Wednesday, January 26, 2011
People, people, people: Perfume
I am a mild-mannered 50s-something (well, OKAY, 58 if you insist) writer who works in higher education and has The Best Spouse/Children/Dog/Job/Life in the World. But, occasionally, just occasionally, something happens that just pops my cork. "People, people, people" is your glimpse of my descent into the maelstrom of, well, just plain-old pissy-ness, Bermtopia style.
Can someone tell me why some people still use a crop-duster in an aqua-lung to apply perfume and after-shave these days? Really, a little spritz is all that's needed.
See, I realize perfume was really important back in, say, about the 14th century. That's when people ate with their fingers; never brushed their teeth; wore 18 layers of damp fur and wool 24/7/365; sat by (and probably in) wood-burning fires day in and out; slept with their prized dogs, cows and sheep, plus 18 zillion family members; slathered any number of potent salves and poultices, involving all sorts of herbs, amphibians and grease, all over their bodies to ward off the pox; and, at the end of the day, year AND decade, considered soap and warm water the work of the devil -- or at the very least the REAL cause of The Plague.
So, yeah, back in the day everyone needed a fairly liberal shot of minty freshness now and then.
But today, see, we have these modern conveniences. They're called showers and baths and deodorants. As a result, most of us generally smell pretty good -- we really don't need that medieval dose of Chanel No. 5 anymore.
Really. Trust me.
I had the pleasure of following you-who-use-the-crop-duster-to-apply-perfume into the ladies' room at work yesterday. At the risk of sounding People-People-People pissy, the contrails of your perfume had condensed and were dripping off the walls. (OK, maybe I exaggerate just a lee-tle bit.) I knew I was in for a long ride -- eyes burned, throat constricted and I acquired an adorable persistent hollow cough (not unlike a cat expelling a hairball) that my co-workers enjoyed for the rest of the afternoon.
That being said. Please don't stop wearing perfume. Seriously. I mean it.
It IS one life's true pleasures to find a scent that pleases. That speaks to how you feel about yourself and life -- light and floral, bold and spicy, sharp and herbal.
These scents make us happy, make us feel good about ourselves, remind us of happy times and places. But they also should teach us an important lesson -- that, as in most life indulgences, less is more.
So there you have it. You are now leaving People-People-People Land. Thank you for visiting.