After reading Patrick Suskind’s wonderfully messed-up novel, I developed more of an appreciation for perfume. Perfumes are constructed like a musical chord, with top, middle and base notes weaving together in a fragrant song. Some perfumes have barely changed since they were first created over a hundred years ago. These days, any trashy celebrity seems to be able to throw a bunch of fruity floral scents together and call it perfume. But the real stuff, the classic, high quality designer stuff, is truly a work of olfactory art.
Personally, I’m attracted to anything with violets. I’d be happy to die by drowning in bath tub full of Guerlain’s Insolence Eau de Parfum. I’m also partial to apple scents, and there was a particular apple-themed perfume that caught my attention recently. Not for myself, though. No, I thought it would be perfect for my beloved boyfriend.
Most men’s perfumes are so strong and spicy and musky, as if men are trying to compensate for the lack of stinking scent glands to rub on the borders of their territory. This perfume was gentler, sweeter, like an apple pie that could be tough when necessary, but wasn’t afraid to talk about feelings either. I was reluctant to buy it for my boyfriend until I could get a chance to test it on him. Some perfumes just don’t go well with some people’s skin. I wanted to be sure those sweet, manly apples wouldn’t turn sour. But finding the time to go shopping together was tricky, and I was too afraid of the over-zealous sales assistants to ask for a sample to take home. So the perfume remained unpurchased.
Recently, my boyfriend and I moved in with my parents to save some money. As I wandered into my parent’s bathroom one afternoon, I noticed a familiar bottle sitting on the counter. It was the apple perfume! My own father was wearing the scent I had dreamed of drenching my boyfriend in. How could I possibly ever give him that perfume now? It would be all kinds of creepy to have my boyfriend and my father smelling the same. I feel like I need therapy simply for thinking about it!
I ran downstairs, perfume bottle in hand, bemoaning my fragrant woes to my bewildered father. He was not familiar with the perfume I was holding. He had never smelt of apples in his life.
My mother sauntered out of the kitchen, saw the bottle in my hand and cheerily said, “That’s mine!”
And in that moment, I decided that my boyfriend smells perfectly lovely just the way he is.