Okay, I´m walking, sort of. I saw the doctor on Thursday. I tore my fascia and maybe broke the tip of my cute little heel spur doing the 30-foot dash barefoot on concrete last week. Foot is taped, no bare feet, rest, anti-inflammatories blah blah blah … orthotics.
I thought this might be a good time to collect my samples and get things under control again. There is this pile of unlabeled vials and decants, happens all the time. I have this hilarious memory/logic gap wherein as I am slipping an unlabeled vial in my pocket, or opening an unlabeled atomizer that came in the mail, I am sure that I will always know what that fragrance is, so where’s the fire??! Why hurry to label it? It’s not like I’ll mix it up with all my other unlabeled glass vials filled with juice that’s pretty much the same color! Then months later we´re having the unlabeled sniffathon.
I found just such a decant on my desk yesterday, sprayed it all over the back of my hand, and was instantly awash in the glory that is Hermes´ Apres La Mousson (in French, “After the Melon Smacks Your Head“), a scent I reviewed here. In terms of the feeling it evokes in me, I would place Mousson somewhere between morning sickness with twins and that scene in 1984 The Movie where they strap a cage with a hungry rat to John Hurt´s face. It is a fragrance I could live the rest of my life without smelling again, and the fact that I doused myself with it in a snit is just plain funny.
Preparing my cheap fragrance post (okay, what I was really doing was perfume shopping online), I ran across Parlux´ Animale for Women, and wow, did that bring back some memories. We have a friend — I desperately hope she’s not reading this– who wears Animale for women as her signature scent. I hear the men´s version smells like Angel, kind of, and isn´t half bad. Researching this post, I am stunned to see several Animale flankers since the original was
uncaged released in 1987. Anyway, the listed notes are all over the place, but I see descriptions of Animale at online discounters with words like “feminine” and “exotic” and — my favorite — “for romantic evenings,” which is true if your idea of a romantic evening is swilling fermented yaks´ milk before servicing the lusty hordes on that pile of fresh pelts behind your yurt. I once found a list of notes for Animale which ended with something like: coriander, vetiver, patchouli, civet, castoreum, musk, ambergris. And I thought, oh, well, that explains it. Animale makes Yatagan look like Mouchoir de Monsieur. I could smell this friend´s perfume for a full 24 hours after she left our house, which was about 24 hours longer than I wanted to smell it. I was fascinated by this woman – a quiet, buttoned-down academic who seemed indifferent to other forms of self-adornment – and her choice of Animale, a fragrance with all the subtlety of a pole-dancer. (Although I hear pole dancers wear fruitylicious things by BBW). I often wondered, is she anosmic? I did try (yes, it´s true) casually to interest her in something – really, anything – else, fragrance-wise, but got nowhere. As far as she was concerned, Animale was it.
If you are reading this and thinking, yeah, you ignoramus, that´s because Animale is Da Bomb – well, peace, my friend. After all, I wear CB Musk and Yatagan (thanks Louise!) and I think I smell dandy.
I am not likely to feel the need for a signature scent for myself anytime soon, but I am often called on to go fragrance shopping for/with friends and acquaintances, and their friends/family. I am fascinated by what people are looking for in a fragrance that, for most of them, will likely be the only fragrance they wear. Is it aspirational? Or are they indifferent to the message? Do they care about the notes? Do they want a one-size fits all day scent, or just something for special evenings? Mostly what I come away with is the realization that I – and probably you, if you´re reading this – do not think of fragrance like most people. Which is to say, most people apparently don´t think of fragrance all the time. At least, that´s what I have heard.
images of Mongolian wrestling: mongoliatrekking.com