Addiction or Obsession?
I have a confession to make. I have an addiction. I started with the habit when I was about fifteen when I discovered an aphrodisiac and have never looked back since. The Aphrodisiac was, in fact, a perfume by Fabergé. I became hooked on this heady, musky perfume which became my everyday wear. It made me feel worldly and sophisticated and represented my feminity, I thought. In reality, it was probably rather overpowering and not appropriate to go with school uniform!
Prior to this, my knowledge of perfumes or scents had been somewhat limited to the preferences of my more mature relatives. Lavender water, 4711 eau de Cologne and Devon violets did not appeal to me. As time went on, my preferences
changed as a range of new young perfumes appeared. Chique, Blasé and Red became my new choices. At the same time, there was an ever-increasing world of advertising promoting an even wider range of scents. It became the normal addition to a lady's wardrobe, a new accessory. There was something for ladies of all ages and stages appropriate to their taste. And, indeed, men were now being actively encouraged to smell nice! Old Spice and Brut were being slapped on enthusiastically.
Fortunately for men, the stinging after shaves were now being replaced with toilet waters and body sprays. It was well received by the ladies. When I was given a bottle of Rive Gauche I felt I had entered the world of real perfumes, designer perfumes. Their names were seductive and luxurious. The delicate fragrance of L’Air du Temps suggested Paris and the Champs-Elysées. They were promoted by beautiful ladies suggesting that you too would have the same appeal and attraction. My addiction continued as I succumbed to all these temptations. It was acceptable to treat oneself to this luxury product and, at the same time, was an ideal present to give or to receive. Looking back, there were definitely ‘in’ perfumes. There was a time when you would expect at any social gathering to come across the instantly recognisable smell of Youth Dew by Estée Lauder. This was later succeeded by the equally unavoidable (as I thought!) perfume named rather strangely,
Poison. Whether it is only my olfactory glands I do not know, but to me its name matched its smell. Apologies to anyone who wears this!! Perfumes have always had romantic or exotic links which may be why they have such appeal. Add to this their names- Beautiful, Addiction, Obsession, Notorious, Opium, Cinnabar, Chanel No5 and many more who can resist?
Being able to purchase perfumes at duty-free prices in airports has also made them a more affordable luxury. The allure of an extensive range of scents, all beautifully packaged, is an agreeable way of spending the time waiting for your flight. The fact that you are obliged to pass through this area increases the temptation. I find that by the time I leave the duty-free shop, I am often feeling rather dizzy from inhaling these delicious smells. Needless to say, I usually leave clutching a bottle of the same current favourite perfume. So going back to my earlier confession, I know that I am a perfume addict. It is part of me,
part of who I am and part of my everyday wear. It isn't always the same perfume, I do ring the changes. For daytime a lighter scent is appropriate but an evening one can have presence! I even find myself applying perfume before video calls! One of the sad and strange things about perfume though is that, after a time, you can no longer smell it yourself. But, I hope I leave a fragrant waft in the air for others to enjoy. So if you should detect a whiff of Coco Chanel or Allure in the supermarket or high street, that might just be me in front!
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