Monday, January 16, 2006

Catch A Whiff

When I was a kid, my sister and I would lock ourselves away in our kitchen pantry for hours on end. No, we were not practicing to be the next David Blane. We were "scientists." Which is ironic because neither of us enjoyed nor was any good at science in school. In our "lab," we'd splash together some Worchester sauce, a dab of vanilla, some cumin, a sprinkle of celery salt and some fresh ground pepper and presto! - we were "scientists!"(Please note: No animals were ever used or harmed in our labratory tests.)

Fast forward to present day . . . How many people, besides Britney and Elizabeth, can say they have their own perfume? I can and I can go one better- I have my own perfume and I created it myself. Yesterday, I got the chance to be a "scientist" and it was totally awesome. (Note: Spaz flashback 80's lingo moment.)

In celebration of my dear friend, the Divine Ms. M, a group of us met at a local Perfumery. The group is actually my book club. We've been meeting for six years now and are quite a tight-knit sisterhood. Except we don't have any traveling pants to swap.

The Perfumery set us up at a table, served tea and scones and explained how to go about mixing our own scent. From the overwhelming options you are to pick a base, a middle and a top or any combo you like, really. You use paper strips to log your favorites and line them up on a strip of wood, each with their name written on it. When you have made your choices, you take the strips of the scents you think would smell good together and try them out by fanning them like a hand of poker cards in front of your face to catch a whiff. One thing I learned is, I am scentsitive. (Ha ha. Ha! Get it?) I felt queasy for the greater part of my time there. I discovered that smelling ginger works almost as well as eating it when you feel queasy. Note to self: Do not eat cheese after avoiding it for weeks and then smell countless perfumes. You will want to throw up. There was so much to smell, my senses were in overload. Luckily they have sachets of coffee beans and swatches of raw wool on hand to cleanse the nose. When you feel like you can't smell the scents or that you might get sick (like me), you breathe in the coffee or wool scent. It actually does work.

Because I was feeling pukey, I was randomly picking scents by their name. Shh, don't tell! But that method seemed to work for me. It's like when I play darts. I don't really try. I just throw the damn dart and most of the time, I score high. Woo! With my haphazard method, I came up with two combos, with four scents in each, that when passed around the table, were a huge hit. My friend A. even wanted to take mine rather than hers. I guess I'm a natural chemist. That, or I play one on T.V.

Once we had decided on our individual combinations, we put the drops of each scent into an oil base and mixed up our perfume. My formula was: 4 drops Musk Supreme, 6 drops Sandalwood, 2 drops Spicy Vanilla, 4 drops Water Lily. Then we had to name them. That was probably the hardest part. The pressure was on to be creative. I took into consideration the words used to describe my scent when the others smelled it: clean, comforting, alive, soft and came up with Awake for Dreaming. (It's the title of a poem I recently wrote.) My friends each created a unique scent that mirrored their personality. Spicy and dramatic. Fruity and sassy. Floral and delicate. Earthy and nurturing. Beside the pukey stomach, it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

It's what I like to call a scentsational day. (I couldn't resist. Hee hee. But even I am cringing.)

9 comments:

ocg said...

When might I be able to order my Sizzle Scent?!?! I'll be beating the doors down on Saks that day!

:)

Mr_Rodacre said...

It what I like to call a scentsational day. (I couldn't resist. Hee hee.)

You should have. Really.

Sounds like a fun day though! Beats having to work on a Sunday... =)

Bex said...

that is the coolest thing ever!

R.J. Baker said...

Does it count to dab a little Scotch on ones body in strategic places?

Nihilistic said...

When I got to the "Water lily" part of your pefume I busted out laughing. Did or do you ever watch the Golden Girls? I'm a huge fan (Shhhhh) and if you are too, you will understand the Water lily part...if not, then I'm just a big dork and its ok to ignore me...

Bill said...

As stories go, this one stinks! (insert rimshot) Ho ho ho … (clutching ribs)

I use to be an experimenter when I was a kid too, My friend and I nearly killed each other with glass shrapnel one day when we played with an Alka-Seltzer kind of thing. Ka-boom!

Rabbit said...

Even though I'm no girly girl, your perfume-inventing excursion sounds like lots of fun.

I don't think I could ever try it, unfortunately, because all those smells would definitely make me sick. Just walking by a Yankee Candle shop is enough to make me retch.

Mrs. Ca said...

That sounds like a blast! And I love the name - very poetic yet perfume-y.

circe said...

How fun! I would LOVE to create my own perfume (esp since I spend an arm and a leg on the scents I love)! Whenever I take those tests which match your personality to the scent that most closely would fit, they always tell me it's 'exotic.' :)