May 3, 2016

Perfume: A Life Story

"A perfume is like a piece of clothing, a message, a way of presenting oneself, a costume that differs according to the woman who wears it."
- Paloma Picasso

Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers - This perfume feels like the last time I felt comfortable in my skin until I was 30.  This is summer time.  This is wheat fields.  This is swimming in the Ablah's pool and listening to Matthew Sweet.  This is dying your hair bright red with Manic Panic.  This is feeling like the best version of yourself while wearing cut-off denim and a t-shirt.

Calgon Hawaiian Ginger body spray/patchouli oil/Jovan Island Gardenia - The dabbling years. High school wasn't that much fun.  I wasn't bullied.  I had friends.  I did well in classes.  But it just wasn't fun.  I was lost.  I had an idea of the person I was, but I felt trapped by what everyone else thought I was.  I loved makeup and clothes.  I could recite Shakespeare's Sonnets by heart.  I loved romance and adventure.  But I was the serious girl who always wore a dark blue hoodie.  I didn't think anyone would be okay with the riotous springtime that was happening inside of me.

Romance by Ralph Lauren - I think I wore this because I wanted to be the kind of person who wore this.  I wanted to be softer.  I wanted to be inviting and lovely.  I had spent the four years of high school building a "barrier of barb and check" around myself.  I wanted to tear it down after high school, but I didn't know how. So I wore this perfume, but it didn't change anything. Eventually I just gave up and built the wall higher. To the sky.

Pink Sugar by Aquolina - This was an attempt at frivolity in my mid 20s.  I am frivolous in many ways, but frivolous in a sort of dark carnival way.  This perfume is pure cotton candy and pink cherubs playing The Carpenters on lutes. When I wear it now it feels oppressive and like a person who doesn't understand herself.

Angel by Thierry Mugler - Body chemistry is a weird thing.  This perfume smells good on me.  On some molecular level this perfume hits my body and becomes something better. I've had to prove to other people who also wear this perfume, that this is what I'm wearing. Diablo Cody calls this the ultimate stripper perfume in her memoir Candy Girl: A Year In the Life of an Unlikely Stripper.  I like that.

Flower Bomb by Viktor & Rolf - This choice says a lot about me.  Not the scent though.  The scent is good, but whatever.  But the fact that I found my perfume...  THE PERFUME...  and then decided I should try something else because the something else seemed more interesting and distinctive says plenty.  I tried to force myself to love it, and I still wear it occasionally when I want to switch it up.  I'm just not this girl.

Angel by Thierry Mugler - This is the perfume I will be wearing when I die. Most likely causes: eating too many cheddar bay biscuits or a freak carnival ride accident.

Weird question... do you guys look in the mirror when you put on perfume?  I do, and I don't know why.

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