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Jul 10th, 2011
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Scent. It is all around us, and man has been putting scent on his (or her) skin since the Egyptian Pharaohs.
I fell in love with perfume when I was eight. My first real perfume was Chanel No.5, my grandmother used to wear it, and when I was very young I used to try and sneak a little on my finger to rub behind my ears. I picked up that trick from watching gran do it. So for my eighth birthday, despite my mother’s protestations that I was far too young, gran bought me my first bottle of perfume.

Thirty-eight years have passed since that birthday, but I still have the bottle. It’s empty now of course, but if you uncap the bottle and sniff hard, it still retains some of the delights and memories of my early childhood in its now faint aroma.

Perfume, and the bottles it comes in, have fascinated me ever since. Proof that packaging does work.

From my earliest flirtations in my teens with Cacharel’s perfumes Anais Anais and LouLou (which I still wear today) right through to much more sophisticated (and expensive) perfumes by Roja Dove and

Moschino. I have been known to buy the perfume because I fall in love with the bottle. Certainly, my current Moschino favourite, Glamour, the bottle is sumptuous, tactile, and sexy. It positively begs you to pick it up. Of course falling in love with a particular scent and buying it has a few unanticipated hazards if you are me! I love the smell of Crabtree & Evelyn’s Nomad (and the box it comes in conjures up some pretty romantic images too). I’ve been buying it for quite a while.

I had lunch with some friends. One of them remarked on my perfume, so I whipped the bottle out of my bag to show it off. My friend took hold of the bottle. “You muppet… this is aftershave..!” “But I like it!” I protested. “You’re supposed to like it… on the man!!!” Erm…

That is the thing about scent, it is a powerful attractor. You see a rose, it seems instinctive to see if it has a scent. Scent lingers in the memory.

Animals use scent. Sometimes disastrously. Daniel is particularly well adapted to rolling, and his fondness for foul-smelling goo is legendary. Our ancient pond is particularly useful for this purpose, as the black mud in the bottom is cool, gooey and possessed of an exceptionally pungent aroma.

In hot weather, Dan likes to go and lie in the mud, then come indoors, and try and climb in my lap. Looking for all the world like the Swamp Thing. I bought a packet of scented pet rubdown cloths… what he considers to be a fine aroma, I would rather he found something a little less pungent.

Our sense of smell is possibly one of the more important ones. Over the years various boyfriends have learned to detect that all is not well in the kitchen and come rushing in with the remedy. In the nick of time.
My daily journey through scent is unexpected, and that is part of its charm.

Love Is In The Air

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