11pm… pushing hard through a rush job, El O has been on his old, busted feet for 14 hours. Exhausted, he staggers into bed and is lights out! within seconds. I take a shower, spritz on some perfume like I do every night (which he rarely notices or remarks upon) and climb into bed. This comatose, beat-down old man snorts, turns over, and says ‘wow. you smell great!’….before falling back into a serious Snore.
8am…I’m at the Post Office, dropping off a package. The very staid, quiet, proper man who runs the counter ( and who wouldn’t flirt with his own wife in public) sniffs! and says “um. your perfume is very nice!” huh?
11:30am…I’m at the antique store/egg & produce shop/drycleaners. The guy next to me at the counter, picking up his shirts, sniffs and says “your perfume is nice! what is it?” What is it? Wth? This is a very conservative farm town. Men barely talk to women they are not related to. They. Absolutely. Do. Not Ask. That. Kind. of. Thing. Ever.
So…what is this Siren Song of Fabulousness:
vintage Mitsouko? Nah. Gorgeous as it is, when I put that one on, men tend to recoil, if not RUN! in outright terror.
some new, hawt sexbombalicious oudh? Naw. Sultry incense? Sexy niche? I don’t think so.
How ’bout….Coty Sand and Sable. Yup. March turned me on to this scent (I quit thinking about Coty in 1975 or so, right after Elan)… At first spritz I just knew this would be a ‘guy’ perfume (how much of a ‘guy’ perfume was a bit startling, though. I didn’t expect all these ‘old’ dudes to be so affected by it! . It smells exactly like 1961 at the beach. Breck Girls. Early Beach Boys, before the Wilsons lost their minds…..a time of sexy innocence. I don’t know how a younger guy would respond to this scent because a) I’m old enough to be their mother so it’s a moot point and b) the thought of asking just skeeves me out. But all 3 of the guys who went bonkers were of A Certain Age – and I have a feeling what they were smelling was that time of our lives, when nothing Truly Awful had happened yet and the world was ours to enjoy.
Billed as a tropical floral, it has that Suntan Lotion accord that one either loves or hates. The floral notes include gardenia,tuberose,jasmine and rose…but what really attracts is the undercurrent of banana and coconut, with that sexy suntan vibe. It was released in the early 80s but I don’t get an 80s feel from it, even though it’s a Big Ol’ Thang. Instead, whenever I spritz this, I am reading seventeen again and idolizing Colleen Corby, in a killah 2-piece swimsuit with matching headband.
Be warned, though: this stuff is tenacious. I have spritzed 3 variations – the two I got for 50cents at a flea market and one at Walgreens. They all smell the same (hey, doesn’t Coppertone still smell like Coppertone?) and you want to be careful how much you spritz. Just a hit will subtly seduce anybody over the age of 50 within a good-sized restaurant or office space. Any more than that and you might trigger a Hazmat Alert. And don’t spray it on anything you can’t wash with bleach. It’s like Tiger Balm – get it on a wool sweater and you’ll be smelling it for years to come.
Who else has tried this one? What about the younger crowd? I’m too old to be asking some 25 yr old what he thinks – but I’d love to know if younger men find it as intriguing as my generation does. Is there a contemporary version of Sand and Sable? I’ve not tried Bronze Goddess but S&S does remind me, vaguely, of Azuree (and, to a tiny extent, Youth Dew. Yes. I’m serious. Maybe it’s all that brown.)
photo: seventeen magazine 1967 Colleen Corby
perfume sources: mine and a spritz at Walgreens