Monday, May 18, 2009
About a year ago, I went to my favourite local haunt - down the block, seriously tiny, though somehow it sells everything on the planet - and discovered Pivoine by Esteban Paris Parfum. I'm inevitably drawn to florals (what a surprise) with a hint of green chypre. For example, Chanel 19 has been my signature perfume since I was 14, though I fear I may be on the cusp of outgrowing it (it's a very youthful scent).
At any rate, I do love a chic floral, as long as it's natural-smelling and not banal, which is where the mossy chypre comes in. I bought the Pivoine and wore it happily until it was gone, assuming it was a one-bottle experience. (I like to rotate through a well-edited sampler of scents - many of which are momentary, though I enjoy them while they last.)
But here's the thing. I finished it about 2 months ago. Since then, I've reached for it numerous mornings, while searching for something elegant (but not overpowering), sexy (but not girly) and optimistic. Apparently, none of my other perfumes is quite hitting the mark.
Don't get me wrong, I love my 19 (Chanel), Iris Nobile (Aqua di Parma), Bluebell (Penhaligon), Bryant Park (Bond No. 9), Terre d' (Hermes) and even the cusp-of-synthetic Musk (Body Shop). But Pivoine filled a niche, just right, and I've decided that it might be a staple.
This sparked a consideration of how my acquisition patterns and motivations have changed over the past few years. I've always been brand loyal (till I'm not) so it isn't unusual for me to buy the same line of lingerie or t-shirts or chocolate or jeans, year in and year out. I mean, the fact that I have had a signature perfume since adolescence is a sign that I am motivated by constancy - and that I know my own tastes.
And yet, as I near my forties, I feel such conviction about the correctness of any particular purchase. Increasingly, the procurement experience - and the trigger of long-standing associations - cinches the sale. I buy much less than I used to but, what I do buy, is a memory in the making - an enjoyment as I go about my day, occasionally reflecting on thing x or y or zed.
I suppose you're not surprised to learn that I went back to the haunt and snatched up another bottle of the Esteban on my walk home from work. Sprayed some on my wrist for good measure. Delightfully, it was just as I remembered.