Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Wore This: Dior Poison

A little one ounce bottle of Poison, because apparently I can never have enough.

Let me tally. At this point, I own I think five - now six, bottles, various formulations. I try to keep track by the packaging but mostly I know by the smell.

This one from the drugstore, probably dating to the early 2000s. It isn't as insistently bright and austere as the latest version. It isn't glorified grape bubblegum like some of the others.

I see Poison out in the world and sometimes I'm overcome and though there are five, now six, bottles back home, home isn't instantaneous enough. I add to the pot. Something about that green shimmery box; it starts before I even get the packaging open, before I even uncap the bottle. What Poison means starts when I see the box and the memory of the smell and what I know it will do to me and my mood kicks into gear. It focuses my thoughts. No small feat on any given day.

There's a list of perfumes from around Poison's time that I obsessed over at the fragrance counter as a teen. Poison heads that list. So getting it, even the sixth or seventh bottle, without thinking much of it, without thinking at all, is a powerful thing. I thought so much as a teen back then - about how I might get a bottle, keep it on hand to smell, even if I couldn't wear it. I thought about it but it was forbidden. I looked forward to the next time I could pass through the mall and pretend I had a girlfriend who wanted it as much as I did. That porn of talking to those sales associates is a vivid memory - inevitable, protracted coos about how special it would be to receive Poison as a gift, as if I didn't know.

So it does something massive to me now, walking in, seeing it, throwing it in the cart, taking it up to the cashier and out to the car. It means some things will always be out of reach, but not this.

When I asked the drugstore associate to unlock the perfume cabinet for me she asked as they always do which bottle I was wanting to see. I said Poison and she laughed. Is that what it's really called, she said. You want Poison? Loads of laughs. It meant nothing to her. She'd never even heard of it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Wore This: Jean Patou Sublime Eau de Parfum

Amber, Vetiver, Orange Blossom. Like Teo Cabanel's Alahine, Sublime is a strange, diffusive toasted amber.

I was telling someone last night my sense of smell isn't particularly robust. I like strong, forceful things that keep reminding me they're with me. Sublime isn't strong or forceful but it's that rare fragrance that stage whispers.

People complain about a hairspray note. I often think, "What's wrong with people?"

Groggy this morning from staying up not so very late but drinking a little too much beer on an empty stomach. The company was so good and the moment so perfect I didn't want to leave. Second story stone balcony of an old quad apartment complex.

We're having what my friend said is called a...polar vortex? So the air was unusually cool, without much if any humidity. There was a little strand of colored Christmas lights strung across the balustrade; just enough illumination. The view was a textured layering of trees, very still. The mood was chatty but pensive in a languid way. There were four of us on the balcony and the sound of the other three talking was a form of lullaby.

This might have had everything or very little to do with picking Sublime this morning, and the place it's taking me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Wore This: Chanel No.5 Eau De Cologne

I was in Berlin recently with Barbara Herman and Miguel Matos, and at some point, trading the smells we'd all brought, Miguel pulled out an atomizer of Chanel No. 5 eau de cologne.

I've never been a big No.5 fan, so the cologne concentration surprised me. It's sweet and ambery and a little leathery, less sharp than its better known siblings, more mellow. It doesn't last long but at least, unlike the edt and edp, it isn't meant to.

I bought this little bottle on Ebay. When I posted this picture on Facebook I was told that the bottle probably dates back to no earlier than the 70s, which is just fine with me. I put it on the back of my hand and enjoyed it most of the day, reapplying when I missed that initial rush of vanillic amber. The bottle is shaped like a flask you'd hide in your pocket to get through a particularly tedious ordeal.

I'd like to smell this on a guy.