Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Perfume is weird

I will never buy perfume because Men love it! How many times have you heard that?

Most of the men I grew up with could barely dress themselves without their wives laying out their clothes for them. I can't imagine letting those guys choose what perfume I wear.

My husband is a most-excellent fellow, yet he has strange ideas about perfume that make me think, phew! Glad I don't buy based on his likes/dislikes. The only time I put on D&G's The One for Men, he walked into the room and said "Ugh, you smell like an old lady!"


And then, the only one he's EVER complimented, even stuck his face my elbow crook and sniffed extravagantly, was Tabu. Ahaha, of course. (It WAS vintage Tabu, which I think is wonderful, but really. Tabu. So predictable.)

I will also never get is the perfume is so transformative! thing. Perfume becoming part of dreamy, wishful identity-making makes me uncomfortable. I don't spritz on Vol de Nuit and lapse into a daydream about being mysterious and interesting and angular, a film noir femme fatale. I'm 29, I live in the suburbs. I've got two kids. I got all kinds of identity: natural birth advocate/feminist/writer/art student/frazzled mom/baker/wife. I don't really need to bring perfume into that. I don't become anything altered when I wear it. I pick perfume based on my moods/whims, but I don't need it to stand in for the way I feel about myself on a certain day. I don't need it for that.

Neither of these are great sins to me or anything, but they're the things that throw me off in perfume blogosphere. There's another one, but it's all tied up in race and white privilege, and that seems like it might need a whole post for itself. So another time.


  1. I would be _pleased_ if Himself liked my perfume. If he had any favorites, I'd wear his favorites on the weekend when we're together. But, yeah, in general I don't wear perfume to please anybody.

    I do sometimes wear perfume to change my mood, but more often to go along with my mood. Celebratory or "don't mess with me" or subdued or... whatever. So it's not transformative, but maybe that's something related to it.

    I ramble. :)

  2. Hi chickenfreak! I had no idea I had a comment here. I don't know how to get my comments to go to my email inbox, argh.

    Does your husband have allergies too? Mine has allergies and hates when I wear scent, even lightly (like a body lotion) to bed. He's very particular and it makes him sneeze. If there is a scent he absolutely hates, I won't wear it. I'm glad he's mostly neutral about everything.

    Ooh, can I ask, what is your 'don't mess with me' scent? I think I must have one too. I think I wear green, smoky leather-scents when I feel that way, like Bandit or Azuree.