Wednesday, August 9

It puts the lotion in the basket

Today I smelled like grapefruit.

What an odd thing to go around smelling like fruit when you haven't touched any real fruit in days, maybe even weeks. I can't even tell you the last time I handled a real grapefruit; I'm actually sort of repulsed by the things. Just thinking about them makes the little salivary glands in my jaw squirt. How unladylike! Though I do admire their color.

I'll tell you the (not-so-secret) secret. It's lotion. Overpriced boutique lotion you have to trek through the mall to get. I've been addicted to this crap for something like 11 or 12 years now. And I have no intention of stopping. It's one of those stereotypical feminine delights I'll actually gladly indulge in. But it's only because I think everyone should go around smelling like fruit or flowers. There are feminine/masculine degrees to these smells, of course, but I would swoon just as easily if I leaned into the crook of a man's neck and smelled something fruity as I would if I smelled something musky or hyper-masculine (which can be just too much for the ol' olfactory glands).

My point is that smell has a stranglehold on me. And I go to great lengths to smell good, and I appreciate other people who do too. So when I found myself running low on lotion supplies last week, I have to admit that I panicked a little. It's a twofold addiction. Obviously I need the lotion for its perfuming effects. But my skin also craves the moisture. I've been feeding it a steady diet of Bath&Body Works and Victoria's Secret lotions since before the eighth grade, when I first understood just how cool Victoria's Secret lotions were and actually got my hands on my mother's bottle of Pear Glacé. It was a transformative experience, to go from smelling like stale soap to smelling subtly seductive (I know, I was 14 for God's sake), with lingering hints of fruity goodness on my shoulders and stomach and fingers, leaving a cloud of intoxicating aroma everywhere I ventured.

And it was a powerful thing, smelling good in different ways every day of the week. My friends and I, for several years, exchanged Christmas gifts that consisted of the same things, just different scents, in a diverse array of packaging. And we giddily and greedily accepted the bottles of lotion and shower gel and body spray and added them to our growing collections that were as colorful and glittering as pirate booty.

I amassed a collection of lotions and sprays and gels and bubblebaths that had to number near 30 or 40 bottles. My friends' collections put mine to shame. We were obsessed, not only with the scents and colors and bottle designs, but with the brands and the objective sexiness that came along with wearing a fragrance endorsed and marketed by the same company that put out catalogues at Christmas with million-dollar diamond bikinis and custom-painted pink sportscars in them. It was a way to be grown-up — or at least smell grown-up — without actually being grown-up.

And here I am, 24 years old, and I still swoon when I go into the mall boutiques and sample the newest fragrances, which are really just rehashed versions of old fragrances. But isn't recycling good?

So this weekend I went on a mission to the mall, and I came home with a little bit of passion fruit, a little bit of sweet pea, a little bit of black raspberry vanilla, and a little bit of pink grapefruit (which, the saleswoman, sensing I was a serious customer, let me have ahead of its official release date) to sate my appetite for "smell-so-goods," as I called them when I was a toddler.

I think the world is a better place for my efforts.


Blogger jag said...

Pear Glacé.

Those words struck terror in my heart for years, as I suffered through my first year of college smelling the stuff. My roommate wore the lotion & body spray, used the soap and any other Pear Glacé product Vicky's Hush Hush made. I hated it after the first month of co-habitation.

Older and wiser and missing college, I went back to Vicky's to get a little bottle, for old time's sake, and damned if they discontinued it.

Wed Aug 09, 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger theogeo said...

I'm actually really glad they discontinued it. By the time I made it to the bottom of that one bottle, it had put me off real pears and imagined for good.

I'm finding that I don't go to Vic's for my lotions anymore. Theirs are just so overwhelming, like your skin is going around screaming for people to lick its fruity essence.

And that's not subtle at all.

Wed Aug 09, 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger David Holt said...

Let me just say you smell wonderful. Will you be at Blogger's Bash Sunday?

Wed Aug 09, 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Thanks, David. Glad to see my scent can travel the precarious tubes of the interweb!

I'll see you Sunday!

Wed Aug 09, 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger David Holt said...

It can when they aren't clogged by commercial traffic. Damn that commercial traffic.

Wed Aug 09, 11:34:00 PM  

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