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Friday, January 13, 2012

Kikay Friday : Scents and Sensibilities

I was in Megamall last week and a had to take the lift from GF to Level 4. As soon as I entered, I smelled something very very familiar. I tried to look behind me to check where (or from whom) that scent was emanating from but the lift was so full I could barely move. As the fragrance lingered within the enclosed elevator, I had flashbacks of those lovely days in college that it made me close my eyes and smile.

The scent was that of Fahrenheit, my ex-boyfriend's (now The Hubby) perfume. I used to secretly sniff his polo when we were still dating - I just love the smell of it and how it blends sweetly on his own natural body scent (read: sweat). A few years later, he changed brands, some of them I like and some I just have to bear with. For me, the best scent that matches him was Fahrenheit. It's a perfume advice he couldn't follow easily because The Hubby never buys perfumes, but rather all were being bought by his mom (yes, up to this very day).


I read an article recently of how closely connected our olfactory nerves are with that part of our brain that triggers memories. I guess that explains how easily we associate certain smells with events in the past or people we've met. Perhaps that's also the reason why no matter how popular or well-liked a certain scent is, some people especially women will never wear it. I remember smelling a concentrated mix of Sandalwood when I was 15 in Jeddah. It smelled so bad I felt nauseous and the scent haunted me even after I washed it. From then on, any perfume with a dominant note of wood (sandalwood) repulses me.

I somehow can distinctly identify people close to me without even looking by the scent they wear especially if they are consistent and use the same brand over and over. Like my grandmother, for example, who used Tatiana by Diane von Furstenberg and nothing else. She'd wear it to church, when she takes me to school and even to the market. It's like a secret extra piece of clothing she wears.

But I said consistency is the key which is hard these times when new perfumes are popping up in the market like mushrooms. We all know how we like to switch fragrances in a whim especially when a popular brand is introduced to us in the women perfumes section in the mall. I, for one, keeps around 12 different scents in my closet - most of them were gifts.

Personally, I like to mix scents of my 'low key' perfumes like eau de toilet which are less concentrated (thus I don't have a signature scent). Those that doesn't smell too strong are usually safe to combine so feel free to experiment. On the other hand, no matter how much you want to use all the different scents, remember that 'less is more' in the perfume arena. It's great leaving a trail of scent after you exit the elevator, but it's another story if people get dizzy or sneezing as you walk along.

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