I was rootling about in a Tokyo bargain bin the other day and came across a little box of Indian perfume oils. Why not, I thought, they say they are ‘essential’ and maybe they are: I saw ‘Bali Flower’, and ‘Champaca’, and ‘Night Queen’, and couldn’t quite resist.
Prising off the lids this morning ( sealed with stoppers and a waxy covering) I discovered they were quite nice. Obviously nature based as well, which came as a surprise. Bali Flower is an unctuous plumeria, and Night Queen a rather lovely jasmine. Indian, clearly, but with an iridescent, soapy aldehydic aspect that smelled quite lovely on me ( at least when ensconced in the perfume room).
It is snowing. I envisaged a post titled ‘Jasmine on the snow’ . But as I sat on the bus on my way to the station I began to feel pangs of regret. Oh God, why have I chosen to smell like a Mumbai streetwalker on the first day of the new classes?
What was fresh; clean; almost glassy, at home is now lurid and tentacled. I smell like a large Indian lady in a pink nylon sari, smoking on a joss stick and doling out kufti.
In another context, this exact scented aura could probably smell quite nice ( a drag queen contest? a midnight orgy in Goa?), but now, in my work suit, when I was hoping to smell fresh and gentlemanly for the earnest-eyed second graders, I just smell pouffy at the seams; degenerate.
Have you yourself ever also got it horribly wrong and made a chronic lapse in scented judgement?