It does sound peculiar and admittedly most people probably don’t associate perfume with effort but consider, where did all those sports fragrances come from a few years ago? There were all sorts of scents named sport this or active that, presumably meant to be worn at the gym. None of them could have been hymns to couch potatoes. These were things that helped you pick up chicks at the spa or the beach, or the weight room without making her respond to you as a lady allegedly did to Dr. Johnson (or Ben Jonson, or Winston Churchill or Albert Einstein – good anecdotes tend to get passed around). The great man was judged malodorous by the woman who complained to him that he smelled.
“No, Madam,” went the reply. “You smell, and I stink.”
Presumably if Dr. Johnson had only worn Habit Rouge Sport, this alleged conversation would never have taken place.
My use of fragrances of the HRS sort - bright, brash, pulling-the-shades-open-at-ten-past-six, that kind of fragrance – are all about helping me to do whatever it is that my bone idle Id is not up for.
Here’s the most ridiculous part of it: it works.
Take the matter of getting up at six. I find that the best thing for that is Eau du Cologne du Coq. Up I get. I may be dizzy, I may be foul tempered, but I’m on my feet. I can get to band practice. Any good cologne will do this job for you, but the more brilliant it is, the more it needles you in the nose, the better a job it will do.
Similarly, and a few years ago, the tax forms which I rashly and stubbornly fill out myself, stretched out into an attenuated distance. I needed to file, everyone wanted the process over. I used Patricia de Nicolai’s peony rose “floral” Rose Pivoine and got it done in one sitting. That thing is the equivalent of a car alarm. You cannot ignore it, and for the first twenty minutes it’s on your skin, it won’t pipe down. I just re-spritzed every time I got past the twenty minute mark. Did I have a good time? No, of course not. But then, I wouldn’t have had a good time anyway. Mine was the stony path of the 1040, and until I was done, it was going to be painful.
Mind you, you cannot simply pass off this task to citrus perfumes and think it is a done deal. No, no, you have to select carefully what is going to wake you up and keep you going. You may have your own favorites and I’d love to hear some. While we’re at it, here’s mine:
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Bancha - Banzai in a bottle.
Clarins, Eau Dynamisante – The beginning will do it for you but watch out for the warm dry down, you could go back to sleep.
Guerlain, Eau De Cologne du Coq - The brightest of the Guerlain colognes, it works, but is not strong.
Parfums de Nicolai, Rose Pivoine – Well, I’ve outed this one. Not a good choice for an evening in, but perfect for yoga class at 5:45.
Parfums de Nicolai, Bal de Match - The more unisex version of Rose Pivoine with a neon grapefruit note.
Annick Goutal’s Folavril - Not the same as it once was, but still bright cheerful and talkative at 6:00 a.m.
JR Watkins, Lemon Crème Hand cream – Yes, it’s not a perfume, but it does smell delicious, has no parabens, no phthalates, no propylene glycol, no dyes and it recalls lemon tart, but it costs 8.99 $US at Walgreen’s. Beat that.
Caron’s Bellodgia – A chic option which is sequentially lily of the valley, rose and carnation and so crisp that you don’t dare fall asleep in case you crease yourself.