Thursday, February 12, 2015


Wine, women, and song, and cheese, and chocolate and perfume. If you don't love these things, seriously, sirs, reorient yourselves. 

My mother wore Cabochard (which is, according to perfume writer Luca Turin, a scent that can "bring him to tears") when I was a kid and thought she was a goddess, appearing from the blowdryer to talk dinner (Chef Boyardee "pizza") with the baby sitter ("Mary - something") who would arrive and teach me to play the opening notes of Jaws to get me stop staring out the window wishing my mother's leather chypre scent hadn't just dispersed into the night in suede boots (it was the mid '70s) leaving the house like an empty bottle released of its djin.

I wore it, too, for awhile. It smelled more like smoke on me, more like tabac, less sweet, which is, in fact, exactly how my personality diverges from my mother's.

Then, Gres changed the formula and the bottle (au revoir pouty smoked-glass bow) and though my mother and I were too Protestant to weep over such a trifle as the changed formula of a perfume (when the environment needed saving and the American medical system floundered) in our quiet moments we declared doubt that we would ever love another.

I bounced through some softballs -- Light Blue, for instance, and Tommy Girl -- and some heavyweights -- Coco, Aramis -- and I either smelled like lily of the valley or like the end of a party, or both (Gucci Rush, thank you very much).

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