Friday, July 20, 2007

The Depressing Quality of Mediocrity, a perfume confession

Today I ordered French Onion soup at a cafe I've previously enjoyed. First time I've seen it on the menu, I realized it's been many years since I had it. It's freezing out. I could not wait to enjoy it. What I received was not the mouthwatering robust broth of delight I remembered with its cheesy crust but rather a bowl of tepid brown liquid just rising above the surface of a huge clog of slimy onions. It looked like Klingon food and it tasted like Vegemite broth. It depressed me all out of proportion for what it was, a bad meal. My memories had failed, my anticipation had been jilted, I had to go back out into the filthy cold weather none the warmer and still hungry. I would have sent it back and not paid for it but I have a relative working in that cafe so I silently paid the bill, my soup left untouched.

Missing the train by one minute I wandered into the Chemist. A huge range of perfumes greeted me, not knock offs exactly but cheap scents in nice bottles each one smelling distinctly of a more well known fragrance. Angel, Chance, Beyond Paradise, Baby Doll.. they were all recognizable on first sniff. Most of them came from Paris Bleu, "this is REAL French perfume" the chemist girl assured me. I enjoyed playing with them and teasing myself as to how much of a snob I was, would my opinion be higher if they were a recognizable brand. I almost convinced myself this would be the case but by the time I was on the train the scents assaulting my nose from my light testing on my arms told me otherwise. In cheap perfumes the drydown is either non-existent as the fragrance vanishes or in the case of more dominant scents it turns unpleasantly harsh.

Arriving home I pulled out this month's issue of Madison to find the fragrance panel of SJP's Covet, not yet available here. I must confess that is the only reason I bought this magazine though I tried to convince myself there were many fascinating articles about affairs and fashion and societal trends that I would benefit from. Ripping away the strip I inhaled deeply.. (such a pretty bottle).. my conclusion is that SJP has wasted a lot of money on this advertisement because all it smells of is faint glue, magazine paper and a whiff of cleaning product. Is this what Covet will smell like? I hope not and given that it is described as being more potent than that vague thing called Lovely I can't see how this could be.

I think I am much more emotionally invested in smelling things than I realized. So disappointed! Now being disappointed over food is, perhaps, a little more normal but I need to walk away from a bad perfume experience untouched. It's not like a film where you can beat yourself up over wasting two hours of your life.

Perfume. It's not this serious:

1 comment:

chayaruchama said...

Hello, dear !
Yup, it's not life or death-
But it marks all those passages and detours along the way for deviants such as we...

And, regarding food:
As a middle-aged female, I'll suffer ANYTHING to be polite, while visiting;
if I'm paying, choosing, and ultimately going to WEAR it, it had better be gooooood !

Best to you and yours !