Sunday, September 14, 2008
Now that I have calmed down some. . .
My favorite scent is one that is quite inexpensive: the smell of sheep. I just had my wristers on, along with a fresh spritz of Passage D'enfer. Giacobetti probably never thought of the combination of damp wool, frankincense and myrrh, but to me it is sheer heaven.
I dearly would love to try any of the Annick Goutal fragrances that I waxed imbecilic about in the last post. I did indeed feel lust, covetousness and envy. I could go to Hell for this, couldn't I?
It's interesting to me that in spite of growing up in a wealthy suburb of New York City, I still find it astounding that people can indeed go out and buy 750 bucks worth of perfume on a whim.
When I was in my late twenties, I took over my mother's clothing store in the same suburb (Great Neck) that I grew up in. On Saturdays and late afternoons, girls who were in High School would work at the store. One girl, who didn't last very long, was working because her parents felt it was "good for her". She certainly didn't need the money. I remember nothing physical about her, not her height, nor her hair color or even her name, but I do remember the huge fight she had with her mother one day. During a break, she bought a handbag at the shop down the street. The bag, as I remember, was 450 dollars. When her mother stopped in to see what her daughter had purchased, she went ballistic, right there in the store. The mother was screaming. The daughter was screaming. Mom thought it was crazy that her daughter had spent so much. Honestly, I hadn't thought she had overdone it, for the girl had a BMW or Mercedes convertible or something like that. But Mom went on and on, yelling hysterically. The store was filled with people and we all stood around like innocent bystanders (which I suppose we were). At some point the daughter started in on the mother, saying "You and Dad spent 100,000 dollars in the last month and noone thought it was a big deal!" That's when Mom left the store. I guess the girl was right about the family spending habits. I was left wondering "What did they spent that money on and why did she know about it?"
A few years ago, I remember reading an article about a lawyer who wrote letters to musicians who were spending huge sums of money on overpriced bling. Perhaps it was in New Yorker magazine. I wish I could remember. It was a funny article, though somewhat sad in a way. His sole job was to point out to the newly wealthy that buying a 10,000 dollar watch may not be the smartest of moves if you might wind up being a one hit wonder.
Not having cable TV (and living in one of the poorest places in this country), I'm not generally exposed to ostentatious displays of wealth. I once watched a bit of "Cribs" and gaped as I listened to some (one hit wonder) female rapper show us her shoe and bag collection. She didn't say anything like "Oh, look at these beautiful shoes. I just love them!" She said, "Look at these shoes. They cost 5000 dollars. Wow!"
This is one reason why I always had a bit of a problem with watching "Sex and the City". How many Manolo Blahniks do you think a newspaper columnist can afford in one month? Yes, this is an old question, for the show's been over for years, but it still troubles me.
Ah, well, I notice that a few fragrance discounters sell Annick Goutal scents, and in a few years Encens Flamboyant will be old news and heavily discounted (I hope).
Photo note: One Shetland sheep (which sounds wrong in the singular), courtesy of the North American Sheepbreeders Association. Shetlands are great sheep with lots of personality, colors and, of course, that yummy sheep smell (and I don't mean when cooking 'em).