One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

How To


I know some people love to do it, but I don't think I'll ever get the whole "spray it into the air and walk through it" thing. It seems really wasteful, for starters. It's going to get little droplets of scent all over the furniture and the carpet, and over time that's going to make everything smell like, as a friend of mine would put it, a whore's handbag. And aren't you going to breathe a bunch of it in?

Some women apply scent to their hair, and I would imagine this is a particularly nice way to wear it, since your hair's in motion when you are and that would send little cascades of the scent into the air. Since I don't have much hair to talk about--and if I did, it would be cut extra-short anyway--that's not really an option for me.

I'm not going to put it on my clothing. First, staining. Second, I'm not going to go around smelling my clothing, and I wear scents for me; if anyone else notices and enjoys them, that's a bonus, but nothing more.

When I put on a fragrance, I invariably apply it to the backs of my hands. Without fail. It gives you all sorts of opportunities throughout the day to take a discreet whiff. If you don't do this, you'd be surprised how often you bring your hands up to your face: to adjust your glasses, rearrange a stray eyebrow, answer the phone, stroke your goatee or your chin, blow your nose, or tap your pen against your teeth. Every time you do it, you deliver another little scrap of scent to your nose: it's unexpected and cheering. The wrist is, in my opinion, a pale second place to the back of your hands and fingers, which just have more surface area.

If I'm wearing something that isn't especially strong, I'm going to put on a second spritz, and it's going on my chest. There's something surprising and pleasant about moving or leaning just so, pumping your shirt like a billows and sending a little puff of scent up to your nose. But the hands: they're crucial.

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