A friend hugged me the other day, and said, “You smell delicious!”
What was it that made me smell…delicious?
The faint, sweet scent of face cream and face paint, in medium beige, and soft rouge, and blue, and pink?
My body lotion – some generic but pleasing perfume?
My hair products, mousse, and wax, and spray, or the gentle smell of hair lightly burnt from straightening irons?
My deodorant? The one that is not supposed to smell or leave white streaks, but which does both?
My actual perfume, that comes in a glass box and has a name so filled with hyperbole that it is meaningless, promising everything, but giving nothing, being, as it must, subsumed by all the other perfumes I’m realizing only now, probably cancel it out or turn it into something it was not when it was sitting in the bottle.
Or did she smell my indefinable and unique scent. Me. Am I delicious?
Or was what she smelled a combination of all of the above, and therefore still unique, because although I accept that I can’t be the only person out of seven billion who wears this combination of lotions, creams, and sprays, I’m the only one who adds my indefinable me-ness to it?
And what does it all say about me? I’d like to think that I choose my scents to express who I am, who I’d like to be, who I want you to think I am. I’d like to think that if you happened to smell me, your subconscious would say, “Oh yeah, that is one edgy and confident woman who doesn’t take any shit and radiates an inner strength and vitality that I for one, admire!” But I get a lot of my products at the supermarket, on clearance, so chances are, my scents do not give that sense.
My sense is that my scent is a confusingly pleasing mess of me, and based on this analysis, I’ve decided to invent a new fragrance. I’ll call it “Identity Crisis”, and I’ll market it in a multi-faceted, multi-colored bottle to women over 40 who are just figuring out exactly who they are and what they want. Women who are done with taking any more shit in their lives. Women who are coming to accept that they have been, and will be, many things to many people, but to whom it no longer matters. I invite you all to spray yourselves liberally with Identity Crisis, and when it mingles with our other scents, we’ll change its name to “Freedom”. And I can promise you this: it will make you smell delicious.