Fragrance on The Brain

Sometime in the last ten years I came to the realization that everything I observe, hear, taste, inhale, process,  digest, or soak up through osmosis I do in a sensory way. Translation: virtually everything makes me think of fragrance!


I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out, I’ve been doing it since I’m four years old… when my grandmother Rose first brought me a little wrapped, triple-milled, highly fragranced soap from the Ritz Hotel in Paris and my sense of smell stood at attention, saluted and my potent attraction to scent was born.





I’m in the Strand bookstore – the sweet, damp smell of vintage books and brittle, yellowing newspaper wafting to my nostrils. And my thoughts immediately gravitate to CB I Hate Perfume In the Library, which really *does* smell like a room full of well-loved tomes. Or Chanel Cuir de Russie, a beautiful portrayal of pungent, tanned leather, worthy to bind   the      complete works of Shakespeare or Dickens


A trip to Dylan’s Candy Bar with my daughter, and I’m loitering by the black licorice, which I’m fairly convinced I’m addicted to. Good n Plenty, Twizzlers, black Jelly Bellies, Australian, salted, licorice shaped like ropes, pipes, Scotty dogs… I crave it all. And I want to wear it – in the form of Etro Anice (the closest you’ll get to smelling like the black and pink morsels of Good n Plenty), and Caron Aimez Moi, which, with it’s intoxicating blend of anisette and violet, replicates not only licorice, but also those powdery violet candies your grandmother used to keep                                                                                      in her purse.



Window-shopping in Soho, and I’m mesmerized by the display of creamy, blush-colored lingerie at Kiki de Montparnasse. Nothing could be more sensual, languidly kissing the female form. And the fragrance that my mind conjures up? Stella McCartney Stella Nude, which is absolutely the personification of lingerie with its soft, musky, rose accord.

Is this normal? Is it a quirk? Do other people convert everything to smells in their minds? I don’t know… But I’ve learned to enjoy my affinity and it’s become a form of entertainment.