Since finding out that the “lingering pinched nerve,” is in fact relapsing MS, I have been doubling down on my fashion choices. In light of the diagnosis, I promised Pete that “I will always be fashionable,” which is my way of assuring him (and myself) that I will not let this illness dampen my hopefulness. Pete recently helped me discover a fashion element that I didn’t know my soul was missing – a new scent.
We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day (Pete’s Gen X-ness is anti-corporations-telling-people-when-to-be-romantic); so instead, I receive flowers and many other sweet acts of kindness at other times in the year. Yesterday, after I randomly sampled a perfume at the mall, Pete offered to gift me a scent for non-Valentine’s Day. At this suggestion, one of the first things I was reminded of was that moment in Weird Science, when the boys were fumbling with samples of perfumes at the mall, looking for that classic gift for their newly made girlfriend.
As a couple who often expresses our love in non-traditional ways (e.g. blue wedding dress, decidedly not having kids, etc.), I was intellectually charmed by the novelty of such a traditional gesture, but then when I started smelling these different worlds, I realized how starved I was for such a stimulation of the senses, such a decadent, optimistic change.
Did you know that you bought me my first designer perfume? It was Essence by Marc Jacobs. I was in my early 20’s and I couldn’t scratch the cost, so you generously gifted it for a birthday. I think you were rocking that pre-2008-crash, Financial Industry money. Essence will always be beloved and after it was discontinued, I purchased a travel size of the similar Marc Jacobs scent, Daisy. I still have and use both bottles, but after decades, their scents have faded and possibly turned into something other.
Chloe’s Roses de Chloe is the perfume that I randomly sampled and that inspired Pete to gift me a new scent. True to its name, Roses does smell of roses and it makes me think of open, airy spaces, a glowing yellow desert. It warmed my heart and it was a close second to the scent that won my soul. Still charmed, I ended up ordering a small sample size of Roses for my desk at work if I ever need a moment of “airiness.”
When I smell Gucci’s Flora Emerald Gardenia, I think of a lush, growing green forest, a mossy blanket of possibility that nourishes and welcomes my soul. For the last several months, my body has been painstakingly attempting to physically repair a feeling that I can best describe as “inner voids,” and then, suddenly, this singular scent has replenished a deep lack in something too personal to describe. It makes me smile.
I am also trying out a new way to wear perfume. Instead of the classic Marisa Tomei spray-then-dip of Untamed Heart, the internet suggests spraying behind the knees and/or elbows. It works. Are you still wearing your signature scent? If you need a fashion change that you can’t put your finger on or if you are wondering what I smell like these days, then the perfume counter may be calling you.