Not everyone may be familiar with these words of Shakespeare, but almost all of us would have surely experienced them. No matter how deep and sincere our love may be, but it's true that ups and downs come in every relationship.
The important thing is that we overcome the hurdles, move on from the bad phase, and learn valuable lessons as we hopefully move forward, with our positive emotions reinforced and relationships strengthened, to better times.
Here I would like to share few of the rough phases during my love affair with perfumes.
APPARENTLY DAINTY BUT DANGEROUSLY SWEET
La Petite Robe Noire Guerlain For Women (2012)
Top: Black cherry, Bergamot, Red berries and Almond.
Heart: Bulgarian rose, Turkish rose, Licorice and Smoked black tea.
Base: Aniseed, Tonka bean, Vanilla, Iris and Patchouli.
Not so long ago, I was going through a phase, when I only wanted sweet fruity fragrances.
Two of my favourite fruit notes were, and still are, strawberries and cherries.
Happy to learn about a perfume that smelled strongly of cherries, I was eager to try it. So at the first opportunity I generously sprayed it three times on my wrist.
I had often heard that vices like greed and recklessness never go unpunished and at that moment I found out for myself. As I nearly threw up from the most overpowering, thick, jammy, sickening, cloying, and dangerously sweet fragrance that assailed me.
For someone who had up till that moment had always insisted that nothing was too sweet, it was a stunning blow. Right on the head. Since that was the part of me that hurt the most.
After about half an hour, just when I thought that the fragrance was beginning to subside into a slightly less sweet version of cherry scent, another note entered into it that increased my urge to be violently sick. Words fail me, and I really don't know quite how to describe the odour. Well, let me try. Imagine stale and overused, yet still strong, tea leaves in an extremely sweet cherry jam...
On second thought, just forget it. I only wish that I could...!
I washed and scrubbed my hands, till I used up almost all the liquid soap in the container, but to no avail.
All night my head pounded in protest. Even my nose rebelled by partially closing it's nostrils. Yet I could not stop that nauseating odour from nearly suffocating me.
By the next day, when I was beginning to worry that I would be stuck with it for ever, it started fading and by the end of about 18 hours after application, it was finally gone.
I realize that it's purely psychological, but even now, all it takes is one accidental glance at the bottle at the perfume store, for me to begin smelling that sickening odour, and my head starts aching as I resist the urge to be violently ill...!
Lesson learned: It's good to be brave, but there are times when it's better to be cautious. It's okay to have dreams and set goals in life, and work hard to to achieve them. However, we also need to exercise self-control to prevent our ambitions extend to greed.
A DEVIL IN DISGUISE
Angel By Thierry Mugler (1992)
Top: Melon, Coconut, Mandarin orange, Cassia, Jasmine, Bergamot and Cotton candy.
Heart: Honey, Apricot, Blackberry, Plum, Orchid, Peach, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Red berries and Rose.
Base: Tonka bean, Amber, Patchouli, Musk, Vanilla, Dark chocolate and Caramel.
They call it 'Angel'. I claim its a devil in disguise.
One day, happily clutching a bag containing my latest perfume purchase, I was idly checking out various perfumes before heading out of the store. It was probably due to the feeling of joy and contentment of getting one of my favourite perfumes at such a great deal that made me a bit lax and I deviated from my rule of never trying an unknown perfume on my skin. In other words, the devil, taking advantage of my lack of vigilance, tempted me, and I fell into its trap.
In any case, three sprays later, the devil, emitting an odour of thick, heavy vanilla combined with piles and piles of dirty rotten flowers, clung to my wrist and invaded my senses. Feeling nauseous I tried to fight back by spraying over it every strong and powerful perfume that I could get hold of, while a couple of sales women gave me weird looks. But the devil continued to drift through effortlessly, stronger and more powerful than every other fragrance, torturing me, and taunting me, for my futile endeavour to escape him.
Half dragging my protesting daughter, I practically ran from the mall to my home, the devil relentlessly pursuing me throughout the way. I covered the usual 10 minutes walk at about half the time, yet it still seemed like an eternity.
The whole day I must have washed my hands countless times but the devil refused to go away.
However, the next day dawned early, after a mostly restless night, and I was greatly relieved to know that I had finally managed to get rid of the devil. Forever. Since I vowed to myself that I would never even go near either this perfume or any of its flankers, ever again.
Catching sight of the shopping bag containing my new perfume, further cheered me up, and I eagerly took the perfume out of the bag to put it with my fragrance collection. As I was doing so, a small sample of perfume, that one usually gets free with every purchase, fell out of the bag on to the floor. I picked it up and froze in shock.
It was 'Angel' by Thierry Mugler.
Lesson learned: The devil will always be around, in various guises, and will avail the slightest opportunity, to lead us astray. It's up to us to employ faith and strength in order to resist it's temptation, fight it's cunning, and be sure to never give it a chance to corrupt and misguide us into actions that would cause us harm.
PLAYING HIDE & SEEK WITH DAISY
Daisy By Marc Jacobs (2007)
Top: Strawberry, Violet leaf and Pink grapefruit.
Heart: Gardenia, Violet, and Jasmine petals. Base: White woods, Vanilla and Musk.
A friend recommended this when I requested names of good fruity-floral perfumes, preferably containing strawberry note. Thorough internet research revealed wonderful fragrance notes and glowing reviews. So it was with high hopes that I trotted over to the shopping mall near our home to check it out.
First I tried it at the tester card. It smelled pleasant enough but it was too light and vague for me to be able to gauge it well. So I finally sprayed it on my wrist.
For the first half an hour or so my wrist smelled only of ...grass...! And not scented grass or dewy grass or fresh grass. It was just very sharp...grass...! Not really an offensive odour. But you know, nothing that I would want to smell like. Definitely nothing I would pay to smell like...!
But then, after 30 minutes or so, hope started to stir within me as a faint flowery and even a fainter fruity smell begin to mingle with the ever present smell of...grass...!
Till 10 to 15 minutes afterwards I roamed around the mall, sniffing my wrist like crazy, and my little daughter, thinking maybe that I am playing some sort of a game, began imitating me, and started sniffing her wrist like crazy too...! While the people around us probably thought that we were both truly crazy...!
Anyway, I waited and hoped that the fruity-floral smell would deepen and eventually dominate over the smell of grass but it survived only maximum 15 minutes. Then my wrist went back to smelling just like...grass...!
Then about 10 to 15 minutes after that Daisy vanished from hand, leaving behind memories of...grass...!
I guess, in the light of the previous two experiences, it would be unfair to label this incidence as 'bad' since nothing awful really happened.
The reason I consider this a part of the negative aspect of my love affair with perfumes, is because I think it's unfortunate that I am unable to smell, what according to the fragrance notes and users reviews, must truly be a delightful perfume.
However, something good did come out of the experience, that is, it made me fully appreciate all those wonderful fragrances that I am able to smell...!
Lesson learned: There are things that may be good for others but they are not meant for us. Instead of wasting time on regretting them, we should accept it and focus on the positive aspects of our own life.
THE ARMANI CODE IS PERPLEXING INDEED...!
Armani Code For Women By Giorgio Armani (2006)
Top: Bitter African Orange, Sweet Italian Orange.
Heart: Orange Blossom Absolute, Ginger, Sambac Jasmine.
Base: Sandalwood, Honey, Vanilla
Not being a fan of overpowering citrus in perfumes, finding the idea of opening notes of bitter oranges unappealing, and slightly repelled by the thought of ginger in perfume, I refrained from trying out ARMANI CODE FOR WOMEN for several years.
However, a positive experience with Armani's latest fragrance for women, SI, along with a desire that ARMANI CODE FOR WOMEN might be "Lady Million with Vanilla", and a hope that the ginger and bitter-sweet citrus will be overshadowed by honey, vanilla and jasmine, finally tempted me to try out the previously unused sample in my cosmetic bag.
My joyous anticipation was very short-lived when 2 sprays on my wrist had me gasping for air, as the most awful bitter orange fragrance filled my nostrils...! It was mainly shock that held me immobile at first. Then few minutes later when my mind resumed it's functioning again, I remembered my first experience of the first 10-15 minutes with SI, and few other perfumes, and by exerting strong willpower, managed to restrain myself from washing it off my hands right then. Though I did hold my head as far away from my wrist as I could, a posture that amused my almost-three years old daughter very much...! About 20 minutes down the road, I decided that I simply could not take it any more, but my little daughter's urgent need for a diaper change distracted me, and I thought that I might as well test my tolerance threshold for bad odour by exposing myself to two sources of bad smell at the same time...! I won't go into details but let me assure you it wasn't an experience that I would want to repeat...! But anyway, by the time I managed to complete my task and was headed towards the washbasin, I realised that the fragrance had somewhat changed. There was still lots of orange, but it wasn't that bitter any more, and now it was mingled liberally with ginger, along with a hint of honey and vanilla. Though I still didn't find it much likeable but reawakened hope and a strong curiosity about the future progress of the fragrance, compelled me to wash my hands in such a way that I didn't wash away the perfume. After about an hour later I was resigned to the fact that it would remain pretty much the same, and after putting the sample back in my cosmetic bag, I decided that this was one perfume I won't be wearing again. Then I busied myself in household chores. After a while, I noticed the most gorgeous honey-vanilla fragrance drifting up my nostrils. The realization that it was coming from my own wrists once again rendered me stunned...! But obviously, this time in a good way. In the past, I had often encountered perfumes with unpleasant opening notes that had gone on to become lovely after 15 to 20 minutes. And vice versa. But I had never come across a transformation so extreme, the contrast so great, and a miracle so unexpected.
Throughout the week, I tried it three more times, just to confirm that it wasn't a fluke but the perfume followed the similar pattern.
So I finally decided to check out other users experiences and opinions about this perfume on internet and discovered that majority users like, or even love, it. One more thing I gathered was that most of the female population claimed that whenever they put on this perfume it attracted the opposite gender like bees to honey...!
Well, the perfume did contain honey but surely human males weren't bees...!
More baffled now, I again went back to the internet. Further research revealed an interesting fact, that is, both Vanilla and Ginger are natural ways of increasing potency and invoking desire...
Did that mean...???!!!
Well, I finally decided to conduct a little experiment.
One night, after my young daughter fell asleep, I discretely sprayed this secret CODE for seduction on myself, and after about half an hour, went and sat beside my husband in our living room where he was engrossed in doing his office work. After some time he looked up from his laptop and asked, "Are you ok?" Somewhat confused, I told him that I was feeling perfectly fine. He shrugged and turned back to his laptop, saying "You smell like you have just eaten that ginger-honey mixture that your mother always recommend when you have flu, and washed it down with orange flavoured Vitamin C tablet...!"
Guess the CODE was too tough for my husband to crack...!
However, next morning was another story when my husband absent-mindedly remarked, "what a pretty smell"..!!! So as I mentioned before, the perfume does turn into a delightful 'honey-vanilla' fragrance after about two hours, and this lovely phase goes on for several hours.
Which brings to my mind another thing that this perfume definitely deserves strong points for longevity and sillage, especially if my husband could smell it on me after about 9 hours of application...!
But now, whether that 'honey-vanilla' fragrance is wonderful enough, to tolerate the first 30 minutes of awful (at least to my nose) 'bitter-orange' and then 60 to 90 minutes more of unappealing (again, that's my opinion) 'orange-ginger-honey-vanilla' phase, is a question for which I still have not yet been able to find a satisfactory answer.
Yes, the CODE is indeed perplexing...!
Lesson learned: This experience taught me many lessons. When we yearn for a certain objective, then we should be sure that it's worth striving for, as it's necessary to sacrifice and face difficulties in order to achieve our dreams. We should also be aware that though success will most probably bring us happiness but it will never be perfect. Once we are sure that our goal is worth struggling for and we have realistic expectations from the fulfilment of our dreams, then no matter how tough things get, we should never give up, and patiently and persistently continue to work towards our end, with the full faith, that our sincere efforts and God's help, will reward us with success.
THE END, WITH APOLOGY
I would like to conclude by sincerely apologising to all the people who either created these perfumes or those who enjoy wearing them.
Liking or disliking a specific fragrance depends on various factors such as personal taste and preference (which is different for every individual), age, weather conditions, skin type, skin chemistry, health, hormonal balances, stress level etc etc etc.
I am willing to concede to the possibility that the reason for my negative experiences with these perfumes weren't because these fragrances are bad, maybe it was just me who was unable to properly appreciate them.
PS: Those who are interested to read my reviews on the various fragrances, please visit my blog: