I have created a monster. Admittedly an adorable, freckle-faced monster, but a monster nonetheless. Before he was a monster, he was just my husband, raising an eyebrow over a copy of Scientific American at my incessant perfume babblings. He’d smile blandly at my in-depth comparative analyses of incense fragrances; feign interest in my 7th-hand industry gossip. He enjoyed my enjoyment, but didn’t wear personal fragrance himself -- unless you counted the Claude Porto Lime Basil soap I bought for him. Basically, me plus perfume equaled him on “yes, dear” autopilot.
Then came the Perfumer’s Apprentice Perfumery Notes Kit. I mentioned it to him in passing, and the next thing I knew, he’d ordered it and was eagerly ripping into vials of vetiver and sandalwood, synthetic marshmallow and ambergris, along with 36 other common components. The kit’s Jr. Chemist aspect appealed to his finely honed nerd instincts and suddenly, he was fully engaged in my smelly business.
Now when packages from fragrance companies appear on the doorstep, he’s the first to open them.
“This smells like an overdose of Cashmeran in Kate Moss Velvet Hour,” he’ll say, quietly authoritative as he holds the blotter under his nose, “perhaps juxtaposed with Iso E Super.”
Or, “Boy, they sure cut back on Chanel No. 5’s aldehydes for the Eau Première version!” he’ll exclaim, nodding approvingly.
The hell? What happened to interest-feigning? Doesn’t the guy have an issue of Wired to read? And is that how boring I am to listen to?
But the plus side of sharing my fume doin’s with the Instant Expert is that he’s finally become interested -- cautiously -- in actually wearing them. The other day, he noticed the classy ribbed glass flask of Tom Ford For Men Extreme, and picked it up for a closer look.
“Try some on,” I encouraged. “It’s nice -- a floral tobacco leather.”
Grimacing like he was about to dig a bullet out of his arm with a flame-heated awl, he tentatively spritzed his wrist. Took a sniff. The grimace relaxed into an appreciative smile. “Yeah, it is nice. Is that Isobutyl Quinoline?”