A few months back, my son dropped my bottle of perfume on the bathroom floor, and rose-scented shards littered the tile. So off I went to Nordstrom to replace it. I stood there for hours smelling and wafting and scrunching up my nose. Finally I chose one, and as I was paying, the saleslady said she would put my name in a drawing for a gift basket. Yes, yes. Something with an $800 value. Lots of designer fragrances. I never win anything, lady, so have fun with that.
Fast forward to the following week. I get a phone call from Nordstrom that says I won. I stood there in the kitchen, in the middle of loading the dishwasher with a dumb look on my face, speechless. “Come by and get it any time,” she prattled on.
That afternoon, with two kids in tow, I trudged to Nordstrom to pick it up. For some reason, I was afraid they would think I was lying about winning, or that it wasn’t really mine. The minute they placed that shrink-wrapped basket in my greedy little hands, I told my kids to jump into hyper speed and we bolted back to the car. I wouldn’t even stop at the grocery store on the way home. I’m sitting on real value here, people, and it needed to be safe on my bathroom counter.
When I got home, I took my time in unwrapping it. Bottle after bottle was arranged inside a Jimmy Choo shoebox. Tall and short and heavy and lacy. Fruity and musky and spicy and soft. Every perfume had their own emotion, and their own set of colors and meaning. I felt so guilty, like there was no way I deserved all this value. I’d save them for gifts, send them to friends, and select one I really loved.
But I didn’t. I kept them all.
At first I just sprayed some in the air, or squirted a dab on my arm before church. But they go bad in two years, and I have all these bottles, and why not use them to their fullest? What’s the good of saving them and not enjoying them? So I began my perfume campaign. When friends came over, I’d march them to the bathroom and encourage them to shower themselves in Flowerbomb. When I feel particularly down, I spray Prada on the pillows. After my bath, Versace is liberally applied. I use Chanel as my interior car fragrance, and when the bathroom smells particularly stale, there is always Gucci to make things right again. You’ll never see such liberal application of Burberry in all your born days.
It’s been magical.
Perfume will never again have the same meaning that it does in this season in my life. I totally get why Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with rich oils, and why the wise men brought the child of God frankincense and myrrh, both prized for their alluring fragrance. They were all gifts fit for a King.
I’m no queen, but I have felt so rich. I’m keeping the bottles for my daughter as a testament to His glory, and to the power of our senses, and to explain that in the darkest of days, when the sun hasn’t yet risen, there is power in unexplained gifts, and reminders of beauty. There is indeed a story woven into all things. But most importantly, the wisdom of the ages:
There ain’t nothin a little Chanel won’t fix.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lilivanili/8097442306/sizes/m/in/photostream/