Get me to a perfumerie…

Strangely enough, I have never, ever, in the course of my entire 38 years on this planet, ever bought myself perfume. I would like to think I have generous friends and relatives rather than dwell on the obvious, which would be unbearable BO, which has them fleeing for their sanity unless I am perfumed to olfactory knock out levels.

I refuse to dwell on these thoughts. Yes, I do live in Mumbai. Mumbai on an average day is like sitting in the midst of a steam room, with all your clothes on, plus the sun shining down on you. Your pores get a great workout if you live in this city. If you step out without deodorant sprayed on your goodself, I must walk upto you and pump your hand in admiration of your bravery. It is also a practical decision. It is one which will have crowds in local trains part for you like the Red Sea, without any hand of God to do the needful, just your very own sebaceous glands working on freeflow which will do the trick. It will have people let you travel alone in lifts. It will have cubicle co-workers spend more time outside said cubicle giving you the time and space you need to ideate. I can actually think of many benefits of ditching the deo. Along with the unwelcome side effects of having no romantic life to speak of. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to employ this insidious tactic when you want to bail on a relationship. Maybe they could package and market bad BO spray to be worn when you go on that “I think we need some space’ date. It would save a lot of bad blood, with the opposite party just totally relieved to get out of your presence, and actually counting their blessings. I think I have a winning business idea here…I might just make it to be a millionaire before I kick the bucket.

Seriously though, to get back onto the track I have digressed from, the perfume stash, I realised is at an all time low. I have at current counting, one Escada (gifted by the man on an anniversary/birthday/goodmood day, I forget which of the above), one Nina (gifted by dear friend P on a birthday, last year), one Chanel No 5 (gifted by the Aunt from abroad on my wedding, 14 years ago, and never used because it doesnt have a spray format but needs you to apply and therefore, I end up spilling it on bathroom counter, and therefore avoided using, I think the perfume must have disintegrated into individual components sitting in the drawer for so long, anyone knows if perfume ages like wine?), one Fifth Avenue (Gifted by friend), one Versus something in a nice purple bottle with some fancy gold chain (Gifted again by the spouse), one Tresor (Gifted by the spouse), one Gucci (gifted by I forget who), and all of the above, except for the Chanel No 5 are down to their last drops.

It would be nice, I thought, to actually choose a perfume for myself, seeing as I have never ever had the opportunity to go out there and do so.  Therefore I decided to take myself perfume shopping. I did not know what awaited me. I presumed this would be a simple task of smelling said testers, deciding which smell fitted into the budget I’d set myself, paying for said bottle and walking out of the store. Obviously, my inexperience at perfume buying made me naive. Had I known what was to befall me, I would have restrained myself and dropped broad hints to the man, seeing as the wedding anniversary is around the corner, and he is a man who judges a flower by its fragrance. And never stints on keeping the perfume stocked up on my shelves. But this was a crisis. More a crisis of confidence and the need to buy, which does not have any rationale behind it, therefore undeniable. Thus it was that I found myself in the perfume section at Shoppers Stop at Inorbit. For a moment, I thought there was a Wanted notice stuck all around the mall with my teethbaring mugshot, plus an obscene reward announce for whoever manages to capture me first and deliver me to mall security seeing the speed at which the sales folk descended on me. They circled me at first, like vultures to carrion. And then pounced, spraying little strips of white paper with bottles of whatever perfume they were hawking, and proceeded to wave said strips under my nose, in a continuous overdrive until my nose hair shrivelled up and died in protest. Then they caught the back of my head and dunked me face down into a jar of coffee beans that woke me up from olfactory overload induced somnabulism, and then proceeded to wave more strips of white paper under my nose. I ended the trip running staggering out of the store with not one perfume bought. It actually felt like one of those C grade horror flicks, where you get stuck on a deserted highway with no petrol and wander into a deserted house, with voila, zombies, emerging from every nook and cranny, chasing you until you manage to escape their evil clawing grasp. That was me fleeing from the perfume sales persons, all reaching out to me, with insidious white strips in their hands …guarantee to convert me into a perfume zombie the moment it touched my bare skin…..

I am so waiting for my next gift. I have a soft corner for Fendi. In case the spouse reads this.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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5 Responses to Get me to a perfumerie…

  1. Vie Chic says:

    lol! Maybe you could go to a perfume showroom? Those are always fun 🙂

    i’d recommend some nice lil numbers: j’adore (sooooo sexy) and davidoff cool water for women (fresh!).


  2. That was really very funny. Come to think of it, I haven’t bought any perfumes because I keep getting them as gifts. Never risked going perfume shopping and after reading this post, I think I will not take the risk at all.


  3. Suki says:

    Boy went perfume shopping for his mom about a month ago. I kid you not, we left for ten minutes after the first dozen sprayed papers just so we could regain our olfactory senses.
    But yes, we did return and make the purchase.


  4. Violet says:

    I second Vie Chic! J’adore is one of my favourites too.


  5. Ruchira says:

    I cant get past the perfumes division in any shop without buying something. I just wrote a post about how i almost missed my flight at Bangkok airport because I cldnt tear myself away from the perfumes division 🙂
    But it can be a very trying for the olfactory senses 🙂


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