Perhaps if I told you my story, it would help.
I had no plan to be in this tribe. Nobody in my family was. I hadn´t had any friends who were. I was happy with my life, with plenty of fulfilling activities and friends who cared about me.
Then along came Norell. Without even meeting it, something… changed. I´d heard about it, knew that my grandmother had always kept her own. I thought I´d just go along, see what kind of life Norell lived. Learn a little about its history. Okay, try it. Just to see if I could understand why other people said it was so great. Maybe, learn to love, if not all perfume, just that one.
(You know what? It was really a complex creature. Unappreciated by the masses who had once flocked to it. Remembered by a few, still appreciated by experts who were exposed to it in blind meeting. Once noble, relegated to the blue light special.)
Maybe I should have realized it might turn out this way. After all, my grandmother had had her own Norell. Come to think of it, she had another love that was hidden in plain sight: Halston. And there was an aunt who was rumored to have a stash of bottles taking up closet space. But we didn´t really talk about it, and it wasn´t on my radar.
Beep, beep. Something wicked this way comes.
I found myself starting to read about it online. Sneaking looks at blogs, where other people would confess their passions. Their habits. The objects of their desire. Realizing that they seemed to be nice people, really. Regular people, who just happened to have this… thing.
I found myself going out by myself, sneaking little sniffs at Sephora. Sneaking into Neiman Marcus just to eyeball the bottles. And then… surreptitiously ordering a small, unmarked package from an online decanter. Which led to a full bottle purchase at Loehmann´s. One day, I got on the dance floor wrote a response on a blog.
The dam broke, and there was no going back. Next thing you know, I´m starting to float the concept of my new identity to a select few friends who I suspect won´t freak out when I tell them. I stop hiding my activity from my family. I go to a perfume support group and bookmark a dozen favorite online information sources. I no longer protest that “it´s not really anything” when others ask me if it´s true.
My name is Shelley, and I´m into perfume. If you’re here, you’re probably into perfume too. How did it begin for you? Were you alone, or did you have company? Did it start with a trickle? Or an avalanche? Or has perfume always been there for you, like air?