Decisions, decisions

First off, I forgot to tell you who the Menardo winner was from two weeks back. It was you, Joan. Expect an email asking for your address sometime soon. I’ll also throw a sample of Jubilation XXV in there too.

I want to write about Jubilation XXV, but I’m holding off until incense month, aka January. My bottle should be with me today – I’ve got through 4mls in a week, so this seems like love. It’s also cured me of my incense issues – seems it was monastically dry incense that I could no longer do. I’ve talked before about how my skin needs a little sweetness in a scent or I end up desiccated. But the purchase does relate to the post, which’ll be shorter than normal – it’s Christmas frenzy over here in Suffolk, England, UK, Europe, the World, The Universe…

Put your hand up if you ever struggle to choose a scent in the morning. I know I do – some people are ritualists about this, choosing one before they go to sleep. A lovely bloke on PoL seems to rotate through his scents, giving each one its moment in the limelight. Both of these are way too systematic for me – I have to select on the mood of the moment. (Aside: did restaurants Stateside ever opt for a period where a soup starter was called ‘Soup of the Moment’? I think this was to avoid the dreary sigh of boredom that meets ‘soup of the day’, also known as ‘all our leftovers thrown into a pot with stock’. But isn’t soup of the moment truly awful? I must be getting old – I find myself constantly tut-tutting over appalling uses of language – all the time. And apologies to you if you use any of these – I even do myself because of their ubiquity – but top of my shudder list right now are ‘A big ask’ and ‘populate the document’. I know, I know, they’re effective, but the first is a dreadful grammatical shift to imply sophistication and insight through linguistic simplicity; the second a mathematical term that has broadened to mean ‘fill in’ or ‘complete’ everywhere and for everything, as though all such tasks bear the weight of genius. I’m all for linguistic play, diversity, change, and I don’t give two hoots about the dying art of the apostrophe, but the steady accretion of Businessspeak in the everyday makes my flesh creep. Though I do like those sss together like that. I might have to do a whole post on this sometime. The language thing. Not the sss.)

Where was I? Oh yes. Decisions. See my problem? So easily distracted by whatever floats through my head. I blame mono – my brain still doesn’t work like it used to, a year on. A butterfly has replaced it. Nice wings, but crap at action… So, some days I do a mental checklist of all I have and what I can wear. I have about 70 bottles. I’m trying to reduce it to 50, but finding that way too hard. There’s always new nosh in the goody bag. Then there are the hundreds of decants and samples that sometimes seem to march towards me in my dreams, a la The Sorceror’s Apprentice, demanding to be worn. They’re lucky to be used as air fresheners or linen scenters, the poor fools. All in all this means that I easily feel overwhelmed by variety, the superfluity of scent chez moi. Like when I first got digital, I constantly flicked through channels, never settling on one for longer than a few minutes. I watched the shopping channels as happily as a costume drama or the news – all merged into one. Sometimes, I fear my plethora of choice is destroying my sense of taste and refinement in what I love, though I know that isn’t true, at least in the long run. I’m back to the hour or two of TV a day, and only quality (or what I claim is quality, and don’t you dare challenge me on it). And it’s not as if I wear Vera Wang for Men (sorry to the two fans of this beast).

Right now, as I type these words, I’m scentless. Yes that’s right. Pass the smelling salts would you. A couple of our more neurasthenic readers are a little too overcome by my statement. Pass them back to me afterwards please. I never know when I might need them myself. In fact, whole days can pass unscented, due to a failure to decide. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not that I doin’t want to wear scent, it’s just that I need to CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONE. I tell you, it can get downright debilitating. As yet, I seem to have found no cure.

So, do you also suffer from this psychopathology? If so, how do you get round it or over it? Or alternatively, have you just learned to live with it? Answer me please…

The first image is Vincent Price as Roderick Usher. It seemed appropriate. The second is a scentaholic who’s just been told that her latest purchase will be held up for a week. You know you’ve been there.

  • sybil says:

    DH is constantly abusing the language, which he gets from working in a techie environment. We get lots of “touching base,” “bandwidth” “action item(s)” and my (un)favorite “pushback.” As I grouchily pointed out, maybe pushback happens because people are feeling pushed! Oh, yeah…how do I decide what to wear perfumewise? This’ll probably mark me as some kind of scent weirdo, but if I can’t decide, then I figure my nose (or psyche or whatever) needs a break and I DON’T WEAR ANYTHING.

    • Lee says:

      But I’m sure your husband makes up for it in other ways, though he needs to do a fair bit for pushbacks…

      I’m happy to join you in unscented weirdness, sybil. Every once in a while.

  • Michelle says:

    I do this stupid thing where I match the COLOR of my clothes to the COLOR I feel the juice is (not literally, but the color VIBE). But then, I noticed that actually I was matching the color of clothes to the color of the bottle. So if I wore pink I’d be wearing Chinatown. Or if I was wearing neutrals I’d wear Daim Blond. If I was wearing orange I’d wear Eau des Merveilles. Black…guess. However, I think this has a certain crazy logic. If I was feeling pink, I’d choose pink to wear, and I’d choose pink perfume to wear. There’s no foolproof way. But I feel you: you have to be in the moment, and the right scent has to match that moment. Otherwise, it’s just all wrong.

    • Lee says:

      I like it! I like colour, though I tend to wear green a lot and don’t want to spend my life in Envy, Eau Noire and Fougere Bengale, lovely as all three are. I guess I could always match em to my underwear. Though the multi-coloured polka dots’ll leave me puzzling.

  • Joan says:

    Hi Lee – just looked at the email address that was posted today and realised that there was a letter missing :d so if you were having a problem reaching me – please try again – thanks

  • Stacy says:

    As someone who keeps an Excel spreadsheet of my full bottles, decants, and samples, the notion of systematically rotating through the collection does have its (note correct usage of posessive form ;)theoretical appeal… However, in practice, I am all about the whimsy of the moment. I seem to go through some kind of sorting, first eliminating anything that does not fit the season, then anything that can’t be worn at work, then working intuitively to find what works with mood and outfit.

    Today I wanted comfort because we’re drowning in rain and everybody else in my household starts their holiday today. So I cycled through Bois des Iles (didn’t match my outfit), Bulgari Black (too squishy), Le Labo Patchouli 24 (too bold), before settling on 10 Corso Como which both strengthens me for making it through work and soothes me.

    While we’re talking about Businessspeak (love the sss!), what about chronic overuse of acronyms? Wait, I need to EPIC message the PCRs about my MHEs and MHCs so my PSS scores won’t suffer…

    • Lee says:

      First: ^:)^ from a disorganised scatterbrain (I just had a piece of paper on the floor by me. I meant to throw it in the recycling. I put it in my pocket instead. It’s likely to go thru the washing machine. Oh well. See, I’ve reminded myself of it so should deal with it, but hell, I’m writing to you).

      Second 8-} you’ve bamboozled me with your acronyms, though I work with a bunch of my own – BSF, PFI, SAFFs, T4L, CLS, yadda yadda yaa.

    • JenniferR says:

      What’s the ROI on that? And can I get the RFP and the RFC stat? And BTW, I need the latest HPSS&FB. (Yes, I made that last one up … but it really does, ah, stand for something …)

  • JenniferR says:

    Another brilliant post, Lee! I do not know whether I am truly a flibbertygibbet, or just a wannabe. It sure feels like I am, but Other People keep telling me that I’m organized. Scary.
    I’m an academic refugee who now works in software development. Alphabet soup, we call it. EVERYTHING is an acronym. Developers make them up on the fly. When I was starting out, I took them all seriously, and thought that if I learned them all, I would be OOTI (One Of The Insiders). It took me a sad while to figure out that nobody knew what they meant, often not even the dev teams.
    And if it’s not an acronym, it’s precisely the businessspeak of which you speak. We need to triage this feature, scrum that project, and verbify as many nouns as we can catch.
    Yes, I have been known to go without applying perfume in the morning. It happened yesterday, in fact. In my case, the situation is produced by a combination of the indecision that you describe, Lee, a lack of time or focus (I’ve got to catch a meeting — I do like the notion of a meeting as a virus … yes, I am really at least a linguistic flibbertygibbet, queen of the parenthesis am I am I), and, well, I don’t know just what else.
    Sometimes I console myself by using the velvet scarf that I wear outdoors most days in the winter as my fragrance substitute. It’s imbued with most of the things that I wear frequently — lots o’ incense, Bois et Fruits, Nostalgia, others my butterfly brain (and I don’t have mono as an excuse) can’t recall at the moment.
    And there’s a bag of samples that lives in my purse and gets swapped out occasionally. So that if the morning indecision produces a desperately scentless day, I can try to remedy the situation.
    Of course, it usually doesn’t happen that way, because believe it or not I wind up paying attention to something besides how I smell. Sad, isn’t it?

    • Lee says:

      And a brilliant comment! Verbifying nouns – such a pet peeve…

      It’s not sad – it’s normal here. Given that we’re all freaks, take that however you like!

  • Linda says:

    Yes! That “it is what it is” thing is an outpost of my more evangelistic co-workers… I think it’s so annoying. I also think they’re spreading it to one another at church.

    • Lee says:

      My mum, when she shifts into quasi-mystical witchy mode, is wont to say, ‘What will be will be, my love.’ That’s when I know Doris Day has had too profound an impact on the world at large, alongside fatalism…:d

  • Linda says:

    [Puts her hand in the air like she just don’t care]

    I have the HARDEST time choosing. It affects my mood so much that it’s a serious decision. Shall it be a sexy day? A broody day? A chipper day? An introspective day? Do I know in advance what effect this will have on me? Do I dare put on something I haven’t worn before? What will my co-workers do if I choose a sillage monster? Can I live with it for… all day?! If I pick something with cumin in it, am I braced to deal with my mom when she tells me for the thousandth time that my deodorant has failed?

    I feel your pain! :((

    Sorry about the mono… yes, it does give you the butterflies. My partner got it in his Marine Corps training somewhere along the line and it wasn’t detected for a good while… it almost got him, and did get him hospitalized for a scary week.

    • Lee says:

      [waves hands back]
      Flutter flutter!

      Too many questions in the world, aren’t there Linda? And you and me – we just add to em!

  • Teri says:

    Hellllp, I’m an indecisive, whim-driven soul trapped in the body of a corporate functionary. I’m envious of those of you who can leisurely contemplate your ‘fume o’the day over coffee/tea and/or a hot shower. Being that I’m not at all a morning person, and being that I leave home each day at 5:50 am for a long commute, I’m forced to lay out everything the night before — sometimes even the Sunday before the work week for the entire week. Fragrance-wise I simply wear whatever happens to be at the front of the cabinet that day, which can result in some real disconnects as the day progresses. However, I always keep a few previously untested samples in my desk drawer at work. So if I’m not terribly pleased with whatever I spritzed that morning, I can play with these samples as the day progresses.

    In the course of my employment, I work with a lot of HR types (Human Resources to the uninitiated), who speak in a language composed of acronyms — COBRA, HIPAA, OSHA, FICA, etc. It’s fine if you know the lingo, but it’s frustrating to communicate with these people if you don’t. A popular phrase these days that really annoys me is ‘it is what it is’. Well of course it is, you eejit, what else what it be? lol

    • Lee says:

      Teri – I feel your pain. Glad you have developed a strategy for getting round it!

      It is what it is. Yeah, duh. I hear that a lot too. And one of my Key Leads (don’t ask) in a school always says, at least 5 times a meeting ‘I just need to get my head round that.’ Drives me nuts!

    • March says:

      Teri – I knew all of yours off the top of my head. Gad, that’s depressing. Going to nip some STOLI or stick my head in the OVEN./:)

      PS Lee — you know what I REALLY hate? Sports analogies in business. Let’s hit the ball out of the park, go for the goal, etc. I assume you can bat something about wickets at me.:-j

  • BitterGrace says:

    Ah, but you see, Lee, this perfume problem could be solved if only you could overcome your prejudice against “of the moment.” That phrase offers the philosophical remedy for the passionate ambivalence that afflicts you. Your scent needn’t be right for a whole freakin’ day, just for a moment. Another moment, another perfume. That’s why the Flying Spaghetti Monster invented soap.

    • Lee says:

      That FSM – so damn clever!

      But my other problem is I’m narrative driven. I find it difficult to jettison a book or film even when truly dire cos I wsant to see the whole shape of it. I’m the same with scent. Washing off a restarting – not quite right. Man, I need help. This post has exposed way too much neurotic behaviour.

  • Solander says:

    I have, let’s see, 9 bottles (an impulsive L’Aromarine – cuuuute bottles – purchase will make it 13 when I get back to York) about half of which I actually like, plus a couple I selfishly bought for my girlfriend that we both like. But then there’s the samples, which I actually do wear most days (my bottles aren’t even with me in York, I left them at my girlfriend’s where I’m currently playing housewife while she’s at work)
    And yes I do feel overwhelmed by choices! I’ve contemplated choosing the scent the night before (and of course choose the outfit to go with it too!) but like you said, it has to fit the mood of the moment. Although sometimes for bigger occassions, when I already know what to wear, I might pick the scent in advance, or at least narrow it down to a couple to choose from.
    And I’m with you re the businessspeak. We have it in Swedish too, and it’s usually the most horrid “Swenglish”.
    I love Liberty, by the way, I did lots of Christmas shopping there. Did you know they carry Le Labo now, and that Harvey Nichols carries Etat Libre?

    • Lee says:

      Those le Labo ladies are lovely in Liberty. Truly perfect SAs. And I’m glad you like the store. One of the best, I think.

      I could probably live on my samples and decants for the rest of my days, if I so chose. But I don’t;)

      • Solander says:

        Yes! I asked for some test strips to take home and she generously sprayed them for me and put them in sealed envelopes not to mix the scents. Even the fact that I wasn’t too intimidated by her to ask is quite something. The SAs in Liberty are the best, the whole atmosphere there is so much nicer than for example Harvey Nichols, which is just crowded by tons and tons of SAs…
        I used to not even wear scents every day, only on the days when I actually went someplace, then I realised it was stupid and that my samples would last me a lifetime even with daily use…. I’ve only ever emptied 3 of them – Bandit, Tea for two and CdG 3. My 9 bottles include all of my first cheap teenage perfumes, except for a musk that broke in the sink…

        • Lee says:

          I’m glad the Liberty SAs have another fan. Some people say they’re snooty, but I’ve always found them charming, non-pushy and pretty well informed. The le Labo lasses (both pretty, erm, hot) certainly know their stuff.

          Get spraying already!

          • Solander says:

            Snooty? I find them less snooty (and definitely less pushy!) than the SAs in all the other high end department stores. Heck, even the not-so-high-end department stores… Next time I’m in London (on the way back from Christmas vacation) I’ll have to dare venture inside Fortnum&Mason though. And maybe Les Scenteurs. Though I’m not ready for the Haute Parfumerie at Harrods just yet, perhaps never will be…

          • Solander says:

            Oh, and then there’s Dover Street Market. Aah, scary!

          • Lee says:

            You MUST be ready for all three. Fortnum’s is a long way from scary actually – the SAs have no real airs and graces – the men are a little campyvampy, but they melt when you talk ‘fumes, and the women are gracious. Les Senteurs – they’re just lovely – you must go in. And there’s ZERO attitude at Roja Dove – exceptionally welcoming.

            When do you get back from Christmas vacation? I might have to grab hold of you and pull you around a bit, though my holiday is disturbingly busy…

            As for Dover St Market. Overpriced skippables and too much oh so chic attitude. But still, if you want to go in… go in! What’s the worst that can happen?:d

  • Divalano says:

    I’m occasionally guilty of “bandwidth” but I’m more likely to say “brainspace” which I suppose is derivative of disk space & thus influenced by techspeak. My bf has a loathing for “do-able” & I’m guilty of that as well. As for soup, I’ve never heard “of the moment” but when I cooked for a living we did sometimes privately call the soup of the day “cream of walk-in”.

    I consider my scent of the day as I’m deciding what to wear; both decisions go together & are influenced by mood, aesthetic & weather. If it’s before work I’ve not coffee’ed yet & sit looking dazedly at my sample box trying to feel which one calls to me. Usually I’ll dab one on, stick it in my makeup bag for refreshers later & then stick a 2nd & sometimes 3rd one in just in case I change my mood & desires. If it’s not a work day I’ll more likely spritz from a bottle, also dependent on mood/weather/aesthetic. If I’m at all undecided it will be Bois D’Argent.

    And btw I love the image of your Sorcerer’s Apprentice samples closing in on you in your sleep, lol. Thanks 🙂

    • Lee says:

      I don’t know why it should, but cream of walk-in sounds just plain naaasty. I’m seeing rashes.

      Do you see the samples singing too, or just moving in time with the music?

      BdA is the perfect ‘don’t know what to wear’ scent. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – it’s never wrong.

      • Divalano says:

        Cream of Walk In was nastiness in disguise. Usually pitched as Winter Vegetable Medley or somesuch, it was everything in the walk in that was too far gone to go into the pasta or veg of the day.

        Singing. They’re singing Santa Baby because that’s what my #$#$^*&* coworkers keep singing. For the past TWO DAYS. This. Is. A. NO SINGING ZONE. Argh!!

        • Lee says:

          That’s what I thought. Erm yummy.

          Santa Baby can get a bit tired, can’t it? Even that lovely instrumental interlude…

  • Patty says:

    Every time I think I am this blog’s resident flibbertygibbet, you show up with a post like this to make me look, well, stable and organized.

    I do have some days where I wear almost nothing, just forget or can’t decide. On days like you describe, well…. shhh, but I put them all on. By the end of the day, I smell like the sample box, but everyone has gotten used to it around me. Not sure that’s a good thing?

    businessspeak is nuts. Every time I have to sit through a meeting that involves coming up with names for things or projects, I know my teeth will be ground to nubs. Plain speaking, that’s all I ask. Call a thing what it is, without a lot of crap-talk to dress the pig up. If we’re working on quality, let’s just call it “You People Need to Suck a LOT Less” and be done with it.

    • Lee says:

      Exactly – who wants a pig in a frock, except for some kinky mister who we don’t want to know.

      And I love your oh so telling use of ‘almost nothing’.;)

      And hon, I’ve got more flibberty in my little finger than most people have in their whole bodies. Though i beleive Louise could give me a run for the money on the gibbet side of things…

      (aside: do you reckon flibbertygibbet has an etymology derived from the body twitching when hanged? I’m off to find out)

  • Marina says:

    Sometimes I go scentless too. Either because I also have a hard time deciding, which one is the right one for that moment…or because I am just sick and tired of them all 🙂

  • Louise says:

    Every soup deserves its 15 minutes…:d

    I do wrestle with my sociolinguistic/populist tendencies about trendy phrases…which mostly die off quickly. But I have a deep appreciation for language change, and know that what is argot/street talk today is standard language tomorrow. I also enjoy the sources of much slang-kids and minorities especially. Lot’s of the trends strike me as repetitive and vacuous at the moment…but that’s how it all evolves.

    I work with teens every day, and find myself picking up phrases…some I reject (many are crude), some I employ for color. I use “my bad” on occasion…comes from ’70s street ball, amuses me. I guess my experience of living in France in the 70s, and being chastised to speak “correctly” even as the language was rapidly evolving, turned me a bit against “proper” usage rules…except in writing. There’s also a need to make a distinction between audiences-I always try to help clarify for my students when a particular style of language is appropriate. As in, don’t curse your teacher…

    My perfume choices are subject to flights of fancy. I often see and feel the day in a particular color (my synaesthesia?), influenced by weather, my mood, dictates of the day…and try to match it up. This involves the depth of the fragrance, the no-offence-to-colleagues exigencies, the sillage, etc. Then there’s the not-worn often category (FdB-are you listening?)-I try to make up for the neglect.

    • Lee says:

      The daft Academie Francaise, eh? Like you, I love variety, nuance, slang, argot, creole – but not jargon.

      FdB says thank you for remembering her!;)

  • March says:

    Lee, let’s take a meeting on business-speak. Maybe we can all Get to Yes on this one. /:)

    “Soup of the moment” makes me giggle until I spit soup — uh, coffee — out my nose. Over here it’s still the whole day, or if you’re in some fancypants place, a whole jour.

    There are days (not many of them) when everything is insane and it gets to 4pm and I think, oh my lord, I’m not wearing any *perfume*. It’s upsetting. I do try to not be wearing anything heavy if I’m gym-bound, though, or if I’m ill or potentially migrane-bound.

    I take the caps off and refresh my memory in the a.m., try to see what feels right. If it’s the right day, I just grab a random samp and throw that on. If I can’t make up my mind in two or three minutes, it’s something I find easy (Courtesan or Tsukimi these days) and hope for inspiration.

    • Lee says:

      I’ll go with the eadsy route. Palisander is fitting that bill nicely nowadays 😡

      As for the meeting, I’ve carparked that idea as a maybe, though we should firm it up in the next few days.:-&

  • Judith says:

    Soooooup of the moment, glorious soooooup!<:-p Never heard of it. Nor of 'A big ask’ and ‘populate the document.’ I guess I am REALLY out of it! I just pick my scent without much ado. But perhaps I should think more. I notice I tend to overdo things that I have caught my, um, nose recently, and sometimes I forget about older fumes unless someone reminds me (well, I always wear my old loves, but sometimes I forget my old likes--and I have found that these can surprise me and turn into loves):)

    • Lee says:

      Stay ‘out of it’, J – it’s truly the best way.

      Part of my indecision-making (cos I am creating it, after all) comes from the fear of neglecting older bottles. I don’t want them turning into the equivalent of the liqueur from that unusual holiday destination…

  • chayaruchama says:

    Tom’s got me in Attends today- I’m with you on pseudospeak of any kind.
    My fur stands RIGHT up.
    Just SAY it, for Lord’s sake.

    I also see my boyfriend MD here- kisses !
    Good thing you’re taken, Leeski-
    This one’s a goddam charmer.
    Takes no prisoners.

    I often agonize over my sotd.
    It’s ludicrous- my clothing scarcely merits the same level of attention; but then, if you can live in black yoga pants, black boots, and old black cashmere V-necks- what more do you need ?
    Makes it very easy- just lips, great earrings, and PERFUME!!!!!!!!!![ maybe a bracelet or two]

    I choose by mood, need, occasion, climate, anticipated interactions/ hurdles…
    lots of factors.

    If I get it wrong [ and sometimes, I do !], it’s a torment, and I’ll go nuts trying to self-correct.
    Not always successful with that, either.
    Tant pis..

    Lovin’ you, boyo mine.

    • Lee says:

      Oh my! The snare of error correction. We share this dilemma with MD, I think.

      Thanks for those lovely photos, wonderwoman!:x

      • MarkDavid says:

        Oh C! I blush.

        I knew I wasn’t lying when I said that I wasnt the only one with this dilemma. I was really thinking of my darling here, who on many morning has announced the 3 or more fragrances shes wearing at the time.

        Ive found Chanel No. 5 to fix most problems. If for no other reason than it throws such sillage that no one could ever smell the disasters that lie beneath it.

  • Anne says:

    I dunno, my ritual is a ritual of not being able to decide. Seems we are all THAT together. It’s really a constant process kinda’ like the CNN crawl banner running through my brain. Let me just jump in and start reading what goes on in my little brain.

    (Waking up with top of right wrist tucked under nose)
    “mmm, that smells good, what did I spray last night before bed? Time for coffee, what can I try on my left arm that I have dreading and can immediately wash in the shower that won’t make the dogs dig their noses in the carpet in a mad attempt to dissolve the molecules that are landing on them? Coffee is wonderful, who invented this stuff?”

    In the steaming hot shower when the coffee kicks is where the real work begins. Actually I tune out then and start imagining the scents and wait until the idea of one seems right. Out of the shower I spray just one tiny spritz on one arm only. Makeup, hair etc. If that one still seems ok then I can spray for real. If not, then anywhere in the makeup hair process I will scrub. I have actually gone through the small spray scrub thing several times before that smile, sigh of contentment happens.

    Going without? Means it’s not going to be a good day. For those times I keep a stash of vials in one little pocket in my purse. If not to actually put on then just to open and smell when the going gets tough.

    (Gets up from the therapist’s couch.) Ok, ok, I know Dr. Lee, my hour is up. :)>-

  • Elle says:

    I guess this is where it helps that I only wear scents for my interest and pleasure, so I apply *extremely* minute amounts (spraying doesn’t exist in my personal universe), which means I can smell them w/out a problem (bloodhound nose), but almost nobody else can (DH is close to anosmic, so the only person who might, due to extreme proximity, doesn’t give a damn). This also means I can – and do – wear different scents on each wrist, sometimes even two more compatible ones on the top of my hands and two more on my knees (in winter this goes to ankles since I’m always in jeans or warm pants). I also resent scents that last for several centuries. I’m addicted to parfum versions of most of the classics, but I find that applied in a small enough amount, they still fade nicely. I want my morning scents gone by noon and my afternoon scents gone by evening so that I can switch out again. I can easily get in a minimum of six scents a day. Basically, I’m a perfume sl*t and I really do suffer the indecision you write of.

  • Abigail says:

    Always remember – the fasta’ pasta.

    Mmm…it must hurt to write copy.

    I sometimes go unscented because I…well….I forget. If I put off making a decision then go do other things then it’s usually a lost cause.

  • rosarita says:

    My job in a busy high school kitchen means that whatever scent I spray on my neck in the morning and enjoy so deeply on the drive to work will inevitably be buried by other smells before breakfast service is over, so choosing isn’t as difficult; it’s based entirely on mood of the moment. I daydream about my after work scent and what lotion I’ll layer with, etc., knowing that if I don’t have plans I’ll happily wander around the house wafting big clouds of whatever strikes my fancy.

    My job also frees me of business speak, but educators are only happy when using as many words as possible, so navigating through inner school communications often make my head hurt. Of course, dealing with student-speak is always interesting, often funny and sometimes sets my teeth on edge – “my bad”, anyone?

    Great post as always!

  • Maria says:

    And what about Pedagogyspeak? Our boss, who is a nice man in many ways though I hope he’s not interested in fragrances because I’m afraid what I’m about to say will get me into trouble… Okay, Maria, take a breath. My boss is very prone to “norming.” In fact, our department had a big “norming” session Tuesday morning. Now, if you had ever asked me before this job what I thought “norming” might involve, I would have thought perhaps it meant a guy would come to your house and fix something, perhaps the plumbing, perhaps the drywall. This guy might look a bit like Art Carney with a racoon hat or like Mr. Abrams of This Old House. At any rate, he’d be a Mr. Fix-It with the first name of Norman. I would have been wrong. To “norm” in the world of education, which should know better, means making sure every instructor is grading students according to the same standards and not according to other criteria, perhaps being beamed to her from a galaxy far, far away.

    I too sometimes don’t know what to put on in the morning and go scentless. Oops, I just heard a thud.

    • Louise says:

      Funny, Maria, how the bigwigs get sucked into catch phrases! I had an exceptionally bright boss awhile ago, who was a sponge for trends…I don’t know how many documents were “cross-walked” (translation: compared).

    • Lee says:

      Norming… sheesh. That’s called standardisation and moderation here – wordier, but more accurate. If Maria’s boss is reading – please forgive her. She’s a wonderful woman who is doing a grand job.:x

  • Rita says:

    I always have a hard time deciding and sometimes end up going without. Do you ever play the draw the scent out of the hat game? I do that all the time. Sometimes I put my bottles on the table and have Robby chose one, just because I can’t do it. Sometimes I think I want to wear a scent, but a few hours later I change my mind, and I scrub and switch. I have too many scents that I love-it’s never an easy decision!

    • Lee says:

      I do play that game, though it’s more like:
      Draws first one out – not right
      Draws second – still not right… ad infinitum…

  • MarkDavid says:

    Yes, but for me – even worse than trying to pick the right scent is the realization you’ve picked the wrong one the split second after your brain told your finger to press down on the atomizer. And its too late. And you just yell shit and run to the sink. Or if you’re really daring, you press on and pick another hoping to mask the scent of the original. Then you realize that didn’t work. So what do you do? You pick another one. And after all is said and done, you’ve made one hell of a mess, you smell awful, but theres no time to shower and start all over b/c you’re wanted out the door 10 minutes ago.

    Ok, I know I’m not the only one who does this twice a week. I won’t believe a one of you if you say otherwise.

    I, like most probably, pick scent based solely on my mood of the moment, which lately can change quite rapidly like the color wheel in the fiber optic box. Usually by the time I get down the stairs after leaving my perfume room, my mood has changed and I’m cursing up a storm. Thats why I usually only ever apply perfume to one part of my body. If I choose Cuir Ottoman – it only goes on ONE arm. SO this way, if I’ve made a mistake, I still have a clean arm. Also, I like tO keep a spot open b/c I never know what joys the mailman might be bringing me halfway through the day.

    Im not really a big layering person but at any given time, I probably hav layers of different scent on my person, this comes from my having absolutely no patience whatsoever. When I’m over a scent – I go get a new one.

    And Im curious – why do you feel the need to clean house and get down to 50 bottles? I did that once and I’ll never do it again b/c as soon as they were gone, given away, I craved them all again. I’m still replacing the bottles lost in that lapse of judgment, 4 years later. Now I’m 185 bottles strong and growing, foolishly. Its not a sin to have a Guinness-worthy trove, I’m realizing this more and more everyday. Maybe one day I will have that – a boy can dream.

    Great post as always Mr. Lee!
    And Thanks again – you know what for.

    -MD

    • Lee says:

      Any time, MD – you’re worth it!

      And thanks for commenting – you’re at home here in the world of freakery.

      I think it was Ellen aka pitbullfriend, a wonderful woman who rarely comments nowadays, who hit the nail on the head. It’s liberal guilt. Frivolous expenditure in a world of cruel. That kind of thing. I have to have a soupcon of punishment with my pleasure, y’know.

      And when I had 100+ bottle, my decision making was even worse. At 50, I might stand a chance.

  • Cathy says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had trouble choosing a scent! On the contrary, I’m usually overwhelmed by my choices. I could wear any of the lovelies I own…they all call to me at one time or another. And the decants!..the new juicy bits to play with. But I seem to suffer from compulsive-itis. If it wasn’t fragrance, it would be my overstocked makeup drawers. If not makeup, then I’d play with my 3-of-everything photo-equipment. Then there’s the dressage horse and all the paraphernalia that comes with riding (and of course wearing perfume to the barn to photograph my horse works too.) I’m obsessive, and it fits my life just fine. I NEED choice! My ‘stuff’ comforts me. And I know if I can’t use it all right now, there’s always tomorrow…at least I’ll never run out!

    • Lee says:

      Love you Cathy! I claim not to be obsessive, but man I am. But actually the choices, the choices… My head spins with indecision. I need some of your go-to qualities…:x

  • MattS says:

    Choosing a scent is the most involved part of my morning ritual. I contemplate it over tea, checking email, showering, moisturizing, and still often cannot decide and I don’t even have a third of the bottles you do. But I always leave with something on and sometimes it’s the most spontaneous, least labored choices that make for the most enjoyable sprays of the day.

    I’m not certain I even want to smell the Jubilation. I love incense and I’m scared I’ll love this. It’s so pricey and I’ve spent so much lately and Santa knows I really haven’t been that good this year.

    One nice aspect of Life in the Country and a laid-back job is that I don’t have to deal with businessspeak. Just slang and dialect which are ever so much more charming. And no cursed acronyms. I have friends in education who speak in nothing but acronyms. Aargh. It drives me nuts. They should be forced to contend with Mr. Price in some of his madder moments. Loved the photos.

    • Lee says:

      I’m loving the comments today – getting a real insight into how people think. And I need to learn to moisturise – I never bother. Hey, you’re lucky I shower…

      Matt, I live in the country too, though I work in lots of towns – and for an educational company, so you can imagine the eduspeak. Yikes. I’m ECMed (our equivalent of your NCLB) and NatStrated up to my eyeballs, and if another person asks me to car park that thought, it’ll find its slot right up his or her ass.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but I hate the babble.

  • Gina says:

    Ugh on the whole “businessspeak” thing, I sometimes pretend I don’t hear someone if they talk to me using that sort of thing. Ha. As far as choosing a perfume, I have a hell of a time. I sometimes think about it the night before, but sometimes I make myself late for work taking too long to decide. In these moments, I just put something on that I know I always love (these days, Burning Leaves!) or if I’m really torn up about it, I put one perfume on my neck, another on my arms, perhaps another on the back of my knees. Then I hope I don’t asphyxiate my client.

    Most of the time, I deliberate as little as possible. I ask myself a few quick questions depending on various things, weather, what am I wearing, how do I want to feel, etc. If I’m working that day, I might wear something different than if I weren’t working – I work so close to people, I really need to be careful, so “big” perfumes are worn VERY sparingly or not at all. Most times, I’ll just wear the first one that I look at that jumps out and says “YESSSSS”. Today I think I chose very well – it was a cold, rainy day and I wanted a comfort scent. I chose Ambre Narguille. My client said my perfume comforted her, made her feel calm. That made me very happy.

    Did any of this help in your dilemma? I know that if I somehow forget to put a perfume on, I get a sad, sinking feeling in my gut, like I forgot to put on a bra or something. HA. I do know what you mean when you say it needs to be the right one, but damn it sucks to not have one on at all. Though I do have my days where I need a little nose break, an unplanned nose break depresses me a little.

    • Lee says:

      Ambre Narguile is wonderfully comforting – despite what Patty and March might say.

      You’ve helped me Gina by confirming the right approach – but generally I’m no longer getting the answer I used to…

  • Kim says:

    yikes – I feel such a child! Many, many samples but just a dozen bottles! Am I still allowed to play?

    I also only allow myself the time while showering/dressing. If I am not sure by then, I put on my standby/long-time favorite, Chanel No 5, perfume or edp, sometimes softened by layering with the elixir version. Smells glorious on me, a bit of an edge since the perfume strength is a touch dirty/skanky on my skin, always feels comfortable since I have been wearing it forever, and always gets compliments.

    Then when I get home at the end of the day, I sample!

    • Lee says:

      That sounds like a very sound scent-wearing strategy. And I never judge on bottle numbers – crazy to. I just wish I had your…. erm… restraint. It’s not something I’ve ever been known for.

      • Kim says:

        Hmm. Maybe my indecision is at the buying stage? There are so many to chose from, even if I stay within my favourites lines. But samples? No restraint there!!

  • Joan says:

    Dear Lee..Thank you so much!! I also like a little sweetness in a scent. I am looking forward to the elegant BdA and J XXV.

    I have experienced being paralysed into scentlessness by indecision. It’s Hesitantly Indecisive Disorder. I struggled with what to wear to a doctor’s appointment this morning, finally deciding on Musc Ravageur. It must have overwhelmed him because he said “you look quite healthy and much younger than the age you put down on your form” and I was out the door!!

    Simplicity or excess..what will it be…I can’t decide.

  • tmp00 says:

    I despise business-speaks crawl into real life; I loathe being asked if I have the “Bandwidth” to accomplish something. Actually I am worse: I hate all of those various speaks coming into real life. I don’t “plate” anything, and neither should you. Unless you are redoing the silver, and even then I would hope that you have sterling and not plate….

    I have a rule about the fragrance. I get to think about it in the shower. If I haven’t come up with anything after shower, shave, thirty splashes sunscreen and dressing then there’s the bowl of decants, all office friendly because I don’t read them and god forbid I grab Tubereuse Criminelle. I grab one, spritz and leave. The Metro waits for no perfumista.

    Of course I also have back-ups at work.

    • Lee says:

      Like you, I’m never held up by perfume decisions. But I never grab and go, unless we’re talking previous behaviours in my past…:”>

      Bandwidth is daft, isn’t it. What’s plated? I don’t know that one, fortunately.

      • tmp00 says:

        That’s obnoxious Food Network speak for what a normal person would refer to as “serving”. I.E. bobby Flay tells you to “plate” the pork chops onto a cone of whipped garlic potatoes and roasted fennel teeth or something. Grrr. Makes me nuts.

        • Lee says:

          Oh yeah – have heard it – was being dense. There’s a tv chef here who says ‘it eats well’. I wish cannibals still existed.

  • minette says:

    um, i have a couple (gack) more bottles than you admit to, and yes, sometimes it is hard to pick. the “not a thing to wear” syndrome occasionally sets in and nothing feels right. thank goodness it doesn’t happen often or i’d always be late to work. wait, i’m always late to work…

    on those days when i get no intuitive message about what to wear (yes it usually comes to me as a gentle suggestion – a name will come to mind – and it’s quite fun to test this – it turns out to be right every time!), i do several things until something clicks: do a mental inventory; ask myself what i haven’t smelled lately; actually go through boxes feeling how different options feel to me; give up on trying to find the perfect thing and go for something tried and true.

    never do i leave home unscented. i just keep after it until i find something i can live with for the day. in fact, the only time i don’t like to play with scent is when i’m feeling really ill. the need falls away.

    • Lee says:

      I’m with you on the intuitive Minette, but unfortunately that part of me is on (temporary) vacation…

      But your list is sage advice – thank you.