Haute Couturier Coco Chanel was once asked, "Where should one wear perfume?"
Chanel's answer? "Where ever you would like to be kissed...."
Mmm, now doesn't THAT conjure up some romantic images? Scent is the strongest inducement to memory. Pheremones drive us to passion, to hate, to attraction..... Humans have used it for centuries to entice, allure, and decorate the body, both for our own pleasure and to attract the opposite sex.
Yeah. I like perfume. Grins.
So it will surprise you that I did something this last week that I haven't done in about five years.
(No, not THAT...jeeez, this is a family blog!)
I bought perfume. Or Eau de Cologne or whatever the heck you call it when it comes in a spritzer rather than a five-hundred-dollar-an-ounce bottle. Grins.
Why, you may ask, did it take me five years to do it when it's so yummy, sexy and wonderful? Ahhhhh, now that's a personal question. Hahaha! But I'm going to tell you anyway.
Let me first make the disclaimer that I really, REALLY adore perfume only when it's correctly applied (that means dabbed not drenched, ladies, and same for you with the cologne, gents!)
Think SUBTLE, people!
I love when you have a scent you can layer with lotion, powder and or perfume. I love when people have a "signature scent" - something associated just with them.
My mother always wore a Coty perfume. I can bring it to mind and memory instantly when I smell it, and it means "Mama" to me. Same with a friend of mine who wears Issey-Miyaki. GORGEOUS scent and smells divine on her. Love that.
Now, to the point.
Perfume hates me. Or maybe it's perfumiers. They add stuff to perfume that makes me itch. I have fair skin, but I'm not allergic to much, nor do things usually irritate me or break me out. I've never considered myself "delicate" in any way when it comes to product or potions or any thing like that.
But perfume is different. There are some of them....ugh. Itchy. Haven't defined the ingredient, and really don't care, but I know which perfumes to avoid.
Then there's the problem of the actual smell. I cannot STAND to smell like a sweet little old lady wearing a strong-enough-to-fell-an-ox floral perfume. (And mind you, there are plenty of young women who are already 70 before they're 30, if you know what I mean. Matronly is a choice, people, not a life-sentence.)
Some perfumes also tend to be very musky and almost dank. Kind of like a crypt. SNORK! (You know me, I have to work a crypt in here SOMEWHERE!!! Besides, in my next book the hero and heroine get locked in a tomb at an abandoned archealogical dig....)
Seriously, there's one perfume I smelled - very popular, evidently - that smells like a musty basement to me.
I have a very sensitive nose and can differentiate a lot of scents. I can do that whole wine thing "..it has a note of saffron, and yet it's fruity, with notes of pear and pineapple..." if I choose to (I don't) because I CAN smell and taste it.
Then there's that personal problem. Yes, now we get to it.
For whatever reason, there are a TON of perfumes that smell fabulous in the bottle, but when I put them on?
Ugh. They smell like battery acid. Bleeeeech.
A very knowledgeable aromatherapist once told me the reason. She said my system was more alkaline rather than the more common, acidic system. There are some reasons for that - I eat my veggies! - but mostly, it's just the way I'm made. Grins. However, perfumes are formulated to appeal to the majority, and the majority have a more acidic system.
When someone with a more alkaline system puts on an acidic perfume? Eeek! You guessed it, it smells like Mr. Yuck Died ...or worse. Bleeech.
I used to wear a wonderful perfume called Victoria, by Victoria's Secret. Gold bottle, cobalt blue cap - wonderful perfume, pretty packaging. It was great. I bought the full line - powder, lotion, perfume. LOVED that stuff.
It was discontinued.
Then I wore a perfume from Tiffany. Wonderful stuff, but then they reformulated it and yes, you guessed it, battery acid. Bleeech!
There are several others I CAN wear, but WON'T:
- the perfume my ex-husband bought for his mistress (Opium);
- the perfume a coworker used to pour on (Obsession);
- and the perfume someone dropped onto my luggage or which burst in someone else's bag and contaminated mine, necessitating it's demise (Burberry). I really liked that luggage. Sigh.
But The Good News!? I nearly forgot! I found a new perfume, Coach Poppy, which actually smells GOOD on me! WOOHOOO!!! Alert the media! Buy Stock! Hide the children...wait, that's something else. Grins.
I tried it on in the store, letting it "wear" all day. It didn't turn musky, or smell bad. Excellent. I went back and tried it again on another day. Allllll good.
FINALLY! New perfume! WOOT! So, if you happen to meet me at a conference and I'm wearing a lovely scent, you can pretty much be sure it's Coach's Poppy. We'll see how it goes....
What about you? Do you like perfume?
Do you have a signature scent?
Do you have several that you like to change around? I have a friend who has 6 or 8 different perfumes and can wear them all with equal ease and delicious smells. (Obviously, I'm jealous of this!)
Do you wear it everyday? Just for special occasions? Or never?
And then there's the perfume ads....grins. Seen the new Bulgari one?
And what about the new trend to having celebrities "create" a fragrance? I don't buy it - if I'm wearing Vera Wang, by golly, it better be a DRESS! And I ain't touchin' Jennifer Lopez....
Give me your thoughts! BTW, I'll be giving away an ARC of the RT TOP PICK for September - my new book, DEADLY LITTLE LIES today, to one lucky perfumier...winner. Just because! It's not due out till Sept. 1, so you'll get it early!
Sniff!! Sniff, sniff, sniff? What perfume are YOU wearing??