Dear Mr Owner at Sunnyfield Greenhouse:
When you got up last Friday, I’ll bet the last thing you were expecting was………me. Well, not ‘in the morning’, of course – it was near the close of last Friday’s gorgeous early Autumn day. I came in looking for miscanthus and a peach tree. You were happy to help! We chatted about Northern Sea Oats and exploding stone fruit trees and the conversation was going swimmingly.
…and then the wind shifted.
Your first inkling that something was…different..about me? Was it when I stopped in the middle of a sentence, nose in the air like a German Shorthair…a suddenly vacant expression on my face, where only a moment before I was engrossed in our conversation? Or was it when I stealthily attempted to sniff ‘near’ you? Or when, perplexed that somebody, somewhere in the vicinity smelled persackly like Encens Mythique d’Orient….and that ‘somebody’ mos’ def Was Not Me – and we were the only two people in the entire place? So It Had To Be You?
Were you reassured when I refocused on our conversation about the absurdity of trying to train my blackberry bush onto a pergola…only to get that Vacant Shorthair expression once again, when the wind shifted? I saw you get that kinda scared look on your face when I started sniffing my own arm, to see if I’d somehow spritzed some Encens, perhaps in my sleep? Was that alarm on your face when I finally, haltingly asked if I might ‘smell’ you?
Probably all of the above. I need to apologize. And I need to explain. I am a Perfumista. Which means, when a rogue scent shoots across my nasal bow there’s a one in two chance of my dropping everything and following that scent, like Snuffles, the floating cartoon dog. Usually it’s me following some woman around Wal-Mart, trying to identify some perfume like JLo Glow (not as easy as it sounds). This time, I knew the scent. Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient. And the idea of you wearing it, in the middle of a greenhouse in the middle of a cornfield in the middle of Central IL was ..perplexing. Probably as perplexing as my question “who does your laundry” was to you. Poor man. And of course you weren’t wearing Encens Mythique d’Orient – when I asked you, you looked as if I’d suddenly started speaking Pashtun. And the laundry question?! Woot! CrazyLady IN DA HOUUUSE! But, really? I honestly wanted to know – I was hoping it was your wife and she was somewhere nearby so I could ask her what the hell she was using. Luckily for me, she wasn’t there – I’m sure she would’ve had little trouble callin’ the padded wagon!
I want you to know I am not nuts. Well, okay – I am nuts. But I’m part of a much larger cadre of nuts, perfumistas all. These folks totally ‘get’ that I spent the better part of an hour at the store, sniffing laundry detergent (no dice) and left the store, bereft…and had to be forcibly restrained from turning around and going back when I realized it might be dryer sheets! Dryer sheets! My next trip to the store, I’m sniffin’ dryer sheets. I am hoping store security doesn’t toss me out on my keister! And I’m glad you didn’t, either, though I know the thought crossed your mind.
We are a strange group of fiends, us perfumistas. I am not alone in my fiendom. I’m hoping some of my fellow fiends will chime in here and let you know that they, too have done some Really Weird Things in the attempt to identify a scent. Because I know they have!
And I hope you won’t flip the ‘closed’ light on, the next time you see me pull into the parking lot. I promise I won’t come back until I have identified that scent!!!! And something tells me I should probably leave the bottle of Encens in the armoire. You don’t need me bringing it to your nursery, matching it up to your laundry. Right?