Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The scent of a tween

I think I smelled someone on the train today wearing Sunflowers. Remember that perfume? When I was in junior high basically everybody wore either Sunflowers or CK One. (There was also a gaggy one called "Vanilla Fields" that you could get at a drugstore.) Those two smells are right up there with peanut butter and crayons on the recognizability scale for me. This got me wondering, are there any perfumes that popular/pervasive now? Anybody have a kid, little sister, mentee, etc. who's at the right age to answer this question? I see a lot of ads for that Delicious perfume, presumably derived from apples. Kids like to smell fruity.

I feel like perfume is one of the most luxurious, indulgent things I could buy for myself, but whenever I go to Sephora with this intent (because, maybe, I got a raise), nothing smells very good. Maybe the process--bombarding your nostrils with 40 different scents in a row--is flawed because your smell receptors shut off in defense. Dunno. But I like perfume, the idea of it especially. I like reading descriptions of perfume; like wine descriptions, they seem improbable. Sometimes Lucky will do a spread on which perfumes to wear with which clothes to match your mood, like "foxy" or "sultry." Notice the moods are just synonyms for sexy. Notice, also, that I pulled them out of my ass. But really, I think they're usually like "sultry" and "romantic" which can also be used to mean horny, right? Feeling romantic? The outfits for that, duh, are flowers + lace. Sometimes one of the moods is something like "clean" or "modern," and you can tell right away that's for the woman who rejects sexy. "Reject a world where some things are sexy, since you might not be."

Something food-related: For dinner I made potato salad with quartered baby Yukon gold potatoes, celery, shallots, capers, basil and a slightly creamy, mustardy, lemony vinaigrette. I also had some sauteed broccolini, and a homemade mango popsicle for dessert. John is out of town, so I am free to eat meals that consist solely of side dishes.

Something poetry-related: I'm reading Bluets by Maggie Nelson. I'll reserve judgment for now, since I think I may review it.

11 comments:

  1. As someone who is often interacts with college-aged boys, I can tell you that the Axe Bodyspray phenomenon is sweeping the nation. It's gotten to the point that when I have the sudents sign up for teacher conferences, I need to remind them not to bathe in it. Of course, I say this jokingly, but I'm totally kidding on the square..

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  2. just want to say i love the title for this post. seems "wrong" in a good way.

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  3. The Axe craze is not limited to the college-aged, at least not in my office. I have at least one co-worker who has not been an undergrad for years and is clearly a fan.

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  4. Huh. Ew. I wonder if I'd recognize it if I smelled it. I don't know that I know what it smells like.

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  5. My friend Tania Sanchez recently co-wrote a book called Perfumes: the Guide, which got a full review in The New Yorker last year. You should look it up! Her descriptions of smells are especially amazing -- I think writers should buy the book just for that, for how to describe smells in a non-cliche or stupid way.

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  6. I think on Fresh Air, I heard that Penelope Cruz buys a new perfume for each character she plays. I was impressed by this. Scent is the most intense memory trigger.

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  7. Terry Gross should design a fragrance and call it Fresh Air.

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  8. One of my young women students, maybe about two years ago now, wrote a pretty funny satirical story about a couple of teenaged guys who thought wearing Axe was going to change their world.

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  9. This is the best blogthread ever.

    See, even smartypants writers get jazzed when the topic turns to Axe bodyspray.

    Where does one even buy that stuff? I don't believe it.

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  10. Kathleen, you are a flippin genius. They could sell it during NPR pledge drives.

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