Saturday, April 7, 2012

Eau de Woe

"You don't wear perfume ever, do you?" my boyfriend asked me.

Well, no, I guessed I didn't, but that doesn't mean I couldn't try. Every lady has her signature scent—maybe it was time for me to find mine. As an experiment, I ordered 12 sample vials of perfume from eBay, and wore a different one every day for two weeks.

I thought I would note my opinions on them all, then read up on their characteristics and see if I could find any patterns that would help me select perfumes in the future. To keep track of what I thought of them, I kept notes, rating each one with "Good," "Bad," or "OK," and writing a short description. Since I am not known for my sophisticated sense of smell or my ability to detect different notes in a mélange (in fact I am frequently known for having no sense of smell at all), my descriptions were sort of simplistic, consisting mostly of associations with other smells.

Here is a sampling:
  • Kelly Caleche - Reminds me of B.O.
  • Helmut Lang -  I keep smelling mold. Reminds me of perfume.
  • Balenciaga - Reminds me of perfume.
  • Galanos - Perfumey smell.
  • Pure - Reminds me of perfume.
  • Kenzo Amour - Reminds me of Car Fresheners.
  • Halston Couture - Reminds me of my grandparents' bathroom.
I think it's becoming pretty clear why I don't wear perfume ever. Of the entire lot of 12, I only rated two of the samples "good"—Paris Hilton Passport Paris (which I might have been predisposed to like because of the cartoon illustration on the card, and which was the only one that didn't come in a resealable vial—figures!), and Valentino Valentina, which I probably only liked because it's almost my name.

It looks like being a perfume wearer isn't in my future.
Guess from now on, if I want to smell good, I'm going to stick with my cheap, short-lasting, food-scented body sprays, and the mixes I make myself from essential oils. I've kind of shied away from that lately after my atomizer failed to atomize and instead shot a neverending stream of scented water at my head right before I had to leave for work. I spent the rest of the day smelling like a large, obtrusive fruit salad.

Maybe if I'm brave, I'll continue the search for my signature scent. When convenient, I'll steal little spritzes from department store cosmetics counters...and just cross my fingers that they don't remind me of bathrooms.