Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Perfume Confession

When I was younger, like as a teenager, I used to wear perfume. I had a bit of experience with fragrances having gone to France for my 10th birthday for a month with one of my au pairs. All of my au pairs (before you get excited, my mom was a single parent with 3 kids and that was a way to have help at home, which happened at the time to be in Rexdale) were french pretty much, and fragrance was part of the culture.

So I knew the difference between Shalimar and Rive Gauche and some kind of Chanel when I was young. I chose Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent as my main scent and wore it through late high school and university. I'd learned to put it on by spraying it into the air and then walking into the mist. I smelled great.

It was around the end of university that it was clear that what my mom had come down with back before high school included some combination of symptoms that included environmental sensitivities and meant she needed everything to be unscented in her immediate environs. I was reluctant to give up perfume but it was my mom we were talking about, so of course, I gave up perfume.

I ended up living in places where wearing perfume was "gauche," just to rub it in, plus my choices in scents were costly. So I gave it up altogether and even used unscented shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, everything. It moved into unscented laundry detergent and dish soap and cleaning supplies and everything else.

My mom has in recent years become less sensitive and I don't need to use unscented shampoo and conditioner any more to be around without triggering a reaction. I've started using oils in a burner sometimes and even incense.

As it turns out, some perfumes give ME a headache and I don't enjoy being around other peoples' "too much" perfume at the movies or on a plane, so I'm happy things have turned out to be more of an unscented world.

You may gather that I was a cosmetic snob at one time in my life so the Yves Rocher catalogs and shops in the malls didn't have much allure for me. However, recently my daughter has gotten to an age where wearing lip gloss and having other "ladies things" around is kind of nice. As it turns out, Yves Rocher is affordable! And when I was looking for things to get people for Valentines Day I turned to them and bought the women in my life these little tester lipsticks - too cute - they reminded me of the old Avon's samples. And Remi and I felt like it was Christmas when we went to open the box of stuff.

We ordered another box of stuff a few weeks ago - some roll on lip gloss, a scented deodorant, incense, and this set of sampler perfumes. Okay, they're not Yves Saint Laurent or anything, they're Yves Rocher and they're not bad. So what we do is leave them by the computers and when it's after school or dinner we'll dab some on, comparing the smells and which ones we like today.

We both usually like Evidence but today we liked Ming Shu.

1 comment:

XUP said...

It's amazing how a little scent can make you feel so much better - a little scent made of good stuff. I guess that's what aromatherapy is all about. I never feel quite if I go out without a little whiff of something.