Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Feel Smelly

So my newest obsession/hobby is: perfume. Not the kind that we used to always smell at Rite-Aid before church, the alchohol based florals, walking through the mists of their testers in order to avoid having to buy a bottle. No. Those are generally yucky.

A friend of mine (someone who has become more dear to me since leaving Hippietown...that's the way these things go) got me into 'smellies.' Perfumes and bath products, to be more specific, the offerings of online companies such as Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, Villainess, Violette Market...there are a few more, but I may post them at a later date. Mixtures of oils with names you might not want your mom to see, scrubs that make your mouth water and save you the step of having to reach for your all lays before me, just a few clicks away.

I've been keeping a photo journal (?) of my collection and I hope to update it as it grows, to show how these things happen. I've seen pictures of people's 'stashes,' and I almost feel like an idiot admiting to how few I have. But these collections all started somewhere, and I wanted to show how mine grows, though I sincerely hope my collection never reaches the numbers of some of the ones I've seen. I mean, I'd like to help Sopi get through college.

Why am I, a generally frumpy, somewhat grumpy housefrau drawn to this? Well, first and foremost, it means I get to collect tiny things. I've always had a slight obsession with collecting small containers and this basically satisfies it and justifies it since each tiny container has something inside that is worth something. My collection mostly consists of samples (referred to as 'imps,' 'decants,' 'petals'...depending on what site you're on) which are lovingly labeled 1ml amounts of various perfumes. I get to keep them in a grey ammo box at the moment and there is a slight feeling of opening a treasure box when I pop open the lid and gaze down at them, inhaling the aroma of flowers, resins, herbs and other olfactory substances. The bottles that I have are also small (a few inches, tops) and have labels that range from mundane to awesome. They are also glass and boy howdy, do I love a small, glass bottle.

Then there is the 'fake chemist' aspect. Sometimes the descriptions of the perfumes (BPAL and Possets in particular) drive me insane (what the **** does a 'star lit sky' smell like?!). But there are the moments when your brain and nose 'pop' and you say, 'aaaaah...cypress. Perfect.' Applying the oil methodically to one's wrist (that's how I'm doing it, as I'm still testing a lot of imps right now), sniffing the bottle, sniffing your wrist to see how it reacts with your skin/body chemistry, waiting a few minutes and seeing how it has transformed...this is fun and interesting. I wonder why some people can wear 'Strangler Fig' and they get fruit but I put it on and it's just freaking plastic. Or how something can smell like old ladies at first and then awesome, wolfy greatness the next? There is a bit of a thrill when you read through the notes of a new perfume and you wonder, 'oh man, will that be as awesome on me as I HOPE?!'

Then there is the community of people. I hear pokemon can get like this but at least for BPAL and a few others, there are great communties online of people who are swapping and selling, trying to spread the gospel of occasionally wanting to make sweet love to your wrist (Countess Willie, hello!). Everyone I've dealt with has been VERY nice and a lot of these businesses are small affairs with just a few people, hand mixing and designing smells for the pleasure of themselves and other people and *that* is a good thing. A lot of these retailers are personable, have families and gift their buyers as an act of goodwill. When was the last time you bought something from amazon and they included a free chapter of a book? Uh, never. And the people who trade (as hobbies, not to make money mind you) are also generaous with their giving as well., lovingly and carefully wrapping their offerings in bubble wrap, sending their babies off with only Delivery Confirmation to guide them to their new homes.

I will confess: this shit ain't free. I've dropped some dough on this. It costs money and some places have killer shipping fees. But for me, well...I bust my butt raising Sopi and wifing my husband and writing my stories and sometimes, I think we all deserve a little something-something, as they say. I deserve a little fun, a little community apart from my labels as mom and wife, to feel a bit more feminine and get excited over the mail showing up. I'm really excited for a sample pack I ordered from Violette Market with some decants I am giving my mom for the holiday season. It feels a bit like I am getting compensated for some of the energy I've given over the last few years.

For what that's worth. Ah well, time to sit back, enjoy a Youngs Double Chocolate Stout with the husband and indulge in our shows. I have a very good life. I am thankful for it. And I am thankful for pretty, smelly things that make me feel a bit more like a person.