Wednesday, September 23, 2009
When I was little, my favorite thing ever was when the Avon lady came to visit. She'd bring a tote bag filled with new things for my mom to try. Naturally, I was right there in the mix, sniffing and trying on lotions.
What I really adored, though, was the perfume in those darling decanters. One Christmas, I received a kitty perfume container. Her white, plastic head had a pink bow, and she wore a white shirt. Her swirling blue skirt was ceramic. You unscrewed the top half of her body and inside was a girlish, flowery scent.
By the time I was in high school, I'd progressed to Elizabeth Arden's Sunflowers. Then, I switched to Calvin Klein's Eternity. I happily wore perfume for years. But something happened after I got pregnant with my first child. Perfume became my enemy.
Now, I've always been sensitive to smells but it reached police-dog levels 10 years ago. My sense of smell was like a super power. (Wow — what would that costume look like? Big nose? Green uniform?) It's stayed with me. When I was pregnant with my second child, I actually wore a full-on respirator to change No.1's diaper.
These days, strong perfume or aftershave sends me over the edge. If someone hugs me, I smell the perfume for hours. The first thing I do when one of my magazines arrives is rip out all the scented pages.
Just a few days ago, this woman sat down next to me. If I had to guess, I'd say she owned three dogs — and that none of them had been bathed in at least a year. I moved.
So, fragrance is not my friend. But I sooooo want to be BFFs with something. I need a signature scent.
The Philosophy Grace scents were my go-to for awhile. They're quite light and fresh. I adored Baby Grace. But, once again, for some reason, I turned on it. I still enjoy Pure Grace, which has a light, soap-and-water clean scent, but not as much as I used to.
My dream fragrance would be like warm clothes pulled right from the dryer. Sheets hanging on a clothesline, drying in the warm sun. A freshly washed face. A just-opened bar of milky-white soap. The grass after a sprinkling of rain.
I think there's something perfect out there. I think I even know what it is. Clean — the fragrance line known for its, well, clean scents — has something new called Simply Soap. I tracked it down at Sephora, but would you believe it had just arrived and Mr. Unhelpful Sales Guy wouldn't open the bottle for a whiff? Seems only two boxes had arrived. Not enough to make one a tester. Phooey.
So, I'm still sniffing.