Apr. 18th, 2012

wendyzski: (Default)

Really.  Work with me here...

I was recently reading The Secret of Chanel No.5 (an interesting idea but kind of a lame book, with confusing time-scales and purple prose), and of course they talked at great length about the complexity and construction of "modern" perfumes.  I was reminded of how little I like "modern perfume". 

We all know that scent and memory are very closely entwined.  My mother wore Arpege when I was young, and then switched to Opium.  My father wore Old Spice and then switched to something else - I remember the bottle but forget the name.  I will always associate Jean Nate with my grandmother slowly dying of Alzheimers, as they doused her with ever-increasing amounts to hide the smell of urine.  Suddenly-reappearing-ex-fiancee wore Grey Flannel, and to this day now it makes me vaguely ill.

I don't wear any of them.  In fact, I don't really wear "perfume" at all.  I usually wear a variety of single scents (what were called soliflora) or comparatively simple blends of 2-3 different scents - all recognizably plants or flowers.  Jasmine, rose, and lilac most of the time.  I occasionally like patchouli, but I'm mindful that a lot of people don't.  I have some herbal blends that I wear when I'm in the mood - a lemon/lavender/fir blend is nice when I need a wake-up call, for example, and lavender/vanilla is a great pillow spray scent.  But I generally hate the scents of most commercial perfumes.  I'm not sure whether it's the primarily synthetic ingredients I object to, or just that "my nose gets confused".

I got thinking about this the other day, and realized that a LOT of the things in my life are the same way - I like things simple. 

I don't have much appreciation for "fine cuisine" - because I want my steak to taste like steak, not marinade or sauce.  Most sauce (unless it's cheese) usually gets in the way. So I don't cook much.  I like one or maybe 2 extra ingredients on my pizza.  I hate chicago-style hot dogs, and eat my burgers with lettuce, cheese, and ketchup only.

I also don't like most combined/contrasting flavors. Take chocolate-covered potato chips, for example.  (please - take them, I don't want them).  My mother adores them, and I find them confusing.  If I want something salty, I'll eat something salty.  If I want a sweet I want a sweet.  Not some weird combination of the two.  I have very reluctantly accepted "chicago-style popcorn' (mixed butter, caramel and cheese) but at least that I eat a nugget or two at a time, of the same flavor, so I am experiencing them sequentially, not all at once.  I'm not one of those weirdos who has to eat all my veg, then all my meat, etc, or has to have the foods not touching or anything like that.  I do occasionally eat 2 differently-flavored jellybeans at the same time, but that's on purpose - it annoys me when it happens by accident.

Then I looked in my closet.  I own less than 10 items made of printed fabric.  One was a gift, and one is a small floral on black that was bought for a specific occasion.  Two are plaid, and three have stripes.  The other is a black-lace-pattern-on-white T-shirt and it's been sitting in the bottom of my shirt drawer for over a year.  I do own one long-sleeved shirt that is a tiny windowpane plaid that looks solid from more than a foot away. That's it.  Even costume stuff  - the only patterns I've used in my Steampunk stuff are woven stripes, and even my Elizabethan gowns are solid velvet for the most part, with occasional simple geometric woven patterns in no more than 2 colors.

Then I looked in my living room.  Aside from the curtains (an Indian print in blues and greys) all of my furniture is solid-colored, and/or wood.  Aside from one set of tone-on-tone woven pattern duvet cover and shams, all of my bedding is solid colors.  I have 2 throw pillows that have stripes, but I got them for free.  Bedroom curtains have a bit of beading on the top, but are otherwise solid colored.  Shower curtain plain, and bathroom is decorated in 3 colors.  Yes the office curtains are a brown Indian floral print, but that was probably accidental.  Aside from the ones that I got for free, all of my dishes are white, black, or clear.  Silverware is plain metal with no detail.

I just found this interesting, as I'd never thought about this before.


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