As Kennedy Davenport from RuPaul’s Drag Race would say, the struggle was real.
There were less than two hours to go before the doors to the venue opened, and I still hadn’t made up my mind; which scent do I wear to prom?!
Advertisers know that to your average middle-class teen what perfume she wears to prom is a big deal. Many of my friends indeed went out and bought mildly expensive bottles in preparation for the big day, in addition to the gowns, jewelry, shoes, limousines and other costs already associated with the event.
If I wasn’t living in a consumer-based society I might say that’s crazy, but hey – I do live in a consumer-based society, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to smell extra good on a momentous occasion such as this. And there’s good reason to: all your classmates are there (including your crush), and this is your last chance to impress everyone and win prom queen… or maybe I’m projecting.
Point is, as important as perfume is in my life past and present I didn’t give my specific choice a lot of consideration prior to the big day. I mean, most guys just go with whatever cologne they have on hand, but to be fair I’m not like most guys. I had assumed that when the time came I would grab whichever bottle I felt like; a springy floral, a fruity number, or even something classic and musky, with a hint of somethin’ somethin’ that would have everyone tripping over their own satin trains.
Skip ahead to May 28th, however, and the countdown was on.
On the morning of my prom I was reviewing a minty springtime release from a niche house, but seeing as I’ve been toying with it for only so many days I didn’t find it appropriate. At some point there was a knock on the door and a UPS man kindly dropped off a package with two new bottles for review consideration, but they were even fresher still.
Looking at the shelves of my own collection, nothing stood out, and what did already had memories attached to it. Jul et Mad Paris’ Aqua Sextius is perfect for sunny days such as the one we had for prom, but I’d already worn it on my last first date (and this is not a gossip column, but let’s just say I’d rather not remember it). Tom Ford’s Champaca Absolute is also a really beautiful, soft aroma that reminds me of mushrooms and candlelight, but I still remembered wearing it at my best friend’s birthday party in December.
What’s a guy to do when every bottle is already associated with a memory?
I was nearly to the point of giving up and staying home to watch chick flicks and cry when I remembered something, and it instantly had me jumping up and reaching for my (admittedly stuffed) samples box. Amidst a rainbow of tiny vials I found what I was looking for: Floris London’s Amethyst, a limited edition release I got to try last year.
Floris London is a 285 years old British company known for a level of luxury fit for royalty (seriously, they’ve got two Royal Warrants1). Amethyst was announced in time for Valentines’ Day 2014, with only 25 bottles put into production2. The very fact that I had a sample vial in my possession was extraordinary on its own, but when I tested it after stowing it for safekeeping it was heaven. Peach and strawberry-flavoured cotton candy; jasmine and sunshine; lemon and vanilla. I sighed happily into the skin on my wrist and a smile crept to my face as I recalled falling for it over a year ago; it fit the Sweet Escape theme perfectly.
I decided that yes, Amethyst would be just fine. I knew that every time I smelled its innocent sweetness I would be reminded of a huge milestone and the journey that I took to get there, as well as an unforgettable night celebrating with friends. As I dressed in my suit and appropriately festive bow tie, I dabbed the perfume on my neck and was reminded that this is why I write about scent: it’s simply too massively important to my life not to.
1The Royal Warrant Holders Association: J. Floris LTD
2Fragrantica: Floris London Amethyst (By Request)