Perfume is after all supposed to be fun. Sometimes you just want to take a vacation from whatever it is that you wear and try something that is altogether lighter. For this purpose, you need scent that is strictly un-strict. Something that is the perfume equivalent of the talkative bird-brained girlfriend you can’t help enjoying because at the end of the day, she doesn’t have a malicious bone in her body.
I went looking for just such a fragrance the other week. As everybody who lives in the Mid-West and East Coast of the US knows, it was an unusually hot and dry summer, at least at the outset. It has definitely not been the time to wear heavy Orientals or smoky incense scents because either you feel that you’ll explode from the heat underneath that labdanum blanket you’ve foolishly smothered yourself in, or else you’ll convince the local Fire Department that someone has dropped a cigarette in the dry grass. All of those resins will have to wait until October.
This is the time to go in search of the ditzy* perfume. A category of scent that some people may despise because it often (though not always) is fruity/floral. You could go the old route of the tropical floral (and I did for many years) but that’s another category. The ditzy is a kind of scent that could be worn by Judy Holiday in Born Yesterday. In fact, if you want a reliable guide to the kind of scent you’re looking for you probably should channel Judy, or Gracie Allen. Amy Poehler is another possibility but not as undilutedly ditzy, to my mind.
I had to do this long ago. To explain, this whole train of thought began when I read a delightfully frivolous book called The Bombshell Manual, complete with a section on perfumes. The idea was that women should unleash their inner Bombshells. Unfortunately, some of us are ill equipped to be Bombshells. I was lacking the figure, the sort of figure for which you have to start planning at twelve, and here I was all that time later-still waiting. Nothing will ever turn me into Jayne Mansfield, or even into Kim Kardashian, so I considered my options (such as they were) in a different light.
I could not be a Bombshell, but I sometimes am a Ditz. If the Bombshell wears things designed to showcase her sensuality and after all we are talking (Brigitte Bardot here, or more recently Monica Bellucci or Dita Von Teese) the Ditz wears things to emphasize her personality. So, basically it goes like this, the Bombshell wears Bal a Versailles and Bill Blass Nude, and the Ditz wears Yvresse. That is when she is being serious (comparatively speaking). If your Bombshell is wearing Vent Vert your Ditz is wearing Lubin’s Gin Fizz or even Demeter’s Gingerale. Earthbound and heavy she is not, and neither are any of her smells. Here is a list of what Ditzes wear in all the different situations of life, please note, she never wears Orientals.
Ditz in Charge:
Lime Basil and Mandarin, Jo Malone- Well, it works.
Aire, Loewe- This is self explanatory
Freschiissimo, Hilde Soliani She just loves lemons.
Romantic Ditz, Ditz in Love:
Spring Flower, Creed- Yes the one in the hot pink bottle.
Petite Cherie, Annick Goutal
Fiori di Riso, Farmacia SS. Annunziata- A wedding in the Tuscan hills.
Romeo, Romeo Gigli- She has to get this off Ebay and she pronounces the name Giggly.
Ditz Attempts at Sexiness:
Orange Blossom, Jo Malone
Chemical Bonding, Ineke Ruhland
Dolce Vita, Dior
Royal Bain de Caron, Caron- Her sole attempt at Great French Perfumery, Mitsouko is off the cards here.
Love Coco, Honore des Pres-Thai comfort food.
Nivoli di Limona, Roca, Lemon Meringue pie in essence.
Kiss Me Tender, Parfums de Nicolai-This is candy, sophisticated candy for self medicating on dull days when the bon-bon box is too calorific.
*There are different names for this type of female in different decades: Dizzy Dame, Airhead, Minx, and Flirt, all of them attempt but fail to capture the helium in the Ditz’s soul. But please note that the Ditz is easily underestimated (e.g. the heroine of Legally Blonde) – she can be quite intelligent, and her policy of flotation upon the heavy seas of life is in itself, oddly prudent.