Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Am I an old lady?

Recently I've been thinking about perfumes. I shower, I use rather inoffensive lotions (unscented if possible), and I wear deodorant that doesn't invoke a flowery paste applied directly to the eyes. So generally, I try to smell like a human. I find that people - especially in the US - have a huge problem with smelling like things you ate (heaven forbid I should detect that you sustained your life with food), sweat (I'm glad that you smell like a laboratory that studies the indolent), and natural body oils. Basically, smelling like a living creature.

In fact, one thing that annoys me about my last two significant others is their propensity to shower and scrub all their scent away, often twice a day. This is not ancient Rome in the summertime, people. You didn't do anything at that office you work at to smell bad enough to warrant a hose-down. No. No, I can't smell anything. No, I'm not lying, you don't smell like anything. You are a fawn in tall grass. No predators can detect you. No, I'm not being sarcastic. Yes, I am mocking you.

Nobody wants to make peoples' eyes water with their stench, but I have only experienced truly stinky people in two situations:
- Really, really, supremely sweaty people (and not even all supremely sweaty people. just some)
- Homeless guys who smell like years of dried sweat and urine.

I promise, if you jogged to meet me in front of the metro station, and you have a light sheen of perspiration, you probably don't smell like either of those two. Nor do you smell like a pile of burning, used, adult diapers. You don't even smell remotely of rotting flesh. Really!

Oh, you ate some garlic earlier? What a coincidence! Almost every culture on earth eats dishes with garlic in them! Oh and here's another new fact: I like garlic too. Now, if you ate garlic five days ago and have consumed nothing but the dew gathered from virgin spring leaves of mint and you still smell like garlic? Maybe there's a problem with your digestion, but that has nothing to do with you scrubbing yourself with exfoliants, using shampoo to strip your hair of scent and luster, and stopping up every pore in and around your armpits.

Of course, I have nothing against good, solid hygiene and the maintenance of appearance. I just find it excessive to be showering before you go out because you "feel gross," even though all you did all day was sit at a computer, move a mouse, and maybe walk to go get lunch. I mean, if it's a stress-relieving technique, then go for it, I guess. But if you feel stinky, then I fully expect to open the bathroom door and see you in the shower stall, water hot enough to sterilize the toilet brush, scouring your armpits with a piece of soaped-up sandpaper and muttering, "Unclean, unclean, I must get the sin off..." All things in moderation people.

Wow, how about that ranting, huh? That was a pretty good one. Anyway, I associate perfume with old ladies most of the time, and/or covering up some other scent/trying not to be a human. It seems simultaneously classy and wasteful. Romantic and inconsequential. Reminds me of walking through the cosmetics department of a department store and being attacked by women in skirt suits with spray bottles and tabs of paper. But then I went into a perfume store on a whim, and found some scents that smelled really good. I think something instinctual triggered; something basic that warned me I must be appealing in all ways all the time in order to propagate the species with my genetic combination. And also a desire to collect all things aesthetically pleasing. I've been so focused on the visual, the tasty, and the eloquent, that I had forgotten there are several other senses that can be delighted. But do I need to delight them all? And for like $100 for a tiny bottle of liquid? So I guess I put it to you, readers. Should I dive into the world of perfume, and enhance my self-aesthetic, or should I not waste my money?

For your enjoyment, here are some pretty sweet sites to check out if you a.) don't want to spend money on a full bottle and just want some samples and b.) don't want to smell like everybody who has a household name fragrance (I mean how many people are wearing that exact same Calvin Klein scent, anyway) and would like some more independent, unique, and specialized perfume houses to choose from.

The Perfumed Court

Here are some perfumes I am considering purchasing samples of (I know, "maybe perhaps considering thinking about trying etc.").

Le Temps D'Une Fete - because "green floral" seems like a fun description

Helianthe - Because I like ylang ylang and sandalwood and names that sound all steampunk.

Lastly, here's the rule: Stop showering so much, it's ok, really.

I hope real writing will come out of me soon for the next blog post. We shall see! Feel free to beseech any deities or make offerings unto muses on my behalf for some creative juices.


Megatron said...

I pretty much agree with everything you wrote, and didn't wear perfume for a long time. But now I enjoy at one of life's little luxuries, because it makes me feel girly and pretty and I like it when I hug someone and they tell me I smell good. Plus, while you may have to lay out a decent chunk of change, a good-sized bottle will last you a long time. Like 6 months to a year depending on bottle size, frequency of use, etc.

The key is to find something that's good for any occasion (especially if you'll only be getting one bottle) and not too heavy or sickly sweet (unless you just want to rub your body with pineapple cakes ;). Also, it will take some trial and error to figure out just how much you can wear so that friends/dance partners may get a soft whiff of scent, but most people won't even notice you're wearing perfume.

I say have fun hunting around for something that you adore completely, and then do something nice for yourself.

Luke said...

Perhaps those creative juices you're praying for are being washed off in the shower.

I don't wear scented anything (or scented laundry detergent), mainly out of a habit I started years ago. I had read somewhere that having all these scents confuses your dog, so I chucked it all. Plus, my boo wears the most yummy perfume ever, and it seems weird to mix gardenias with bollock musk.