I overheard a conversation in the gym this morning that I had to bring to your attention – I find the gym a fascinating place for all kinds of weird and wonderful anecdotes – I appear to have made friends and say hello to people even though I don’t know their name – and it is shortly after 7am too! P is lucky if I say good morning to him at that time however it is somehow deemed acceptable to have pleasantries over a hairdryer in the Ladies changing room.
Anyway the question posed between these two ladies was “What perfume are you wearing”? Now this may not seem an offensive, intrusive or even unpleasant question to the majority of us, including myself – however when I came to think about it in further detail I found that it brought up all sorts of judgements, insecurities and emotions. Don’t get me wrong, it is a question that I never get tired of hearing and I am more than proud to share with the questioner the name of said fragrance that I have sprayed on that day – however in truth this question for all its pleasant intentions is the prime question that opens up the floor to all kinds of judgement.
I can make this claim because I too (and I bet some of you too) find myself making judgements about a person depending on what perfume they are wearing. It automatically forces me to make hundreds of subconcious connections in my mind for which I apologise now – please don’t think me a bad person! Allow me to explain further.
If you were to tell me that you were wearing one of the new school grand french-sounding fragrances such as L’Eau Magnifique by Lancome, Champs Elysee by Guerlain or Allure Sensuelle by Chanel, I will have mentally begun sketching you as a person who understands why a thread count is important in a bed sheet, cooks with Samphire and truffles (just for dinner, not to show off) and you’re a woman who has read Pride and Prejudice and Tolstoy in the bath for your own pleasure. I would instantly think you live a more charmed, well travelled life than I. That is what perfume does. It unravels a fantasy before us, giving a heightened estimation of who the wearer really is.
If your fragrance has an endogynous-sounding name, maybe with a letter or a number perched at the end, or maybe the fragrance itself is just a number – think No 19 Poudre by Chanel, Bond No.9 or Ralph Lauren Big Pony 1 – 4 Perfume, I’ll have you marked as a leather wrapped urbanite who has no fear of pairing Doc Martens with a cool floral dress from Topshop, you would run in the opposite direction of a manicure and can’t remember the last time you had clean hands, let alone nails – mainly because all your money has already been spent on chunky silver jewellery, festivals and cava.
Those who enjoy a scent whose name sounds as sweet as it smells, anything containing the word candy, pink, or sparkle in the title such as Pink Sugar by Aquolina, Pink Sparkle by Kylie Minogue or Candy by Prada will instantly lead me to assume that the wearer has a pink phone case with diamantes, has no problems with speaking in a baby voice and loves bubbles………
I apologise. It should all be about the smell, the scent, the fragrance – but lets not kid ourselves. Its not. Words are an important part of the fantasy fragrance too. Yes, there is more than a hint of snobbery here. It is shallow, elitist and scalding. But it is ok, the world would be such a boring place if we all loved the same fragrances. And I bet I’m not alone. The question is now – how do we answer the question at the start to avoid all of these judgements? So not to bore you I will leave that answer for another blog in the next few weeks – so keep checking and keep reading!
So now, be honest – am I alone with these thoughts? I mean if you really delve deep into your subconscious? What do smells remind you of? Or what do they trigger? I would love to hear your comments on here, Facebook or our Twitter page!
Until next time, stay warm, cosy, snug and smiley!
Lots of Love