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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 30, 2005 / 29 Kislev, 5766

Eau de Toilet: Confronting my fear of fragrance

By Gene Weingarten


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I think women smell great. That is why I dislike perfume. I want women to smell like women, and not the sitting room of a 19th-century San Francisco bordello. That may be extreme, but I know I am not alone. Several famous men have shared my distaste for perfume, among them Adolf Hitler, which is one reason I seldom mention it.


Still, it bothers me. I once lived in a region of the country that seemed to have a perfume-based culture. At social gatherings, women revolved around the room like planets, each with her own distinctive atmosphere. When two were in close proximity, I feared some terrible, quasi-gravitational climatic event.


Because she knows my feelings about perfume, my wife seldom, if ever, wears it, which fills me with both gratitude and guilt. Both these emotions came into play recently when I was on Fifth Avenue in New York City. I decided to at last confront my biases and shop for perfume with an open mind; my goal was to buy my wife a present she'd never forget, if for no other reason than it is the least likely present she'd ever expect from me, other than, say, a gift certificate for butt enlargement surgery.


Manhattan establishments that sell perfume do not have sensible, helpful names like "The Olde Perfume Warehouse" or "Perfumes Inc." They have names like "Gianfranco Abattoir Ltd.," and the only clue that they sell perfume is that there is no perfume or perfume-like product in the window. The windows display scenes like a scowling, naked female mannequin contemplating a rooster.


One place had a small sign identifying itself as a "perfumery," so I walked in with some small measure of confidence, which evaporated immediately — like the best perfume — the instant I saw the young woman at the counter. She wore a distractingly tight sweater, perfectly applied makeup, knife-blade eyebrows, and that stony, forbidding expression you'd expect to find on a croupier at a casino. I stammered that I would like to see some perfumes. She stared patronizingly. "You mean 'fragrances?'"


That was my first lesson. You must never call it perfume, even if the sign outside says "Perfumery," and the little bottles are labeled "perfume." Or, more precisely, "parfum."


Calling French perfume "pricey" is a significant understatement, like calling a tsunami "moist." Your typical ounce costs a C-note. I decided that I was going to shop intelligently and not lose my head.


Immediately, I lost my head. I blame it on the fumes, but it may also be because perfume saleswomen tend to be young and lovely and will frequently, without sufficient warning, offer you their necks to smell. The fact is, after about half an hour of perfume shopping, I was cheerfully looking at $150 liquids in quantities that could fit in a contact lens case.


Fortunately for me, everything stank. In store after store, women spritzed fragrances onto little cardboard cards that they grandly offered to me like sous-chefs presenting their pieces de resistance. Invariably, all I would smell was easy virtue. True, each was different: There was Marseille waterfront strumpet, 42nd Street flophouse whore, Monte Carlo gigolo, and so forth. Some resembled the bathroom deodorant my ma used to use. I liked those the most.


Eventually, I found myself at a Guerlain counter. Because the saleswomen seemed friendly, I decided to throw myself on their mercy. I will call them Gwendolen and Cecily. I explained to them how much I love my wife, and how nothing is too good for her, but that I did not wish her to smell like, you know, a streetwalking skank. They nodded knowingly and began pushing samples. It was just more of the same.


I was about to leave when Gwendolen said, "Show him this," and Cecily said, "Yes, why don't we?" I took a whiff, and, suddenly, the fog cleared. This was everything I had been looking for. A delicate, sensuous aroma, autumnal, more woody than floral, flirtatious yet demure, effortlessly feminine, not desperate. "This is it!" I gasped.


Meanwhile, Cecily and Gwendolen were shooting each other a certain cautious look. They began to speak at once, a babble of enthusiastic salesmanship. I didn't catch it all. So much was blotted out in the cacophonic rush of blood to my brain.


"Limited edition . . ."


"Signed and numbered . . ."


"Tunisian neroli oil . . ."


"Those are actually cultured freshwater pearls beneath the atomizer . . ."


The fragrance is called Plus Que Jamais, which means More Than Ever, which answers the eternal question: "How much did you spend for this present, darling, compared with anything else you've bought me?"

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Gene Weingarten writes the Below the Beltway humor column for The Washington Post. To comment, please click here.


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