10 Spot Ramble: Perfume
I spent the day smelling like tomato soup.
And it wasn’t because I spilled that actual substance on my being.
Somehow or another, probably because of something really complicated like the law of aviation or thermodynamics, the little bottle of perfume has turned. What used to be a lovely concoction of citrus notes of lemon, along with basil, white rose, and white jasmine has become a personally overwhelming aroma of lunchtimes favorite congealed liquid meal, tomato soup!
This is a continuation of random odorific events in my life. Yesterday I rode a plane (all by myself!) and switched seats because my original parking spot was saturated with the sour smell of body odor.
I’m thinking the person in that seat before me was more nervous about flying than I! At least I don’t think I sweated so badly I left a funk embedded in the naugahyde seat coverings…
Regardless of that fellow travelers unfortunate aroma issues, the truth remains that after I got to the hotel (defying death once more in a hotel shuttle that appeared to be moments away from falling to pieces), slept hard, woke up, showered and then sprayed my first world scented luxury, I was stuck with an odor I did not expect.
Here’s the truth: I don’t like smelly like a soup, despite it’s undeniable comfort-food rating. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup are a combination I remember vividly from my childhood. I just don’t embrace the soup. It’s a congealing food item and that scuzzy skin the soup develops is in the same gross-out classification system as spiderwebs, using words like “moist” and “probe,” and the sight of a rabbit wearing a Harvey costume.
It just doesn’t feel right.
I’m curious about what really happened to take my perfume to the dark side? I searched Amazon for a clue and found this disclaimer in the product description of my favorite scent:
“Recommended use: daytime.When applying any fragrance please consider that there are several factors which can affect the natural smell of your skin and, in turn, the way a scent smells on you. For instance, your mood, stress level, age, body chemistry, diet, and current medications may all alter the scents you wear. Similarly, factor such as dry or oily skin can even affect the amount of time a fragrance will last after being applied.”
OK. Seriously. Since when did a perfume need a legal abdication of responsibility for its stink??
This description helped me realize there’s a whole lot I don’t know about perfume, so it’s definitely time for a 10 Spot Ramble: Perfume Edition. Without further ado – your top 10 bits of fragrant trivia:
1. Perfume and Football go Hand in Hand. (And not just because of the copious amounts of perspiration on the field.) Perfume historians believe that they found evidence of the use of perfume 3,500 years ago when they saw a series of murals in Queen Hatshepsut’s temple in Thebes. These showed an Egyptian fleet sailing off to get myrrh and other exotic aromatics from the Land of Punt. I believe Punt is located to the south of Pass, approximately six miles northwest of Blitz.
2. It’s all about gods or poop. Your call. The word Perfume comes from Latin and means “through Smoke.” Incense was first and foremost used to waft prayers to the gods, but was also pleasing for the olfactory nerves and in addition it concealed bad smells from sewage drains.
3. It Might Make You Hungry. (Which validates the tomato soup aroma from today.) The earliest modern style of perfume was created in 1310 for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary. This fragrance, known as “Hungary Water” was a blend of rosemary, thyme, and verbena essence in brandy. Originally it was used as tonic water as well as a perfume, and physicians prescribed it to gargle with for all sorts of ailments!
4. Perfume Can Mimic Parenting. Perfumes can also contain animal ingredients, although nowadays many of these are created synthetically for ethical reasons. Some of these animal “fragrances” include honeycomb, civet, musk, castoreum, and ambergris (whale vomit!). Ambergris really is whale vomit! It’s a waxy grey substance regurgitated by Sperm Whales which often washes up on beaches. Aged ambergris has a sweet, earthy scent, and has a wonderful mellowing and enhancing effect on other fragrances. Because vomit makes you mellow.
5. The Most Popular Fragrances can Also be Monikers for Your Gal. The two most commonly used flower essences in modern perfumery are Rose and Jasmine; which are staples in commercial perfumers’ palettes.
6. Is That You I Smell or A Decomposing Animal? Back in time when bathing was a rare luxury even the rich didn’t indulge in very often, perfumes were used to cover up unpleasant scents that came as a result of such questionable personal hygiene. Rich but rather smelly, European aristocracy relied on these expensive mixtures to help mask the “scents” produced by days and even months of not bathing.
7. You Are Your Own, Self-Created Scentsy. You don’t need to waste half of the bottle to ensure long lasting smell, one spritz on your chest and one in the back of your neck is all it takes for it to smell great all day long. These zones turn into “hotspots” in times when we’re scared or excited (due to the increased blood flow) and the scent that was subtle just moments ago, starts releasing faster.
8. Sensory Overload is Avoided with a Trinity. When you are testing new perfumes, don’t try more than three at once – your nose can’t differentiate the aromas. You’d better wait for a while till your nose is in a proper condition to evaluate accurate smells after applying on your skin.
9. Scented Gloves Started it All. Europe did not use perfume much until the sixteenth century when Catherin de Medici came from Italy to marry the future king. She wore gloves of perfumed leather and suddenly everybody wanted this because she was a trendsetter.
10. When Jewelry and Perfume Fell in Love. Van Cleef and Arpels are not bizarre examples of onomonatopoeias. In 1976 Van Cleef and Arpels introduced ‘First’ – a very appropriate name for the first perfume by jewelers.
Thanks for sticking around for the 10 Spot Ramble, my stinky friend. May all your days be joyful and missing tomato soup scent. Do you have any perfume facts to share?
One thought on “10 Spot Ramble: Perfume”
I’m not a big fan of perfume. More of a body spray gal, myself. But what has me curious is if you actually knew how to spell naugahyde, or if you had to look it up? 🙂 Inquiring minds want to know.