PerfumeOne thing I really hate about department stores (the larger ones, anyway) is that they always put the cosmetics and perfume departments on the ground floor as you enter, and wherever you want to go, you have to walk through a cloud of floral mist that just about gags me to tears. Yuck.

But in the past two years I’ve been spending a lot of time in airports. And since I’m the type who likes to give herself time, I’ve been hanging around Duty Free a lot. And through sheer curiosity, I decided, hey! Let’s see if among all these dozens of bottles of chemical water I can find something that actually works for me!

Half the scents are too floral, which is so not me, and I definitely tended to gravitate towards the more, dare I say it, masculine scents. But then most were too heavy. I went through a period of Burberry, which I thought was okay but not amazing – I ended losing the small bottle I purchased (on sale) and I can’t honestly say I regret it. So clearly not the one for me.

Then I found it. I found the scent. I thought that when applied correctly, in super spare amounts, it was the right mixture of light and dark, and had a nice musky aroma, and a dozen other words that honestly I can’t come up with because I’m not a connoisseur by any means. Suffice to say, every time I went back to those Duty Free shops I tried some more on, and every time I said yes! This is it!

Slight hitch: I discovered it’s a cologne. Don’t ask me how I missed the fact that the perfume is for men. I should have spotted it. The packaging is dark. There are no curves to be seen anywhere. In hindsight, everything about it shrieks “Match me to the Y chromosome!”

So I dithered for another year. I mean, I can’t wear a cologne! I’d smell like a man!

Eventually, my friend (a bona fide fashionista, chemistry major, and aforementioned perfume connoisseur) convinced me that yes, it’s unusual, but it does happen, and anyway perfumes react differently to everyone, and no, I don’t actually smell like a man. I smell like Jean + Terre d’Hermes = Something Else.  I haven’t had the scent for very long, but so far, I do really like it.

What scent do you wear?

– Jean AAR