I work in close proximity to the Minneapolis Macy’s, and the skyway that takes me from one building to the next runs right through their perfume counters. Walk by them: there are offers of samples, spritzes from bottles, multiple gift-with-purchase incentives.
I’ll always take the samples sprayed on paper, by the way. I put them in my underwear drawer, where they enjoy a short-lived, smelly-paper life as undie-and-sock-scenters.
More and more, however, even when I’m not at the Macy’s perfume counter, I am surrounded by people not trying to sell me perfume but who instead are surrounding me with clouds of bottled smells.
As a teenager, and when the idea of “scenting myself” first came to mind, I was told that perfume was specifically for the people who would be closest: friends giving me a hug, lovely males nuzzling my neck.
But someone’s forgotten to tell the teenagers and younger folk of today. There are people climbing on the bus, walking in the skyways, leaning in close at work, drenched in smell, veritably swimming in an orgy of sneeze-able stink.
Could I interest you in the layering of scents?
Yes. They’d like you to “layer” your scents. You can wash with it, powder with it, moisturize, clean, bake, and change your car’s oil with it.
I might be exaggerating there – might! – but how hard would it be to convince you that Lancome has come out with a line of new scents for your car’s engine?
Smells like gardenias!
Between the dryer sheets, the perfumes, the hairsprays and the lotions, some people are smelling like anything, but, uh, people. They’ve taken the word of the advertisers that everything they own should smell of something else.
And just for the record? I’m against it.
That is all.
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