Finding a new (alternate) fragrance

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I keep a bottle of cologne in the office, for emergencies. I had an emergency the other day: I had a doctor’s appointment (my doctor’s office is right across the street from my office), and I forgot to put on cologne that morning.

 

 

I don’t want to offend my doctor, do I?

 

 

My emergency cologne is L’Occitane’s “Eau des Vanilliers,” which is a not-very-good follow-up to their original “Vanille.” “Vanille” smelled like natural vanilla extract, and brought back memories of Christmas baking sessions. “Eau des Vanilliers” is harsher, and smells (to me) like vanilla mixed with butane.

 

 

But I am shocked at how much people like it.

 

 

“You smell good,” Apollonia said that day. “Better than usual, anyway.”

 

 

Toby sniffed at it and smiled. “It’s very ladylike,” he said.

 

 

I’ve written before about smelling like food. It is a surefire way to make friends; people love you if you smell like anything edible. (Creepy, isn’t it?) And I don’t mind smelling ladylike. I remember a study some years ago in which men were asked what scents they preferred, and they all said things like musk and cedar, but when they were actually asked to evaluate scents, they preferred the same floral scents that women preferred.

 

So there.

 

 

My preferred scent is “L’Occitan,” by L’Occitane. (Yes, I know.) It is lavender, with cedar, and burnt wood, and nutmeg, and black pepper. It is dark and interesting.

 

 

But you can’t wear the same thing every day.

 

 

I went to the fragrance kiosk in the Providence Place Mall a few weeks ago, and I asked the stupidest possible question: “What do you recommend?”

 

 

Naturally the salesman brought out lots of mid-price and high-price stuff. Some were okay. One had – I kid you not – no smell at all; I tried it twice and couldn’t detect anything. (Maybe my nose is configured incorrectly.) Finally I settled on a high-end Paco Rabanne scent, in a perfectly lovely bottle, with notes of grapefruit and rose and blood orange. (I didn’t get these from the salesman; I looked them up in basenotes.com later.)

 

 

It is a nice change from my other scent, and makes a pleasant alternative.

 

 

Then I discover from Tab (my coworker) and Al (my student assistant) that they don’t even wear something every day!

 

 

See, I assume that I stink, and that I need assistance in this area.

 

 

I will continue to assume this, until I am sure that it’s not true.

 

 

So if you smell pepper / nutmeg / burnt wood, or blood oranges /grapefruit / rose,  in your vicinity anytime soon, you can be reasonable sure that it’s me.


 

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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