Ada: Mom, what's that smell?
Husband: Hmmm. I think that's Mom's perfume.
Kirie: What's wrong, don't you guys like it? It's one of my favorites, and I've been waiting to wear it, and today just felt like the day.
Ada: It's too strong.
Husband. Yes, too strong. I don't like it.
Kirie: But doesn't it smell warm and, you know, exotic?
Ada: Mommies don't smell exotic! Mommies need to smell like mommies, Mom!
So much for exotic. And warm and spicy. The perfume in question is Yves St. Laurent's classic, Opium. I have loved this scent since I was 12 years old. It's one of those great scents that changes moods all day long--powdery, sandalwood, sexy, cinnamon, cumin, green-sap and sugar-musk, then powdery again, where it lingers like a sweet memory for a few days on your clothing.
I fell for Opium when I was in junior high. My music and voice teacher wore it as a signature perfume, and because of that, it signified all that was special and dramatic to me. Stevie was vivacious and beautiful, with a huge, bell-like voice and the presence to match it. Though I've worn the perfume long enough to establish new associations to it, the first note always sings "Stevie."
So, phooey to my clan--I'm still going to wear it. Just not for long roadtrips in the car.
Later I prodded Ada a bit on what exactly Mommies smell like. Her answer: soap and milk. And that is definitely not exotic.
The photo is a rare shot of me, taken by Ada. She points out that "You do not look exotic in that picture, either." No kidding.
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