Sunday, June 21, 2009

After the quiet, I put on a screaming white floral. . .

It was a quiet, somewhat strange day. It's been raining for who knows how long, and though today's downpour did not happen, the sun never peeked through the clouds. The wind was kicking up all day, knocking potted plants over. It was at turns hot and humid and cool and humid. It was eerie - the kind of weather that portends dreadful weather to come. And so it shall come, as I hear it.

I was at a Zen retreat for a few days, where it was actually noisier than my own home. Dick is away, and is my want when he's not here, I keep things quiet and cleaner than normal. I also take up chanting sutras to punctuate the silence. Surprisingly, I chant from deep within my belly, a loud chant; startingly so. Probably surprising for those who know me, for I'm given to talking to quietly that no one can hear me. Said one friend, once; "Ah, well. I can't hear Julie half the time. I just nod and say hmmm."

Within this quiet space is a loudness, but it is not audible. It is called Tom Ford's Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. Basenotes says it contains "Black Truffle, Bergamot, Honeysuckle, Gardenia, Black Orchid, Black Pepper, Lotus Wood, Noir Gourmand Accord, Vanilla Tears, Patchouli, Balsam, Sandalwood." What are "Noir Gourmand Accord" and "Vanilla Tears"?

Never mind. The first blast of this parfume, which I found a 1 ounce bottle of at T.J. Maxx for fifteen bucks, is a big, loud 1980's type screaming white floral. I detest scents of this nature - they are the stuff of headaches and probably the reason why so many places have outlawed wearing scents in public.

But I like this juice. I spray on a very little bit, keeping the spray nozzle right up to my skin. I know that if I overdo it, I'll be sorry later. So, I'm very careful. Just so. At first I'm always surprised. I hate this smell, or so I think. No, I love it. What's going on here?

No headache ensues. I continue loving the scent, but I wouldn't dare leave the house with it on. It's sillage must be strong. It feels illicit. Sitting here in baggy jeans, tousled hair and a baggy sweater, it's a funny contrast to the way I smell. I should be wearing a black dress and stilettos.

The scent does not change much. It just weakens. It leaves a delicious trace of itself on my bedclothes. With all its notes, one would think it would change over time, but it is somewhat simple in its way. I smells like a Good Perfume. Nothing more and nothing less. What's surprising it that I seem to be in love with it, and I'm getting a kick out of that in itself, like falling in love with a person who's got a bad reputation.

And, it is such a contrast to anything that smacks of simple living. I feel like a naughty woman, basking in a cougar's scent whilst lounging about all alone. It feels like enjoying pornography. I was caught in the act earlier when someone knocked on the door. Looking as I do, (no - even worse, for I was wearing a pair of pants held together with a string), I wondered if they thought I was wearing too much perfume, and how strangely, with no makeup and in near to rags.

I see eccentricity in my future. Eh, I think it's already happened. What am I worried about?

Photo Note: Amy Winehouse, with a beehive hairdo and jeans. Seems fitting to this post. I love her singing, her style; I hope she survives her travails.


BitterGrace said...

"Vanilla Tears?" That Tom Ford--you gotta admire the utter shamelessness of his marketing...

Wonderful post. Haven't we all fallen for a perfume we're a little ashamed of? My last TJ Maxx pick up was Gap White Amber. Sometimes I cannot resist wearing it in public.

Julie H. Rose said...

I looked at Tom Ford's website after I posted this. Simply shameless indeed.

I should feel just as ashamed loving Serge Lutens' scents, the man who installed a marble toilet seat in his Paris showroom. . .but since he's French, he somehow gets away with exactly the same things. Though, yes, he's also got more subtle and complex scents in his lineup.

Maybe I'll go out wearing this tomorrow. Oh, how much fun! I'll wear my too-big rain parka and smell of come hither, expensive perfume and cheap hourly motels.

And, y'know, many people simply love Gap White Amber. It's okay. Really.