My dad’s nickname for me used to be Pud, and my sister’s was Sud (her name is Shirley). I have no idea why, he took that with him to the grave. Our best guess is because it rhymed. Though he also called us Salt and Pepper too, which eventually got shortened to Sp when he wanted us both for something. My brothers had nicknames too — this is the infamous Tom, Dick and Harry — but their nicknames aren’t fit for a family fragrance blog or even a not-so-family blog.
Every time we were getting ready to go out for some frilly social obligation — being farm folks, playing Pitch at the neighbors would suffice — my mom would spritz on some scent or another, as would my sister and me. My dad’s comment, unfailingly, was, “Smells like a French Whorehouse in here!” Then he’d head out to the car or truck and start honking the horn to hurry us up.
When I first heard about the Etat Libre d’Orange line and the names of the scents and descriptions, all I could think of was my dad and his “french whorehouse.” When the perfumes came in yesterday, I quickly opened them, trying the ones I had heard good things about like Jasmin et Cigarette and Putains des Palace and Rien. I’ve found some that I really love in here and some that just baffle me. As my nose meandered from the Divin’Enfant to Bubblegum and Encens to Palace Slut, then I held Secretions Magnifique at an arm’s length and recoiled with the inappropriateness of that.. um, smell, then lit up a jasmine cigarette after on another wrist, followed by the mellow beauty of Rien… I thought… yeah, absolutely, French whorehouse. And I started to laugh as I sniffed the secretions, then covered it up with my sweatshirt because it was too raw, too real, too… it shouldn’t be there, not in the crook of my arm!
Many of these scents are sketches — a quick jot of notes that suggest the thing it is supposed to be or the thing it is supposed to express — some are complete portraits and beautiful, like Vraie Blond and Rien and the Palace Slut.
Now, it’s really late at night, and I’ve been decanting these little things most of the day, and I reek, but I’ve been snickering and guffawing for several hours over these little oddities of smell, and somewhere I can hear my dad chortling too. Pud Etat gets my vote as Most Amusing Line of Perfumes 2007.
And this post makes absolutely no sense, nor did my dad’s comment about whorehouses make sense, and I’m not sure the Pud Etats make sense either. Making sense is highly overrated.