Well, well, well--and what a busy week it's been.
Several days ago, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez did an interview with the Guardian, during which--hold on to your hats--Mr. Turin slammed yours truly--AND whippets, for (I guess) good measure. Being the proud owner of a poor, defenseless whippet, and knowing, as I do, that these animals are closer to humans than most of the people you will be subjected to on a daily basis, this offended me deeply. I looked at my little whippet, Mimi Layla Beauregard III, and felt as if she'd been molested somehow, as if all the little Mimi Layla's out there had been held down and taken advantage of, right out in the open, for the whole world to see.
Naturally, it's my duty to get my feelings about this out of the way, right off the bat, before I move on to other, more pressing issues. I knew you would be waiting to hear from me on this, so I have dilly-dallied not. Naturally, I find Mr. Turin's insensitivity appalling--but this wasn't his only offense. He also called my favorite fragrance ever, my signature scent, "slutty". So, I take it, I am a whore--and Mimi Layla Beauregard III, a shivering pansy. Perhaps we are both whores and live in sin, shivering in our sluttish perfume. I don't think it's right to run around calling other people sluts. Certainly not Mimi Layla, who was neutered at six months, may God forgive me.
I think Mr. Turin should think before he speaks. I think he should spend an afternoon in Mimi Layla Beauregard III's shoes before he goes around making blanket statements about one of nature's loveliest, most precious blessings. Clearly, he likes to push buttons. Clearly, he has never known the joy of waking to the angelic face, sleek and still--not shivering, no--of the whippet. If ever a whippet does shiver I can assure you it's due to some cruel, vicious, careless, tossed-off slander such as this. I assure you, Mr. Turin is not the first to denigrate this lovely creature's good name. I can also tell you I won't be the first slut to stop buying his books.
Speaking of sluts, I urge you to join me in boycotting Estee Lauder. Have you noticed that the models in their Sensuous ads seem to be naked under those large white shirts--and whose shirts are they, after all? I'm appalled at Estee Lauder, for stooping to this. Even Gwyneth Paltrow, so pure and blonde, has joined in, stripping off her pants and underthings to shill this perfume. Like you, I have standards, reader. I don't go around flashing people willy nilly. I don't sleep in just any man's bed and if I did I certainly wouldn't borrow his shirt in the morning. I'm a liberated woman, thank you. I have my own shirts. I am not some sensuous slut, despite what some seem to think. My mother taught me better than that, and I expect yours did too. I'm ashamed and embarrassed for Blythe Danner, Gwyneth's mother, who seems so sweet and caring. I'm ashamed for any woman with a mother. To be so defenseless, walking in to the mall, confronted immediately with a bevy of panty-less marauders. I very nearly collided with a rack of costume jewelry. I rushed right home to tell you all about it.
That reminds me. Next month, I will be inaugurating a new feature. I will choose a topic I suspect people would most like to hear me hold forth on, and I will hold forth on it at length. One burning issue I sense people would like me to address is: what do I, your faithful memoirist, tend to think about most. Another: the carelessness of others when it comes to wearing perfume in public. I, like you, believe people should be seen, not smelled. Why should I be reminded constantly of their presence? I have a lot going on. I have a lot to think about. And when I'm done thinking, I'm dedicated to reporting back to you. From this, I will not be distracted.
Not everyone feels this way, as you know. Not everyone is considerate or thoughtful or thinks of the rest of the world when applying her perfume in the morning or before an evening out--though I don't go out, myself, because Mimi Layla Beauregard wishes to be read to at night from her favorite book, Good Thoughts and The People Who Think Them: My Story, In My Own Words, As I Lived It, Told by Me, and I am not one to fall short on my commitments.
Some women douse themselves, is what I'm getting to. Some women think about nothing but themselves. Pathologically incapable of considering the thoughts and feelings of others, they virtually bathe in perfume, and by perfume I don't mean the kind you and I wear. I mean the kind of perfume the average whore out on the street would wear, so that men driving by at modest speeds might be lured in their direction and encouraged to commit lascivious acts involving broom handles and phone books and cell phones and I shiver to think what else. I'm talking about the kind of perfume that speaks in capital letters, drawing attention to itself.
For weeks I've dwelt on this issue, because I know how important it is to you, dear reader, that I think of you constantly and consider at all times what you would want me to discuss. I can tell you, I won't hold back when it comes to this topic. If women insist on wearing that kind of perfume, and wearing it that loudly, then I will spare them nothing. I will make my feelings known. I know you would want me to, and I don't blame you. I understand just how you feel. Something should be said or done to these women so they will know how offensive it is to have to smell them. Perfume should be discreet. It shouldn't smell so much.
I am writing a letter to Mr. Turin's publishers in hopes of getting his book pulled off the shelves. People should know the filth running through this so-called gentleman's mind. I think if they knew how much it upsets someone like me they would yank every last copy of Perfume: The Guide out off circulation. And I will be writing Estee Lauder's corporate headquarters as well. No more women in oversized shirts. No more pandering. After all, who is the buyer for this perfume--men, or women? Perhaps Mr. Turin is the ideal buyer. Perhaps Mr. Turin is the slut. If so, Estee Lauder should know this.
I will send these letters out first thing tomorrow, you can be sure, and of course I will keep you posted. Until then, your friend in perfume and as ever committed to keeping you posted on my thoughts and feelings as they come to me...
Hear Me Out Club, aka I Know You Are But What Am I?
Southern Chapter President