Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Small pleasures

Ah, beauty thing.

You know how you read about a scent and have that "oh, that one I've GOT to try" feeling?  And the sad variation on that is a vintage scent?  Worse yet, a long ago discontinued vintage scent?

Okay, take that.  Now...meet a perfume person who is wearing that scent.  Take a good huff.  Because, as perfume creatures do, it won't matter if you've known each other a minute or a decade.  She'll offer up the skin, and you'll...inhale.  Okay, gently at first, if this is your first time.  But...if you are captured...you ask and put your nose in for more...just a little more...

And then it's gone.  Because the social agenda says it's probably not appropriate for you to proceed with the evening with your nose stuck in your new friend's neck.  And you do enjoy the conversation, after all.  And probably wish to not be shunned.

But the perfume.  It haunts you.  And now, it's under your skin.  Because, of course, it's the one you can't have.

You're a reasonable person.  You know from obsession.  So, sure, you rekindle your online trolling habit.  'Cause what's the harm in just...looking?  And you start paying attention to pictures.  Because every now and then, the key word won't pick up on a listing.  You ride the line of "just how much time should I spend looking through collections and lots, anyway?"  You decide to give yourself a limit.

You listen to your limit.  Mostly.  And just as you think you've settled down...

...there it is.

Really?  Seriously?  ZOMG, says your teenage text reading mind.  Could it be?  You click on the listing.  Enlarge the picture.  Because it's clearly the house, but is it The One?  Because you are oddly superstitious (a baseball player in another life?), you don't look directly at that bottle first.  You force yourself to identify the other bottles first.  Hey, perfumista point!  You know just what "?" is.  ("?" is Estee Lauder Knowing, your mind flashes on the Turin review, the image of Paulina Poriskova, you hear a few bars of The Cars.)  You think, holy cow, Giorgio?!?  And you rest on the bottle on the left.  The easy chypre from a previous generation.  It's on your "if it comes up for $x, get it" list.  And there is a bottle of parfum, for heaven's sake.  When it's parfum, the bottle is small-ish.  You can see how it's been grouped with some miniatures.  You don't believe your freakin' luck.

And you haven't even turned your attention to The One.

So, in your vaguely superstitious mind, you click bid.  Because you have already purchased some perfume this quarter, and your budget is your budget, and you are going to bid on this lot based on budget and the pre-existing "if you can find vintage Vivara for less than $x, get it."  So you toss in your lot, even as part of an eyeball is staring at that enlarged picture.

You've bid.  And now, the part of your brain that you've let attend to the picture starts shaking your shoulders and laughing and doing a little dance.  The other part of your brain says "cool it, man; you're bringing in bad mojo." (Did I mention a little superstition?)  The image is clear; you can read the label.


Your mind reels...how much would I be willing to pay?  What if it's not good?  It's just a partial bottle, it's a mini; how much could that be worth?  What's it worth to you?  You only smelled it once on one other person; even if it hasn't turned, you don't really know if you'll like it, right??  Your fingers hover over the "increase maximum bid" button.  You put them back down.

You have a budget.  You are in control.  You have enough perfume to spray you and a couple of friends every day for a number of years.  Center.

Another part of your brain comments.  "Oh, pretty bottle."  What? I'm not really a bottle person!  Where did that come from?  But...it is pretty.

You take your hands away from the keyboard.  And you wait.  Because if the stars are right, this will work.  And if they're not...you have a budget.

Time passes.  You're going to have to wait a few days.

And it's not so bad, the waiting.  You look at that picture, you think about why it would make sense to have that particular assortment of scents, why you can survive without them.  How fabulous it would be to win the lot.  Because you'll have such a ridiculous assortment of "types" in one shipment.  The known quantity.  The I've Only Known It as an Inescapable Waft.  The I have no idea, but it would be fun to know what the love-hate is about.  (Didn't mention that one yet.)  The It's Not for Me, But Someone Will Like It.

And...The One.

You wait some more.  The waiting is not so bad.  In the waiting, you think...which is what you do half the time, anyway.  Read about 'em and imagine.  Life will be fine either way.  Okay, it would be "sah-weeet," as teen tweets go, if you won.  But you are already this|close to something you didn't even know existed a month ago.  And the memory of it on your friend's neck would be enough tangible connection to a ghost to last a lifetime.

You wait.


Musette said...

I nearly spit out my gums laughing at "Because you are oddly superstitious (a baseball player in another life?), you don't look directly at that bottle first."

S, I thought I was the only one who did/does this! Most recently I did that with that vintage Cinderella book, even to the point of only ogling it out of a little corner of my left eye (only the left one, mind you) and refusing to touch it for a full minute, forcing myself to look at the other books on the shelf first. As I was the only customer in the shop at the time, it was a safe thing to do.

ROFL! Glad to know I'm in such exalted company!

xo A

Ines said...

It's so nice to know I'm not the only one feeling these things so deeply. I hope your wait bears fruit (I'm sure it will). :)

ScentScelf said...


Aha! Glad to know I'm not alone in my ... whatever you call this. ;)

Gotta not step on The Forces...


ScentScelf said...


Glad to make you smile! And see...now there's three of us. :)

Thanks for the wishes of luck on the outcome. There shall be a post.

Rose said...

GOOD LUCK it is nail biting isn't it- but fun- like looking for treasure- adds a bit of excitement to the day!

I hope you get it and then write about it for us

The Left Coast Nose said...

See, you have just laid out, detail by detail, of why I do NOT want to become an EBayista, even though every inch of me wants to find a bottle of vintage Fendi like I used to wear when I was 20... Like I need another habit. Sheesh! ;)

Great post, though...

ScentScelf said...


Thanks for the luck...and indeed, simply the digging is often the entertainment.

Oh, I'll be back... ;)

ScentScelf said...


Go ahead. I'm going to watch while you stay away. 'Cause I know you'll never, ever...well, maybe just a leeeetle bit???


Hmm. Fendi. What was that like? My perfume from that era was...KL. In the fan top bottle. I wasn't into perfume; had only that bottle (okay, and the Anais Anais from high school)...but...I wore it whenever I went out. Guess it was my "signature scent." Hunh. Who knew?

ScentScelf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Left Coast Nose said...

"Just a leeeee-ttle bit..." Hah!

Original Fendi was a lovely, deep rose/amber with, as I recall it, some musk and woods, and it aged into just the *perfect* powdery amber. *Sigh*....

ScentScelf said...

Did you say rose/woods/amber drydown?

Oh. As in "oh; oh, dear...guess I'll have to be ready for an opportunity to smell that, too." I generally only like rose if it involves wood. I like wood. I like amber. I often like powder.

Makes it worth seeing if I can do the musk, too.

WAIT!! Pull it together, me. This one is a d/c.


The Left Coast Nose said...

Hitting the FleaBay trail to score this-- all the talk has made me neeeeeeeeed to have it!! I'll buy some decanting equipment if I do get it and shoot you a sniff, you pusher, you. ;)