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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Excuse Me, But Your Perfume is Starting to Smell

I was walking around Sephora a couple nights ago, part of the shopping marathon that has started with a bang, now that my mother-in-law is here and we’ve all stopped coughing long enough to park the car at the mall. I mistakenly sprayed on some perfume. It was pretty much downhill from there.

I’m not really qualified to wear a scent. I’ve had some bad experiences with how my perfume affects those around me. Okay, I’ve had one bad experience with someone complaining about my perfume. But for most of my adulthood, I’ve struggled with perfume: Should I wear it? Should I not wear it? How much should I spend? What does my perfume say about me? Should I just be happy with the overly scented soaps and shampoos and fabric softeners that are able to mask BO and the old man smell that I fear?

So I don’t know what possessed me to squirt on some Pure Grace, the pink one of the Grace perfumes. Yuck. My dog Grace - the reason I suspect I picked up the bottle to begin with - smelled better. And she used to roll in her own poop.

Instead of spritzing out, it came out like a fire hose. Instead of wiping it off, I used my other wrist to soak up the excess. I smelled like a 13-year-old that rolled in her own cotton candy.

That’s my problem with perfume: It makes you smell like something else, whether it’s someone younger and ditzier than you, or older and with better taste, or a vanilla cupcake. I know I’m not going to change anyone’s opinion of me by the way I smell, but they could draw some conclusions about me on a first impression, so I’m torn about what to do about my smell. Because I pretty much want to be seen and smelled as the 52-year-old middle class white woman that I am, and I’m not sure there’s a perfume for that.

I looked anyway.

Hearts and Daggers . . . Fracas . . . Alien . . . Earthworm . . . Solar Donkey Power . . . Funeral Home . . . Delicious Closet Queen . . . Nope.

I think I’ll stick with what I’ve been wearing - Cheez-It Breath and Just Minced Some Garlic.

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