Thursday, 10 April 2008

On a lighter note...

One thing I have been struggling with recently is the concept of perfume. My roommate feels the need to spray it all over herself, and it is a very sweet and jarring smell to wake up to. I don't quite understand why she wishes to change the way she smells, because she bathes regularly and has pretty good hygiene habits, but I guess that's her business and none of mine.

I had attributed it earlier to the fact that my roommate is kind of a "fashion diva," by which I mean she has about twenty pairs of shoes in a nice straight line under her bed, and a cacophony of shiny, flimsy material in her closet. It's pretty admirable the way she puts herself together; it kind of makes me feel like a hobo.

But it turns out that this smell-changing phenomenon of changing one's natural smell doesn't stop at my roommate, and that's why I've decided to write about it. The other day I was cramming myself into a crowded elevator (as usual, for that is the way of NYU) on my way to class when a wall of musky cologne seemed to wash over me. This was a boy! And he did not seem like a "fashion diva" at all. Intriguing...

So, let us delve into the concept of changing one's scent! As I was saying, it's something I don't quite understand. I mean, I use deodorant, but other than that I don't really smell like anything, at least not anything I can detect. I've tended to quite like the unadulterated smell of the boys I've dated (maybe it has something to do with why we dated?), and been off-put by boys wearing perfume. We're animals, after all, and we learn a lot about each other and our potential compatibility from the way we smell.

That's my side of the story, anyway. I think I need to interview my roommate to get the other side of the story, because if I remember correctly, neither of you guys alters your smell, either. Readers? Scientists?


Sofie said...

I think there can be great advantages to changing ones smell once in a while - like when going out. it is probably more of a psychological thing though, part of the process of getting oneself ready. i quite like putting on a bit of perfume! though i do not do it every day. i've never really thought about it that much though. also i like it when anthony wears perfume (which he rarely does) probably just because i think of it as an attempt to be nicely presented - for me! woho!
but yes, too much is never good. a good tip is to spray into the room, then walk into the cloud of smell. also, heavy perfume is for old ladies.
i had another theory the other day about smell. when it comes to boys, i find that whenever they wear perfume, it reminds me of my dad! and maybe that's why i like it, a sense of security in a way. i don't know.

Else said...

freudian insight from sofie, it's probably true!
I also like to you use a little perfume every now and then, on a rare occasion. I get compliments for it sometimes and I like that. And I agree that I like when boys wear perfume as long as it's not heavy and not all the time. perfume is supposed to give a pleasant smell, but not all perfumes serve that purpose. unfortunately for us who have to smell it.
I think people wear perfume to be sexually attractive, like animals give out some smell to attract mating partners. it's just that basic principle on a more advanced level i suppose.

pen and paper said...

Yeah, to play off of what Else said, one very well-regarded element in perfumes that are considered the most complex and sophisticated (think secretive, elite Parisian perfume houses) is civet. It delivers that musky, heavy undertone - apparently very arousing in small doses, and totally overbearing in anything more than a speck of a drop - and is derived from the sex glands of a species in the weasel family.

The more you know.

Shane said...

I mean I agree that that's certainly the purpose... but isn't the natural smell just so much sexier? I was talking to this girl about this earlier tonight, how we both get attention from boys way more often right after biking/being sweaty and smelly. I mean I'm attracted to humans, not weasels.