We had a thread on here once about the stages of perfume addiction. I think I was stuck in the pedal-to-the-floor phase for a looooong time. I had to smell everything – just as soon as I read about it.
The last year has been all kinds of strange, and in some ways I’m better for it. I threw everything out there, and I got so much back. I sold off most of my perfume collection this winter, partly because I needed the dough and partly because at some point I’m going to have to move, and I wasn’t packing several hundred bottles of perfume. It was a little sad, and also very liberating.
What stage of perfumista am I now? The stage where I’ve pared down my collection drastically (no worries, I probably have more than 50 bottles) – things I love and wear, or things that I just love and can’t bear to part with. A couple of you could tell stories on me about how I waffled about some of those bottles. I smelled YSL Paris on a gal recently, and I identified it. I’m wearing scents that remind me of a particular time and place (I bought my Worth Courtesan in Edinburgh), or scents that just make me very happy (Majmua attar, Tauer Desert Marocain, Lutens’ Cedre) without burning out too many brain cells about why that is.
So I’ve reached a point where I feel like I just don’t have anything new to add to the conversation about perfume. This was brought home to me recently when I surveyed the shelves of Sephora, sniffed their ever-dwindling collection of scents (Kenzo Flower
Boring Tag and Vera Wang Dumbstruck Lovestruck) and thought, meh. Who cares? I’m gonna go home and put on some Fendi Theorema.
I’m home maybe three hours a night when my kids are awake. That’s a good thing; I’m grateful to have a job, and I’m happy to be in a place where I just grab a random bottle off my shelf and think, this. But I’m spending my evenings playing with the dog and hanging with the kids and catching up on bills. I’m not spending it seeking out five or ten new scents.
And now, just because I can: the words of one of my all-time favorite poems, by Loren Eiseley, in the highly-recommended All The Night Wings:
Words for Forgetting
Go forward on these simple roads,
Do not turn back.
The stars behind you in the wind will blow,
The coyote’s track
Delicately replace the lifted dust
Of your own heel.
Go forward and the dark will close
About you. You will feel
The fragrant emptiness of prairie miles.
Now you will own
Nothing that is not yours, yourself
Down to the naked bone.
I want to thank you all for your love and rockets over the last four years. I’m going to take my seat as a spectator and occasional commenter for the time being. I’ll be seeing you.