifetime East Coaster and a devoted North Carolinian. By day, I own and manage Travel Paige, LLC. Any other time of the day, I am thinking about perfume, perfume bottles, my interpretation of perfume composition, the color of perfumes and how scent transports us to long forgotten locations and sometimes conjures deeply hidden memories. At the same time, a fragrance creates a new scent memory the moment you smell a new fragrance. How wonderful! With fragrance, you can delve into the past, sit contentedly in the present and create future memories.

Living so close to the ocean, I am joyfully bombarded with smells and sights at almost every footstep. Moss, pine, salt, salt and more salt, muddy marsh, decaying shellfish, magnolia, tides, acorns, wetlands, gardenias, azaleas, oak, driftwood, pecans, beach sand, cedar, seaweed, black walnuts and my favorite deadly strangler, wisteria. I am “that person”  who actually stops to smell the flowers, smash my face into a clover patch and smell things like ice and books.

What in the World?

Smells Downright Gorgeous aims to bridge fragrance and people, offer reviews of old and new perfumes AND have fun categorizing a perfume’s personality with typical southern personalities.

Gone (not really) is the old, boring way of grouping perfumes. Say “goodbye” to the words: woody oriental, fruity floral, gourmand, spicy oriental or floral aquatic.

Say, “Hello” to the new way to get to know a perfume. The Southern personality perfume groups.

Please let me explain. Like people, perfumes have distinct personalities.

Don’t get yourself all into a wad.  I am simply attempting to establish relationships between people and perfume by revealing similarities and celebrating  differences.

There are Five Southern Personality Perfume Groups

  1. The Shy Violet
  2. The Magnificent Magnolia
  3. The Whispering Wisteria
  4. The Captivating Cypress
  5. The Carolina Jasmine

The Shy Violets are demure, deep to the core truly kind, caring and sweet. The shy violets love La Vie est Belle by Lancome and have a homemade chocolate cake in the back seat of the car, just in case they have to make an unscheduled visit to a friend.

The Magnificent Magnolias are clever, kind to a point and elegant. The magnificent magnolias keep a fifth of Ketel One in the trunk of the car, a pack of back up cigarettes in the glove compartment, or a mini of Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle in their purse, just in case there is a pop-up party and supplies need to be readily available.

The Whispering Wisterias are deliriously stunning southern sirens, true to you only, compelling, subtly dangerous and intoxicating. Be careful because they can be addictive if you keep company with them for too long. Take a whiff and move the hell away or not.

When the Wisterias bring drinks to the party, they bring Absinthe.
“What is Absinthe?” the unknowing innocently asks.
“Oh, its a lovely green elixir you drink with a sugar cube. Here, have a smidgeon. It will fix you right up. We like to call it the Green Fairy,” answers the Whispering Wisteria. These Vamps might wear Opium by Yves Saint Laurent or Classic 1920 by Bois 1920.

The Captivating Cypress  is pleasing to the eye, nice in a unnerving sort of way and well-put together. A breathtakingly sight to see, the cypress, at first glance, is regal and dignified. The cypress are tall sentinels watching over the swamps. Swamps are mysterious places rife with will o’the wisps and some such magic. There are no shy violets here! A captivating cypress demands your attention and drowns you with love. A cypress may wear Habit Rouge Dress Code by Guerlain.

The Carolina Jasmines are loud when they need to be and quiet when called for. They are incredibly likable and stay beside you through thick and thin. If you have a snake in the backyard, they know where the hoe is! The Carolina Jasmines understand when you need a bite of fried cornbread and creamed potatoes. They aren’t too sweet and aren’t too spicy…they are just right. A carolina jasmine may wear Stella by Stella McCartney or Eau du Baux by L’Occitane en Provence.

Let’s have a smell together of downright gorgeous perfume!!

Founder of the East Coast Fragrance Society

Disclaimer: I am not a trained perfumer. I simply love fragrance and can sometimes pick out the obvious notes, but I have to cheat in order to identify the more subtle notes. I aim to offer my honest impression of the fragrance and it is simply that – my personal impression. Also, I am delighted to help curate perfumes for you and point you to a fragrances that is a good fit for your perfume personality.

Thanks a million for the hours of learning! Fragrantica and Basenotes.

Contact me if you are interested in sampling the fragrances Smells Downright Gorgeous has reviewed.


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