Being a wino has its benefits. Before I started drinking, I never really paid that much attention to how things smell. However, when you're paying a couple of bucks for a bottle of wine, you get in the habit of trying to extract as much pleasure out of it as possible. Ultimately, what this means is that you really have to try your hardest to smell the stuff.
Last night, we opened a few bottles of wine: a 2002 Wishing Tree* shiraz [corked], a 2003 Clos de Gilroy [smelled of strawberries and sugar on the nose, but was more of a forest floor/brambly dark-berried monster in the mouth], a 2003 Three Thieves zinfandel [by mistake; didn't get a chance to taste it before it went back in the fridge], a 2002 Boundary Rider shiraz/viognier from Victoria [ultimately forgettable; tannins verging on problematic, with very little floral overtones from the viognier; a disappointment], and finally a Taylor Fladgate 10 year old Port [pretty much exactly what a port is supposed to taste like, and the only unqualified hit of the evening]. Yes, there were guests; no one got wasted.
So. Back to the perfume. I don't wear cologne; the closest I'ver come was an occasional splash of Old Spice from a bottle that was in my possession from approximately 1985 through 2003 [I threw it out during the move to Seattle]. That stuff smells like your Dad might; hence, I don't mind wearing some if I'm in an especially Dad-ish mood. Boo, as far as I can tell, doesn't wear cologne either. Still, he remembers wearing Drakkar Noir at some point, and seems to harbor a fondness for another cologne just because a man he liked used to wear it. Me, I'm no different; Andy Whitley, a young English bear I once had the good fortune to spend a couple of nights with in London, wore Gucci, and it smelled really, really good, especially mixed with his sweat and our cum. Yeah, it sounds gay - just say it out loud, Gucci - but somehow it worked.
After lunch, we decided to swing by The Bon to have a look at their perfume. Walked right past it, took a look at everything else in the store, and then realized that yup, it was up front all along. With the help of a fresh-faced, friendly young man, we got to sniffin'.
Recently, I'd read a book about Luca Turin, a French scientist who claims to have developed a novel theory of smell. Turin is perhaps best known for a consumer guide to perfume he'd published in France ages ago, the first modern review guide to perfumes on the market. Armed with the vague memory of that book, I was hoping to start out by finding something that didn't smell like shower gel, musk, fruit, citrus, or talc. I wasn't so lucky. I've got a headache at this point from all the different smells, all of which seemd to be pretty wrong for one reason or another. I was mostly surprised by the vast number of perfumes that seemed to smell like watermelon rind, papaya, or other fruits; there didn't seem to be much in the way of old-fashioned 1970s musk scents, and nothing stood out as being particularly unusual. From Davidoff Cool Water to Burberry, all of it smelled too clean, too fresh, too fruity, too boring.
I was hoping for something barnyardy, earthy, funky, slightly dirty, maybe a little bit fungal or metallic... something dark. Maybe it doesn't exist... or maybe we just need to go to Nordstrom in downtown Seattle.
* I've written to the manufacturers suggesting they rename it The Hugging Tree shiraz in honor of Lazy Bear Weekend 2004, but they have not yet replied to my enquiry.