Usha and I meet regularly after work on Thursdays for dinner, but last night, we mixed it up. We rendezvoused at Crispo (because I happened to remember they have splits of prosecco there for $10 a bottle) and then headed to Sephora's "Sensorium" on 14th Street (right around the corner from their new Meatpacking store). After walking through a small exhibit, we bellied up to the "fragrance bar" to experience scents without the influence of advertising or bottle design.
We smelled dozens of fragrances and I was somewhat horrified to learn that my favorite of the bunch was Jennifer Aniston's new perfume. While I like the idea of blindly sampling scents, I'm no fool: I know that the bulk of their pricetag comes from marketing. If the fragrance industry is going to funnel so much money into endorsement deals, packaging design, and PR, out of spite for these practices I'm not going to buy a new perfume on smell alone.
One of the conversations the Sensorium prompted between Usha and me was about the transportative power of scent. Petite Cherie reminds me of college; Kiehls Coriander is what I wore my first year of teaching middle school. Calypso St. Barth Mimosa conjures up memories of visiting New York City, because I bought it during a trip here back in 2002. When Shawn and I separated and I moved out, I only had room to take one fragrance - a tiny Juicy Couture roll-on - and I rarely wear it now because it reminds me of sad times. Do certain fragrances take you back to a specific time or place in your life?