Monday, August 27, 2007

Over the past 2 years, I've worked at making my own signature scent. It is not as easy as it seems. Essential oils, endless mixing and forgetting to write down what I've done, often bring me right back to square one. The end result also lacks the staying power of a commercial fragrance. So the project continues. Though now I'm using vodka as a carrier instead of jojoba oil. And like with cooking wine, everything goes better with a snootful.

Inspired, as always, by The Women I got to thinking about vintage fragrances. The Women, features Joan Crawford as a gold-digging shop girl at the perfume counter at "Black's Fifth Avenue". The Women even has its own fragrance, Summer Rain. It's bottled in an overblown contraption complete with a glass umbrella--a lurid, ridiculous novelty bottle.

At first I thought of a project of tracking down vintage fragrances. Like, I dunno, things your granny would wear: White Shoulders, Shalimar. But, nah. Those aren't hard to find. Too easy.

Then I got to thinking of the first perfume I chose for myself: Toujours Moi. A needlessly complicated scent, widely available for next to nothing at the corner drug store, it definitely suited me at 8 years old. After all, I was already in therapy, and regularly cruised by the principal's office to see if my agent had called. But no quest is necessary to get some Toujours Moi. It's still on the racks.

At 11 or so, I discovered Love's Baby Soft. Smells like nostalgia. Especially for anyone in my age range. A quick google search reaveals that the formula has been altered. So I can't just pop over to my local Wrong Aid for a bottle of nostalgia anymore. I mean, you can never go back. But the original flavor is quite easily ebayable.

At 14, I was all about Christian Dior's Poison. I sprayed it on as heavily as I lined my eyes. Poison trailed behind me like a long scarf, smacking everyone in the face. I think it would be intolerable now. I'd be infused with teenage angst memories, and all the people in the surrounding cubicles would feel a bit queasy. It too is still easily procured.

Then I remembered the novelty perfume bottles that were always knocking around when I was a kid. All of them Avon. I believe one of my aunts had the scottie bottle, though I have no recollection of the scent. The lot of avon novelty bottles for offer on ebay and pictured here is intruging. The pipes, swans and bells are cute, but who are those little gold busts supposed to represent? Pushkin and Lizt? Mark Twain and Beethoven? What would that smell like?

The Volkswagen bug perfume bottle is irresistable. Does it smell like burnt rubber? I guess it would smell better than whatever's in the 1931 Greyhound Bus bottle.


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