Punching In at the ‘Ol Olfactory Factory

photo by Gunnar Larson, blankstareblink.com

photo by Gunnar Larson

Last weekend I drove up to Northern California and as I approached my parents’ house, my son said, “I love how Grandma and Grandpa’s house smells.” It was so lovingly sweet that I asked how it smells to him. “Like nothing in particular, I just really like it.”

Scents are distinct, but when mixed, they sure can be impossible to describe. I have the same problem with wine. I can never taste the subtleties; I know I either like the taste, or not. Same goes for perfumes. So I let my son off the hook with his lazy description and still trusted in his adoring sentiment.

My olfactory organs have been working overtime this last week. Walking through the canyons with my dog, I feel like I’m in a perfume bottle swimming through spring blossoms. At my parents house, I’m transported back to my miserable thirteen-year-old self with one whiff. But some scents, like camping equipment, can be unpleasant. Since we’ve moved to Los Angeles, my clothes are increasingly taking on a weird toxic Play-Doh-like pungency. In fact it’s grown overpowering to the point of embarrassment and earnest distaste. Am I approaching Menopause as Paula’s post suggests? Is it the LA water I now consume? Or could it just be the imprint of original cabinetry from 1965? My husband assures me that yes, it’s the cabinetry.

I can’t afford new cabinets, but I can afford a new bottle of perfume. It’s time to start sniffing. Not too sweet, a little spicy, and something mysterious that can mask any suggestion of toxic Play-Doh would be just my blend. Any suggestions? I found these three bottles on vogue.co.uk. The descriptions are intriguing and that’s just what I’m going for.

Spring Perfume 2014, blankstareblink.com

(left) Balmain—Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing describes the brand’s latest scent, Extatic, as sexy without being vulgar – an oriental floral scent with just the right amount of punch. (center) Gucci—Inspired by Gucci’s iconic floral motif, which was designed for Grace Kelly in 1966, this new member of the Gucci Flora family evokes all of the glamour and history of the brand. A floral chypre, it combines bergamot with peony and rose, before the base notes of patchouli, vetiver and musks come to the fore. (right) Burberry—Launched as part of the Burberry Brit family, Brit Rhythm is inspired by the power of live music and features notes of British lavender.

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