Okay – before I tell you the story, let me tell you this: HE’S FINE!
Here’s the backstory. About 10 days ago I noticed that Carmine had difficulty yawning and chewing…thinking he had, at most, an abscessed tooth, I took him to the vet, he was going to get a tooth pulled, probably a lot of antibiotics and crabbing. No. He has cancer in his jaw. Whew. Okay. I was able to write that without fainting. Okay. Feeling a little less shrieky now. It’s aggressive, relatively common, alas, not treatable (unless I want to remove 40+% of his jaw and even with that there is a 70% chance the cancer would return and he’s 10 and he’s a dog and they don’t like to do without 40+% of their jaw, y’know?) and he’s going to be fine until it’s apparent that he’s not (pain), then we are going to ease him out of this world, with all the love in our hearts. In the meantime, he’s eating canned dog food, which is the Treat of the Century for him, getting pretty much Anything He Wants, bugging the crap out of the Girlz, snuggling me and his dad and generally seems to be having a gay-old time! This time is a gift for El O and me – I didn’t wake up to find him dead on the floor ( brutal, that – it’s happened to me.) – we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to adjust to this and do what we need to do to make this okay for us, which can Only Be Good for Carmine, since he’s already spoiled rotten (El O made him a Breakfast Burrito on Sunday…and in that way that humor wiggles its way into the weirdest places: I was telling a friend about the situation and that we don’t know how much time we have, etc and he was to be spoiled and given soft foods and El O bought him Gravy Train and a package of hot dogs and he broke in, saying “GRAVY TRAIN & HOT DOGS ARE NOT HEALTHY!!!”……I just hummed the Jeopardy theme song until the penny dropped …he was sooo mortified, poor thing. Then we laughed. People mean well.)
As you might imagine, though, it took me a few days to get to this point. And while I was trying to get my nerves out of my ears and ease the weight off my heart I desperately needed a Protective Comfort scent. Patty and I were discussing my choice – it was, oddly enough, Chanel No5 “hmmm…that is an odd comfort choice” she said…until I told her it was a 80s vintage perfume. “Ohh! Well that makes WAY more sense! I don’t see the Chanels as comforting – until you get to the parfums. Then I would follow them down whatever rabbit hole they wanted to take me!”. Truer words never spoken. Chanel is not the first House I think of when I think comfort scents, either; Chanel No5, particularly in EdT, always carries that chilly, Hitchcock Blonde vibe for me. Yet something in the perfume both softens and bolsters the chilly armor of the scent, a cashmere-lined velvet glove, encased in a metal fist, wielding a mace. It was, for me, just. like. that. I could withstand most anything because I was both cosseted and armored.
And…okay, this is probably both sacrilegious and crazy, but….there is a neutrality to No5 (especially the vintage parfum) that is very calming. Perhaps it’s the ubiquitous nature of the scent – after all, it’s been around longer than I’ve been alive – and I don’t think there are many people who don’t have at least some idea how No5 smells. Maybe it’s in that continuity that I find comfort. Who knows? But I can tell you that those 4 days, awash in No5 parfum, gave me the protection I needed so I could catch my breath and start to figure out the next steps for our baby boy.
Does this seem like an odd scent choice to you? No right/wrong answer here; I was surprised by it, myself! But just sniffing Mitsouko made me so gnashy I scared even me and warmer scents gave me hives and everything else just lacked the …the HEFT! I needed to get my pins back in line. No5 ticked all my ‘needy’ boxes! Who’dathunkit!?
What are your perfumes for strength and comfort? Have you been surprised by your choices?
And…by the way…HE’S FINE! He really is. He’s the persack same dog he was 5 days/ 5 hrs ago. Just more precious than he was 5 days/5 hrs ago, if that’s even possible. (he is getting pretty sick of me just sitting there, staring at him, though. At one point he just raised his head, looked at me and GROWLED! LOL!)