Friday, January 8, 2010

Scent of a Wo(man)

It doesn't matter who's wearing it, whenever I smell Old Spice: Pure Sport I am rendered powerless. Bruce Vilanch could walk by me wearing Old Spice: Pure Sport and I would want to beg him to take his shirt off so I could get a better whiff. I think it's probably because my first real crush wore that back in the 1800s when I was young, and the sweet memory has forever been attached. For that very same reason, I always make it a point to smell exactly the same when I see a former love/crush/gentleman caller. I've literally got an entire of shelf of perfumes that I've collected over the years, and each one belongs to one man.

No revenge is sweeter than making a man that has broken your heart long for the days when he first loved you, and the effect is so easily achieved! Humans are so predictable. We're all animals, after all.

But it can work against you, too. My first love in LA broke up with me over the phone while I was in the middle of working an 80 hour work week. Immediately upon hanging up I got online and spent my entire tax return on a ticket to London to see my best friend. All I wanted to do was drink whiskey, listen to Paul Simon's Graceland on repeat, and cry into my falafel. I was heartbroken.

I remembered that I left my camera at my ex's house, so I used that as an excuse to meet up one more time before I took off. I thought this could be a chance to, pathetically, win him back. I went out and bought a new dress and shoes, made my face extra pretty, wore my hair the way he liked it...I even went out and bought a new perfume. This particular man was driven wild by this perfume I had that smelled like apples. I later learned that strippers also smell like apples...should have been a sign. But this time I went with Chanel Chance: sophisticated, young, and new. Plus, the name said it all. This was my chance! I thought if I could look amazing while seeming a little bit changed, I would be irresistible and back in his arms in no time.

That's not exactly how it all worked out. I did see him and I looked absolutely fabulous. So fabulous that I ended up spending the night again. Technically, I was back in his arms. I was set to leave the next afternoon for London, and I figured I would sleep in and we'd have some breakfast and share a sweet goodbye. Instead, he woke me up at 7am and removed me from his apartment as soon as humanly possible. Not even a kiss goodbye.

There I was, standing on the curb of his apartment building, wearing a new dress and heels, makeup smeared all over my face, and I was totally dejected. I felt used, naive, sick to my stomach. And as I walked to my car, all I could smell was that goddamn Chanel Chance. Chance, my ass, I thought. There was never any chance. I should have stuck to the classics.

It's been years now and every time I smell Chanel Chance my stomach instantly drops and I feel an overwhelming sense of desperation. I'll never wear it again, but I still have the bottle on my shelf for some reason. I guess I've been hoping that I could wear it again one day with someone new and the bad memories would fade away. Scent is a powerful creature, man. Be careful with it.


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