A warm welcome back! to our Guest Poster, Ann!
Thank you, Mrs. K. I guess you did me a favor all those years ago. As odd as it might sound, I can give partial thanks (or blame) to a school-bus driver for my perfume addiction. It was sometime in the late ’60s and I was riding a bus on a field trip to a Native American community in Florida, near Lake Okeechobee. I think I must have been around 9 or 10. After we finished our visit, we were allowed a few minutes in the gift shop before getting back on the bus for the return trip. As I browsed, I happened upon a bin of tiny silver tins, filled with the most gloriously scented orange blossom solid perfume. I was enchanted! They tickled my fancy so that I used my lunch money to buy two of them on the spot, caring not a whit that PB&J sandwiches would be my lot for days. Little did I know that in that moment the stage was being set for a lifelong obsession.
Fast forward several months and we have a new bus driver. This woman is all-business, no-nonsense, and shows it by (horror of horrors!) assigning seats. This is not so bad in the mornings, but on the ride home, in the hot Florida afternoons (with no A/C in my ancient school), it turns disastrous for me. For my assigned seat is behind a boy, who despite being in my grade, is several years older (due to juvenile delinquent tendencies) and — he SMELLS!! Not just a little B.O., mind you, but a potpourri of unknown scents that combine to stink to high heaven. My childish nose has never experienced an assault quite like this. I lower my window as far as it will go and am just about to stick my head out like a dog, when the proverbial light bulb goes off over my head. I dig into my purse, pull out my little tin, apply liberally, and ride the rest of the way home in relative bliss with scented wrists pressed to nose. Saved by the solid perfume! Who knew a good smell could be such a life-saver?
After this fragrant epiphany, my curiosity bubbled over. I sampled my grandmother’s Evening in Paris (not too bad), and later, my mother’s Ma Griffe (whew — too something! I didn’t have the words or experience to describe it then except perhaps “bitter”), and her YSL Rive Gauche (better, but only just). And then came the fun of exploring the crop of “young” scents: Avon’s Sweet Honesty, Coty’s Sweet Earth solid perfume compacts, and Love’s Baby Soft (although I was far more partial to the rain and lemon varieties in that line). I did a lot of baby-sitting and had more than enough experience with that powdery scent on the business end of little ones’ bottoms.
Anyway, from then on, I was hooked. As my horizons broadened through high school, college and the work world, so did my perfume discoveries, which happily continue to this day. And now I’m delighted to be along on this ride with all you wonderful fellow perfumistas (unless any of you insist on wearing Alexander McQueen’s Kingdom, and then I’m finding another seat). So I would love to know, what was your perfume epiphany? When was the moment that the world of scent opened up and pulled you into its fragrant embrace?
photo: girl on stinky school bus – some rights reserved
candy photo: candyaddict.com – some rights reserved