Thursday, May 8, 2008

What Scent Defines You?

Last night I watched an unusual and captivating movie called Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. I love historical mysteries and as this movie was based on Patrick Suskind's Das Parfum, I thought this might be right up my alley. With the exception of one scene I could have done without, it was. Try to imagine a combination of Les Miserables and a Hannibal Lecterish physiological, serial killer-type thriller (without Dr. Lecter’s penchant for eating people). I was especially impressed with the camera work, which brought both the noxious and luxurious scents of 18th century Paris. And I love the costumes of that time period too! Now, I only recommend this film if you can handle a mixture of the seductive, disturbing, and extremely creepy.

Regardless of the fact that I had already stayed up way past my bedtime, I started thinking about the individuality of scent. From our perfumes to our lotions to our shampoo, we like very distinct smells. Even the candles we light can vary dependent on the season or our mood. We also tend to change our favorite scents from time to time. For example, I wore Anais Anias for years and then, without any reason, decided that it wasn’t the smell I wanted to define me.

So let’s trade the perfumes, colognes, and lotions that we’ve used for years. The olfactory hints that remind others of us. What does your pillowcase smell like? Your clothes? Your hair? The center of your wrist? Here are my favorites:

  • Perfume – Happy by Clinique (it really buoys my spirit and smells fresh, light, and festive)
  • Lotion – Moisturizers with a hint of aloe
  • Cleaning Products – Lemon or orange scented dish soap and air fresheners
  • Flowers – Gardenias. I just melt over the smell!
  • Food – An apple crisp cooking in the oven during autumn
  • CandleAny of the triple fragrances by Virginia Candle Company. If you enjoy layers of scent, check out this website!

How about you? What scents would you fill in?


Mark Combes said...

This is either going to sound creepy as hell, or maudlin as hell, but the nape of my wife's neck. She asks, "What does it smell like?" I say, "You."

Huh? Am I a romantic fool or what?

G.M. Malliet said...

Best perfume in the world is First. It's not that well-known and I'm always afraid they'll stop manufacturing it.

Baking bread is the best food smell. Well, and chocolate. And popcorn.

Nina Wright said...

That's neither creepy nor maudlin, Mark. It's romantic!

I looked long and hard for the perfect "signature scent" for a doomed character in one of my teen novels. I ended up choosing Aimez-Moi, as much for what it means as for how it smells. Of course I had to buy the perfume to make sure it was the right scent for my character....

I use it only rarely, and fortunately my guy likes the way it smells on me. Every time I wear it, I think of Nicole Sarneau. She's fictional (and she's dead), but the cologne helped give her life on the page.

Keith Raffel said...

Like the women smell (without perfume).

jbstanley said...

Mark, you rock! You're basically telling your wife she is a natural beauty.

G.M. - I never heard of first. Who makes it?

I'll take baking bread as a great smell as long as there's cinnamon involved. I recently heard the spice repels ants. Anyone know of any sure fire organic approaches to ridding oneself of the meddlesome insects?

G.M. Malliet said...

JB - Van Cleef & Arpels makes First.