Confessions of a Perfume Slut

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Confessions of a Perfume Slut


I am a perfume slut.

 

I can’t be faithful to just one fragrance.  I have serial love affairs; no signature scent for me.  This morning, I own thirty-something bottles of perfume and 103 sample vials on a dedicated closet shelf. And that doesn’t include the bottles I’ve grown tired of this year and given away. 

 

 

 Some people are drawn to wine, and can parse the specifics – an oaky taste, or notes of cinnamon or chocolate or grass.  For me, it is perfume that plucks the strings of my neural wiring.  Smell is the most primitive sense, a synaptic relay station to the limbic system, where memory and emotion lodge.

 

Just as some women can tell you exactly what they wore or what they weighed at every significant event in their lives, I can tell you what perfume I was wearing.  As a child, I loved to sniff the flask on my mother’s dresser, a cobalt blue bottle called Evening in Paris, whose name conjured up smoke and midnight blue swirling taffeta.

 

At eleven, when I got my first period, my great aunt Jeanette marked my emergence into womanhood with a gift of solid stick Tabu eau de toilette.  Briefly I loved it, even though it smelled like patchouli mixed with maple syrup and was strong enough to clear a room.

 

As a teenager, I had the requisite flirtation with fruity floral perfumes that were the olfactory equivalent of cotton candy.  In college, I consorted with Cachet, a drugstore perfume by Prince Matchabelli.

 

As a young assistant in book publishing, I wore Bal a Versailles, a soft and sexy floral oriental, though I confess I hanky-pankied with Halston cologne too.  Right after I met the man I would eventually marry, I strode into Saks on my lunch hour in search of a new fragrance to launch a liaison.  The sales woman produced a flask of Fracas eau de parfum.