When blogger Denyse Beaulieu‘s mother asked her “Why perfume?”, it didn’t surprise me. It’s a question I get asked alot and to be honest, I ask myself on the occasional low moment. “Why perfume?” was certainly front and centre last Wednesday while driving on Highway 20 to the Dorval Public Library with over $2000 worth of perfume in the car, my laptop and speakers, packages of scent strips and a ham and cheese sandwich for supper. While driving through the snow with both hands on the wheel and the radio announcer warning people not to go out unless it was “absolutely necessary”, I’m thinking… “I’m giving a perfume talk… major necessity! Right?”
My second thoughts were, “Where are the police escorts? What are all these idiots doing on the road? Trying to get home from work… puhleeze! Some people really do take themselves WAY too seriously!”
Anyway… I got there in one piece. Gail helped me with my wireless Internet connection. Roland gave me words of encouragement… he’s been my biggest supporter from the beginning. Beverley helped me set up and later hand out scent strips, while Carl helped me to print out the list of perfumes for the evening. And then they arrived… 10 fearless people who risked their lives to attend a 90-minute perfume lecture… my kind of people! They were mostly 40-and-over Quebeckers. To them, a snowstorm is just a minor inconvenience. Laura even drove out in the snow to get her mother to attend the talk and Elizabeth came back after leaving the library. Imagine!
In the darkness, I could see people smile as I spoke about Crêpe de Chine and Diorissimo. As the images of Gabrielle Chanel and Audrey Hepburn flashed across the screen, they murmured. There was a reverential silence during classy Carole Bouquet’s “Tu me détestes n’est-ce pas?” commercial for Chanel No. 5 but they laughed when a young Alain Delon got splashed poolside during an advertisement for Eau Sauvage. And as Jacques Polge explained what aldehydes do to perfume, the snow swirled outside swept up by the frigid 60-kilometre per hour wind gusts. But nobody cared about the weather… only No. 5 mattered… and Shalimar… and Mitsouko… and Cuir de Russie… and Givenchy III… and 15 others. We all stopped in the middle of just another mundane snowstorm in Montreal to honor the great ones… Ernest Daltroff, François Coty, Ernest Beaux, Jacques Guerlain, Edmond Roudnitska and Germaine Cellier. I like to think that they were looking down at us… smiling… as we stopped and paid homage to their great chypres and ambers and florals and leathers.
When it was all over and everyone headed out to their cars, Monique who likes to wear Diorissimo in the spring, insisted on helping me with my many bags. “Why make two trips when you can make just one”, she said. Perfect sense, I thought. You don’t hear alot of that much anymore… which brings me back to driving through a snowstorm to give a talk on perfume… absolutely perfect sense!
I’ll be back next week with a perfume review…