Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sniffing Through the Ages

I hardly ever wear perfume anymore.

It would be sort of strange if I opted out of hair, make-up and zippers, but always made sure to spritz behind my ears...

Still, I'm a very scent-oriented gal. I think we all are, in one form or another.

Sights, sounds, flavors, they all work to help us cobble together memories.

But nothing is more transportive than scent.

I'm 12 years old. I have no idea who bought this for me, but I feel like the Homecoming Queen when I wear it. In the haze of its spritz, my bad perm is but a memory, I'm allowed to wear make-up, and Brad asks me to "go with him".

I'm 14 and I have officially bought into the power of Teen Magazine's persuasion. Also, they sell this at K-Mart, so I'm good. I call this "Vervay" and though I've tried most of them, it's always the teal one that I come back to. I am navigating my first year in High School and wishing I was shorter, cuter, bustier. I'm always wishing, wishing, wishing.

I'm 15. I met Sarah this year, and there's no going back. My life is consumed with my new friends from church, and I spend most of my energy deliberating on whether I should focus my crushing on Ike or on John, neither of which returns the crush.

I'm 16. I have my first real boyfriend. I'm lamenting that my bangs won't do the mall-hair thing, but the light purple cans of Aqua Net don't stop me from trying. I want to break-up with my boyfriend (but I don't). I want to spend more time with my friends. Life is simpler with them, and a lot more fun.

I am 17. I'm graduating this year. I think I pretty much know all there is to know about the world. I'm going to college soon, to be a doctor, after all. I'm still trying to figure out how to extract myself from my pitiful "relationship". But seriously, I know everything. Don't bother trying to give me advice. I don't need it.

I'm 18. My new friend Stephanie, from down the hall, wears this like she means it. Fine, I'll let her have the Malibu Musk signature scent. I will miss the guava, though...
I'm still 18 and I've (finally!) graduated from drugstore scents. I don't even like the smell of this, but it's the cool thing right now. At least, that's what Glamour magazine says...

Calvin Klein, you've done it again. Only this time, I'm in love. (In fact, I think I'll name my future son after you.) I'm 19 and the (older!) boy who sits beside me in Sociology class passed me a note saying that I smell "so good". I'm pretty sure he also digs my men's XL button downs layered atop men's XL t-shirts. Turns out, he's got a girlfriend. But hours of note-passing certainly help to while away the hours while Dr. Young drones on.
Hello, Grunge-era. I'm 20 and if Kate Moss says to wear this, then I will wear it. Mostly, I just like how the bottle looks on my standard-issue dorm-room dresser.

Calvin, I'm leaving you for Ralph. I'm 21 years old now and while I'm not sporty, this makes me feel like I could be. I contemplate taking up sailing, but settle for a student council bid.

I am 24 years old and the bright spot in my day is spraying this on. It nearly makes me forget that I'm being (under)paid to be a glorified car-washer.

 Origins: Frolic Fantasy, Eau de Toilette Fragrance

I'm 27 and we're living in Washington, DC. I discovered this at the little Origins shop in Union Station, on my lunch break. We are living like paupers, but I finally spring for this and it lifts my city-spirits right up. Our friend Rich makes offhanded comments whenever I wear it along the lines of, "Something smells like Lysol!" But seriously, what does he know?
I'm 28. We're getting ready to move back to Indiana. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

I discovered this in Sephora, but I cannot afford to buy it. Months later, post-move, I talk Rich into picking a bottle up for me and delivering it on his next visit. He agrees, and I forgive him for all of the Lysol comments.

I'm 29. I want to own every fruity thing that Fresh makes, but especially this.

And this.

I also wouldn't mind everything by Jo Malone.

ps- We're adopting a baby!

I'm 31. My honey bought me this for Christmas. I love the departure from all-scents-fruity. It's watery and floral and makes me feel a little more sophisticated than I'll ever really be.
I'm 32. Lemon. Sugar. Could this be the Holy grail?

I'm 33. I have 10 bottles of perfume in my cabinet and I rarely wear any of them. I think it's time to shake things up a bit...