Hung over from a long night in a Juarez bar back in 1979, staring into my bottle of tequila, (not tequila perfume), contemplating how I would get back across the border without the passport I’d lose in a card game, I looked up and spotted this tiny spy-looking little woman across the room. Hey, it wouldn’t hurt to ask. I meandered over, offered her a shot. After forking over the required cash, she got me on a bus headed back across the border with a fake passport, disguised as a nun. We were fast friends since then.
Hey, it’s a better story than how we actually met! We’ve never actually met yet, but I keep hoping we’ll manage it this summer, maybe some perfume shopping in NYC. March bought a sample from me, and it never showed up. I think she’s one of two packages that never showed, and the other got lost on the way to Russia. It was fate. So being a customer and all, she asked me, fairly politely, where in the hell her sample was. It was Messe de Minuit, and I wanted to tell her she was going to regret it, it was better it never arrived, that stuff was just vile, but instead, I just held my nose, packed up another sample and sent it off to her, and then we got to talking about how she loved it, and I was just shocked that MdM smelled like something other than old musty books, and I figured her for some goth-girl freak, and then I found out she was a “normal” person with a life kinda like mine. Then we got to sharing samples back and forth of other things and bits about our lives and who we were, found out we both love gardening and perfume and our kids and have funny, charming husbands, and it has turned into one of the loveliest friendships I have. I have others I treasure as well, but I’m not writing about those right now.
I’ve made other friends over perfume that I treasure so much as well, and I know many of you have too. There have been lots of other hobbies and interests I have had on the internet before where I made cyber-friends, and some of them have lasted decades, and one of them led to me meeting my husband, but few are as easy as my perfume friends. That got me to thinking why, as I rocked in Dr. Phil’s armchair, and then I formed a theory. Our shared love of perfume is about a sense, and it is a sense that is rooted in memory and emotion. Traveling through life, when things happen to us, scent is always there as the background, the color, and it has vast power to bring the past into the present when we smell something associated with a strong memory. It is sometimes horrifying how quickly I can turn into a gawky 13-year-old girl when I smell certain things, or a tarty 20-something carousing bars when I smell something else. As we talk about the scents we love and hate, we are telling things about ourselves. It may not be something we are actually telling, but it is coming from the place that holds our lives, our memories, who we are. Friendships are more easily forged and held, and they seem kinder because we have really connected in something other than a surface way with these other freaks that are obsessed over perfume.
Okay, I’ll scoot out of my psychological armchair now.
Ormonde Jayne Frangipani Absolute — Notes of linden blossom, magnolia flower and lime peel, white frangipani, jasmine, rose and tuberose absolutes, water lilies, plum, green orchid oil, Amber, musk, cedar and French vanilla absolute. I get a little carried away when I spritz this one on. With all the notes in it, you’d think this would be overpowering, but the blend and the balance is amazing. It never goes to the sickening sweet tropical flower that you think it will, just enough green and linden that keep it honest and magical. Put this on, and you are going to an island in your head. It’s sunshine and flowers and green and relaxing. This is just one of my favorite lines, right up there with my deep affection for Hermes and de Rosine. There is not one perfume she has made that I do not love and enjoy wearing.
Now, let’s see what I have in my much-wished-for Fendi Spy handbag that I shall never own for the sample give-away this week. How about your choice of one Ormonde Jayne sample (I have all but Osmanthus) and a Serge sample of one that I have, which I can go through what’s available with the winner.
Just send all your good wishes that a great deal on a Fendi Spy will drop in my lap in the comments, and you shall be entered in the drawing, which I’ll do on Thursday night and post the winner on Friday this week. Now, if anyone has a gently used Fendi Spy they would part with for a reasonable price, I can heartily assure you will be this week’s winner!
Do you think your perfume friends have a special bond that is different than normal? Other than bonding over our freakish hobby, I mean? And why?