Wise uP: Some Words on Fragrance

31 07 2009

1.7 Vintage Perfume Bottles

The heat index in New York is up around 110 degrees right now. That practically doubles in the subway. Add a Friday morning hangover into the equation and you’re one miserable commuter. Toss in a sweaty woman wearing too much CK Stankbomb and you’re a goner.

Now I admit that I’m incredibly sensitive to smell and have been ever since I was a little kid. Back in the 80’s we had a Chevy Impala with no AC and plastic seats and I’d sit in the backseat praying to the vomit gods that I wouldn’t throw up from the smell of my mom’s Gloria Vanderbilt on long car trips. But being smell sensitive or not, I think it’s just mean to douse oneself in “fragrance” so early in the morning, especially in such closed quarters. I could still taste the fumes when I got to work.

Ladies, I am not telling you to get rid of your signature smells. I’m just begging you to wait until you get to the office before going crazy with the toilet water. It’s much easier to put up with in a well-ventilated area than in a 5-foot-wide subway car in the middle of July. Perhaps an even better suggestion would be trying out a “summer fragrance.” By summer fragrance, I mean something a little lighter than you would wear in the winter months, when the cold diffuses your Eternity by at least half.

Here are a few examples of lovely (and reasonably priced) summer smells that can carry over into those warm fall months:

1. “Baby Grace” by Philosophy- Smells like you just stepped out of a bubble bath.

2. “Musk by Alyssa Ashley”- I’ve worn this since I was 14 and the only place I know to buy it is the Walgreens in Garwood, NJ. For the record, every man I’ve ever dated has loved this perfume.

3. “L’eau Cheap and Chic” by Moschino- I’ve actually stopped people before to ask them what scent they were wearing. This is a lovely light smell that is like fresh laundry and Bonne Bell lip balm. Not to be confused with it’s heavy and suffocating sister, Cheap and Chic in the red/black bottle.  cheapchic

4. “Baby Bee Solid Perfume” by Burt’s Bees- My only wish is that this came in a spritz, but it’s got that familiar childhood aroma that makes you want to put on baby doll pj’s and have a slumber party.

5. “Coney Island” by Bond No. 9- My client Andrea turned me on to this scent. It reminds me of a lemon snow cone.

On the flip side, the perfume bandit from the subway made me so violently ill, I took a Facebook poll of the worst scents of all time. My girls came up with a great list including and in no particular order:

  • Poison- Hands down the most mentioned blacklist smell
  • White Diamonds (#2)
  • Obsession
  • Opium
  • Vanilla Fields
  • Exclamation!
  • Electric Youth by Debbie Gibson
  • Sunflower
  • Chantilly
  • Liz Claiborne in the triangle bottle
  • Any Lancome perfume
  • Vanilla Extract Smell (contributed by my husband)
  • Shalimar
  • Malibu Musk by Parfums de Coeur (thanks to Amy D for the funniest response)

The humidity is supposed to continue through to next week so when you’re getting ready in the morning, think twice about that second spritz of parfum. Your train neighbors will be happy you did.