Perfumes and why I like to wear them in solitude

“I wear perfume even when I’m alone.” -Elizabeth Taylor

Ah, the most famous perfume related quote aside the one from Marilyn Monroe. For me, it used to ring true, but is getting closer to the end of “I wear perfume only when I’m alone.”

I don’t wear perfume out often because it’s intrusive. I don’t enjoy smelling what other people wear. Most of the time it’s as if the wearer poured half a bottle on their clothes. It gives them character, sure, but unless it’s Lanvin Arpège I’m probably going to stay at least ten meters away. I don’t want to inflict the same suffering on anyone. Even if I limit myself to one spritz on the pulse point, I’m sure there are people who dislike a fragrance that I enjoy.

Moreover, I don’t like it when I discover someone who shares my scent. Rationally I get it, billions of people own the same bottles that I do, I am hardly the solo customer of a fragrance. Emotionally, I am selfishly possessive of scents I own—why are you stealing what’s mine! It’s like going to a party and realizing the woman next to you wears the same cocktail dress which you spent hours picking out. This sentiment is surprising, considering how I love recommending my favorite skincare products to others.

Also, though, wearing perfume has become an “alone time” thing for me. I like to spend time in solitude, I’d be terrible if I’m around people 24/7. It’s nice to spritz something on to mark the transition, it’s like saying “Yeah, now it’s just me now.”

These days I’m starting to associate scents with a particular mood. It’s become a sort of routine now, One for times when I need some chicken soup for the soul—warm, spicy, comforting. One for times when I want to cut myself off from everyone, and feel beautiful. One for times when I need to kick all distractions and set to work.

I have always been such an olfactory-driven person. It’s just something about scents that can connect at the emotional level, something so basic that the rational mind cannot touch. Maybe I will wear them out, but now I’m guarding my perfumes like Gollum—My Preciousssss!

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