That’s Three Scents Please

Dear Dorigen,

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.


I had such a crush on Wyatt. Check that vest.

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.

Scent 3 – The Old: Marc Jacobs Essence and Daisy

MJessence        MJdaisy

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.

Scent 2 – The Inspiration: Chloé Roses de Chloé


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.”

Scent 1 – The One: Gucci Flora Emerald Gardenia


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.



P.S. Valentino’s Donna Born in Roma Eau de Parfum smells like cotton candy fire.

5 thoughts on “That’s Three Scents Please

  1. dangerdorge says:

    Dearest Em,

    I cannot figure out how to edit this post to add my thoughts because I am #Old and let’s be honest, you are the literary star of DorEm so I am happy to lurk in your comments.

    First off, I LOVE the hopefulness and self-love you are practicing in stimulating your sense of smell. What a lovely way to think about perfume. That packaging is gorgeous and I may need to make a trip to Sephora specifically to see what you smell like. I have not worn perfume in years but I wouldn’t mind smelling like you.

    Love you Lots,

  2. Anne M Green says:

    My two scents…Philosophy’s “Amazing Grace”. Most of Philosophy’s florals are just beautifully light and airy. For something more potent, I go for Zum mists, all organic; they have various florals available. Keep adding to your self-love. You must know how beautiful you are! LOVE A

  3. Carol Wesley says:

    The way I start my day is “Happy” by Clinique. It can change-up my morning from down to up. Francis gifted me my first bottle for my birthday. You are right, a scent can connect you with people and times you cherish. Stay connected! Love, Carol

  4. […] were not prepared for these strange days of sequestering for Coronavirus. Being at higher risk, I still didn’t actually think to work from home until a single day before my company suggested […]

  5. […] 31 is a shade too floral for me. Or maybe Roses de Chloé already took me to the desert and captured my […]

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