I am, to the unending groan of both my bank account and my bureau, a confirmed fragrance snob. I have literally driven through a Texas snow storm (which surprisingly involved actual snow and not someone doing cocaine off a piece of Larry Hagman memorabilia) to wend my way to Barney’s New York in Dallas, the only place in Texas where one can get hopped up on my particularly favorite varietals of frog juice, Serge Lutens and Frederic Malle. I love high-concept, challenging scents. Tell me something smells “pretty, like clean flowers” and I’m asleep before you’ve finished the sentence. Tell me it smells like someone left an angry carnation in a Brazilian mortuary and I’m throwing cash at you like you were the last stripper in Chiang Mai.
But as I mentioned last week and Twistie chatted about over the weekend, scent is a funny old dog. It’s a rubber band that irrevocably snaps us back to times, places and people, high-concept mortuaries be damned.
A spritz of the perverse “Jasmin et Cigarettes” from L’etat Libre de Orange sends me right back to Andre’s place in Times Square the night he proposed, the dizzying powder green icicle of Frederic Malle’s “Iris Poudre” has me driving cross country in the famously bleak midwinter somethingorother, using my fur coat as a blanket while I caught 20 minutes sleep in the parking lot of a Denny’s and I cannot even dab on Serge Lutens’ “Bois et Musc” without bringing back some Very Good Times Indeed involving, well…absolutely nothing I feel like sharing at the moment.
On the slightly more prosaic tip, I famously first loved gin because it reminded me of being hugged by my grandmother (who, btw has done nothing but drink Tanq and smoke Benson and Hedges for the past 50 years and is going to outlive everyone but Keith Richards) and when I left the newspaper one of the saddest parts was knowing I wouldn’t get to smell that delicious, delicious ink.
And then there are the boys.
My first boyfriend covered himself in Avon’s “Wild Country” with the sort of reckless abandon usually reserved for rutting disco elks, any number of my euroflings took Chanel’s Allure pour Homme in the way virgin statues take on milk and my current sweet baboo (P to the S: it’s very difficult to explain what a Sweet Baboo is to someone who didn’t grow up with Peanuts cartoons. He thought I was calling him a festively-buttocked monkey. I’m not saying he is and I’m not saying he ain’t, but it wasn’t what I was calling him at that moment) has a scent all his own that’s slightly reminiscent of Bulgari “Black” but is probably some sort of artist’s compound that’ll give both of us tails and cancer and maybe even split ends.
Last week I shared with you the heartbreak of having a lingering affection for a now-discontinued species of Axe Body Spray and many of you chimed in with the embarrassing favorites from your past. Today I’d like to make it an official Big Question.
Today Miss Plumcake wants to know:
What scent screams “first love” to you? If you’ve got an embarrassing scent story, I want to hear it! Put it in the comments and hold your nose!