Scouring the collection this morning for something to wear today, I could find nothing. Not a single scent that I could actively envisage enjoying.
And yet I don’t feel like going unscented (What problems I have!)
Eventually, starting to get a little agitated, but finding this in the downstairs bathroom, I finally settled on the rather dull and unadventurous Gieffeffe, – the Italian, ‘classier’ remake of CK One – even if it surprises me that I can even consider spraying on such an anodyne cologne as this; soapy, citric, fresh, inoffensive; crisply androgynous, boring. There are times, however, when you are withered and knackered, that all you can deal perfume-wise with is a mentally unthreatening pH neutral.
TOP: Coriander, Bergamot, Lemon, Orange, Mandarin; Osmanthus;
MIDDLE : Nutmeg, Freesia, Cardamom, Jasmine, Orris Root, rose;
BASE: Musk, Cedar, Sandalwood, Patchouli; Amber.)
Back in the day, I remember I surprised myself by getting the brown-bottled Gieffeffe, the outlier in the series of three that were released when Ferre was still a name. It was a rather anachronistic patchouli-aldehydic spiced chypre, probably the first that got me into the vintage equivalents of the type, and a scent I am sometimes still nostalgic for (I don’t know if it was targeted for women or men, I just liked it. Does anyone else remember this one?). The larger release, the scent I think am going to now wear today – still in production because it is ultimately quite good – I remember scoffing at dismissively at the time for its bland anonymity; its too obvious-by-far aping of the far too ubiquitous-at-the-time Calvin Klein, when you could hardly move for young thinster ‘waifs’ trailing themselves against the walls in urban shopping centers listening avidly to Ironic and Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Nicer, more balanced; floral; less synthetic-fruity than its American originator, Gieffeffe is undeniably a rather soothing and blameless fragrance. Uplifting. A backdrop; a stasis. It smells grounded in reality. Safe.
Plus it’s nice to have variety. So chancing upon a cheap, still cellophane-wrapped bottle of Gieffeffe at a discounters a few months ago and thinking why not, it is funny how an unobtrusive pleasantry from the past that you dismissed nonchalantly with a tut and a wave of the hand way back when can thrust you back in time with almost rose-tinted glasses. It is not that I particularly enjoyed the nineties; but being projected through time to a specific time and place with a very pinpointed olfactory distinctiveness (literal time travel), is often, in itself, for me, inexplicably enjoyable.
Later on this evening, doubtlessly, a few hours in, I will probably start to find Gieffeffe overstaying its welcome : too ‘harmless’. It is possible I will be chafing.
But sometimes you do definitely just need a ‘reset’.
Something stabilizing (what are your ‘dependable dullards’, incidentally? I am curious to find out).
That, today, is all I want.