Have I ever not been stricken dead in my tracks, frozen as if in a bad dream, at the thought of purposely applying a scent to a scarf for purposes of imbuing it in a scent? I mean...I love scarves. I love them because of how they feel. And look. And would applying perfume change that, compromising the fabric, shortening its life, ruining dyes? What if the perfume I wanted to wear on a day I want to wear scarf X is not the perfume I want to wear the next time I wear scarf X?
The answers used to be "not that I can remember" and "yes, always." Until a few weeks ago.
'Twas a decant that slayed the beast.
Turns out that vintage Houbigant has a tricky trigger. Such a wide swath of spray, that it dribbled. Had this been a replaceable perfume, I might have felt a certain constriction of my chest, a certain sadness, but would have said "sayonara." But this was precious vintage. It was only going away, never coming back.
I saw the scarf. I reached. I wiped.
Know what? Apercu makes a mighty nice scarf scent, in a classic perfume way. Not too heavy, enough flowers to say "perfume," enough lift to keep the flowers from smothering, enough other elements to keep it from being boring. And, to tell you the truth, I'd rather my scarf smell like that than like sebum.
The damage was done, fiber & dye-wise. If any were to be done. I found myself going off in search of a few other scarves...after all, there were more perfumes to be decanted. There might be other accidents. One should always be prepared, after all.
Turns out I had two more accidents. Which probably require those quote marks in the air -- I'm raising and curling my two fingers on each hand, drawing them down and saying "accidents."
I consoled my not-so-shaken but not-so-certain cautious self with the reminder that I could always hand wash. Sure, even the silk. Sort of.
This sent me on a pleasant rumination about how one could go about assigned scent to scarves. Of course, there is Tradition. Which means signature scent: "Her scarf was all she left...it still smelled like...her." In my brain, "smelling like her" has more to do with smelling like sebum and onions and such than perfume, but hey, I came to perfume later in life. It works for some. Especially if they have a trademark perfume. In my world, the line would be something more like "Her scarf was all she left behind...it still smelled like she did on a sunny day in early spring when she felt like a chypre but still snuck in a spritz of hay."
Obviously, I needed a different system, scarf-wise.
The first step was easy, I thought. Sort scarves by season. Oops, not so fast; certain scarves carry over. Only the thick chunky woolens and the very sheer gauzy veils end up ghettoized by the weather. The rest can move up and down in the batting order. Okay, change tack. Texture. That's it. That's good. Texture and thickness.
But then I started thinking about that, and my blue and green nubby scarf seems like it could handle a fresher scent than the maroon with flecks of gold. Shoot.
At this point, I had completely bought into the idea. So I was bound and determined to scent a couple of scarves on purpose. But I was lost in the woods with no compass. How to get out of here?
Kabonk. Match one scent to a scarf, or find one scarf to match a scent. Which meant pick two or three scents I wouldn't mind being imbued in a fabric I had about my neck. And then see if I had a scarf that "looked like" that fragrance.
Now the game was fun. And seemed manageable. Though, truth be told, it was a heckuva a lot easier to just toss responsibility in the air and do things "accident" style.
|Which is Aperçu?|
Besides the Aperçu, my conscious decision scents were Amouage Epic, and Magie Noire. I already have an "outer scarf" that wafts L'Accord -- pretty wonderful, and works well with the cozy depths of the scarf, but must admit that was incidental, which makes it accidental. I picked Epic because it is one of my occasion scents, something I wear when I want to smell fabulous and yes want the smell to not take backstage. Figured it would be interesting to see how it behaved on a scarf, since the Aperçu did smooth out and focus at the same time on fabric. The Magie Noire, well...that was because it is a favorite of the other lodger on the Ledge. Add in the fact that I like it, and it easily becomes a something I wouldn't mind too much if that was the recognizable "me" on a scarf I left behind. That part of me, at least.
Did I choose well? I chose in winter. I'll probably try a couple of other things with lighter scarves. Will I fall into the habit? I doubt it. I'm still a little nervous about damaging the scarves. And, truth be told, about commitment. Remember, with perfumes, I'm Big Love. And I like to have my options at the start of any given day.
Speaking of options...did I tell you about the scented hankies? No? Ah. They are small. They are plentiful. They can be found for a song second hand. And, if you were really particular, you could sew the initials of the perfume you assign to a given hankie and have handy to toss in a bag...
...but we were talking scarves. And scents for them. So many possibilities. So impossible to choose just one.
first photo, scarves akimbo, author's own
photo of Grace Kelly in scarf from The Gloss
photo of Alan Cumming from Broadway World