Just came from the drugstore.
I only meant to by a mascara, but I don’t know whether it was because they were on sale or whether I felt inspired after having visited the perfume exhibition commissioned by Madrid’s Circulo de Bellas Artes from Chandler Burr (Museum of Art and Design New York)… suddenly I found myself asking the nice and attentive shop assistant for the price of my usual fragrance. She tells me and I aks myself where the offer is. I do not notice much of a discount at all… then I remember that it might have to do with me buying the perfume last time before the VAT was raised.
But now I get to the good bit. I have the brilliant idea of thinking aloud that maybe I could vary a bit, that I have been using the same perfume for ages, that seeing the great variety of fragrances I might find a better or at least different one.
In order to help the shop assistant choose perfumes that I might like, I tell her that I know I don’t like them sweet. But then I go and rattle off the disparate, not to say schizo, range of perfumes I like or have bought at some point. That one summer I felt like looking for a fresher fragrance and bought Bulgary Thé Vert. That it is fresh but has a rough, almost masculine touch and does not convince me that much anymore. That last summer I discovered Bambú by Adolfo Domínguez, very fresh and love it, but you know it is more for summertime. That I liked a lot one by Escada, the one with the heart-shaped cap, they have stopped producing. What was it called?… Ah, Escada Sentiment. That I used to have Amour Amour by Cacharel, the red bottle, but I used it for going out a nights as it is pretty strong.
Just as well I bit my tongue at that point, seeing as I was about to go back to my teenage years and a fragrance called Indian Summer, which I think has been discontinued, too. By the way, I seem to have a talent for choosing perfumes, creams and hair products that companies decide to stop producing. Hey, it even works with beauty centres or pilates studios. If I were superstitious I would think I am jinxed.
So, where were we? Well, rather than helping the shop assistant, I Imagine I had her head spinning. If she has to deal with more clients like me, she deserves an award for her patience.
“Do you know this perfume by Loewe?”
“No, let me smell it. Mmm… reminds me of Bambú.”
“And this one with citric scent?”
“No, don’t think I know it. Let me try. It might have possibilities. Can you spray some on my wrist?… Oh, well it smells good. I’ll take a stroll around the store and have it settle. One thing is the head note and another the base note.
Oh, what a nice lipstick! Let me see how it looks on me. Just the colour I was looking for! I’ll take it.”
“How are you liking the fragrance?”
“Oh, well, I’m not sure. It has taken on a scent that does not convince me.”
“And how about this one by Acqua di Gioia?”
“Could be an option… let’s try on the other wrist.”
Another stroll around the shop… oh, I think I’ve run out of body peeling and they have the Rituals products. Nice! Let me think, where are the body lotions. While I’m at it, I’ll get some as well. Nivea on sale 3×2. Great! Oh, what else? I think I’m running out of shower gel, too. Which do I take? Hydrating, very hydrating, for dry skin, for very dry skin, for sensitive skin, 0% parabens… What a mess! This one I’ve tried already, that one as well. This other one? Nay. Come on, let’s try the one that says ultra repairing. We’ll see if it’s true… because I’ve tried quite some different shower gels and up to now none has really convinced me.
What were we at? I approach my wrist to the nose and it has adopted a scent reminding me slightly of elder women’s perfumes. How can this be so difficult! I don’t know what else to try. And don’t even ask about the poor shop assistant. She comes up with a fragrance from the Bulgari Omnia line, but when she let’s me try it I don’t even smell it anymore. I guess that’s enough for today and so I tell her. I’ll have to come back another day. The shop assistant gives me a sample of Acqua di Gioia and I approach the cashier, because I might not take a perfume, but, um… I’ve filled the shopping basket with other stuff.
Once I leave the store, little by little common sense seems to return. Maybe the fragrances’ scents had dazzled my mind. I’m not sure anymore I even want to change fragrances, seeing as I’m fine with the one I’ve been using for ages, Emporio Armani. Plus, wasn’t there a website selling perfumes at good price? I might check it out. For the time being, where the heck will I store 3 bottles of body lotion, the shower gel, and body peeling while I finish off what I have at home?! My bathroom cupboards look like a cosmetics bazaar, but that I might tell about another day.
To finish, I’ll leave you some tips on choosing a fragrance:
– Do not try more than 6 fragrances at a time, and not more than 3 if they are alike. You will notice there comes a point where you don’t differentiate them.
– Perfumes are perceived in 3 steps: firstly the top or head note, secondly the middle or heart note and thirdly the base note.
– It is important to try the fragrance on your skin as it smells differently on each person, because it depends for example on whether you have dry, mixed or normal skin amongst other factors.
– Smell the perfume several times as it passes the 3 notes mentioned. Even go home and better return another day.