Monday, December 01, 2008
My Son Wears Angel
About the time I started seriously studying natural botanical perfumery, my now 20-something son started wearing mainstream perfume. Real perfume. Not cologne. Not body spray. Perfume. His first perfume experiment was with a sweet little confection called Candies. Why he ever chose to smell like a teenage girl on prom night, I’ll never know, but it might have something to do with sex appeal. His words, “Females dig it.” So we have this macho boy, District Champion in wrestling, fledgling football player, all-around bad boy, wearing Candies perfume to attract girls like bees to honey. And it worked. So well, in fact, he moved on from his first olfactory love to his second: DKNY’s Be Delicious.
He was delicious for two years, until he bored of smelling like fruit bowls, and found his third olfactory love, Prada. Surreptitiously lifted from his younger sister’s dressing table, Prada found a new home in my son’s locker. But he was forever on the hunt for something new. He never turned down a trip to Sephora, and never refused perfume samples that I gathered from various mainstream perfume houses. He found love again, for the fourth time, with Premiere Figuier Extrême from L’Artisan. He saved money for two months to buy his very first full bottle. Three point four ounces of scentastic bliss. The bottle didn’t last long as all his “girlfriends” fell in love with Mr. Figuier too, and generously doused themselves whenever they’d come by for a visit – he soon tired of smelling like everyone else.
One day, after sharing lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, the son and I decided to walk across the road to Sephora. The son is a big samples’ freak and asks for two or three every time he visits Sephora. We wandered around and then I noticed the trademark ice-blue, wonky star-shaped bottle with its shiny silver cap sitting on a high shelf. I remembered that my friend Kimberly loves Angel, so I decided to give it a shot. Yeah, I never tried Angel before. I’m not a lover of the overtly sweet, cotton candy, high floral gooeyness that I’d heard Angel was based upon. My son walked past me as I sprayed Angel onto a strip.
“What is that?”
“It’s Angel. You won’t like it. It’s too girlie even for you.”
He grabbed my hand, the one waving the scent strip soaked in Angel, and snatched the strip. He closed his eyes and drew the strip under his nose slowly. I started looking around to see if anyone was watching this embarrassing display, when he shouted, “Wow! I have to have this!”
He then grabbed the sample bottle and sprayed it on his wrists, waved his arms about, and began inhaling at his wrists in long, gulping sniffs.
“It smells magnificent,” he said, his eyes closed, wrist at his nose.
“Magnificent? What’s the matter with you? It’s way too girlie for you!” I said, trying to pull his arm down from his face.
“No, it’s not,” he said. “Smell it.” He extended his arm and brought his wrist up to my nose. I inhaled, fully expecting something gawd-awful sweet and sticky, and was pleasantly – no – astoundingly surprised to find that it smelled rather masculine. Yeah, the sugary sweetness was there, but so was something else, something dark and not-so-sweet. Something very male.
The son smiled at me and asked, “Samples?”