In the same primary school year that I wore shorts every day (as a well insulated chubby kid), I learnt my first French word, ‘fenêtre’. Sure, it was impossibly close to the Italian translation of ‘window’ but I was stoked because at 8 years of age, I KNEW 3 languages.
For the remainder of the year, our wonderfully accented Mauritian-born teacher would welcome the end of each book she read with a smile before translating something from the book verbally and then by chalk. It would be a further 5 years, and on the day of Kris Kringle, before the next teacher taught me another French word – or in this case, two.
As the bell sounded for ‘Lunch Time’, my teacher approached with a smirk and her KK gift in hand.
Let the record show that only a few hours earlier, i’d spent the most part of ‘Morning Recess’ working my way up from Dunce to King in a tense 4-Square tournament. As the King, it was my call when the game would re-start, and so I entertained her company for a bit..
“What flavour perfume did you get, Miss?” my 13 year old comedic self posed. She didn’t answer but instead held the bottle before me in one hand whilst she pointed to it with the other.
“Sorry Miss, I’m not sure what brand that is because I don’t know much about perfume – if it wasn’t for Kate Moss, I probably wouldn’t know about aftershave either.”
Patiently, she began, “That’s not the brand name, but this is actually aftershave.”
Unlike the 8 year old trilingual version of myself, I felt completely dumb as her finger still pointed to what I could now see were two words. I had no idea what they meant, so all I could offer were accentuated long versions of the words ‘oh’ and ‘yeah’, “Ohhhhhhhhh, yeaaaaaaaaah’, while nodding as a distraction rather than in understanding, and then continued with the ever reliable cover up, “I got confused with something else”.
It was here that my final (and only scented) French lesson took place as the now lid-less aftershave bottle circled beneath my nose as I heard the words:
Pour. Homme. Means. For. Men.
As a French lesson, that was perfect in every sense. However, today’s (begrudgingly only bilingual) version of myself doesn’t agree with the application of the last two words as a category for something that we adjudge via a sense… the manner of choosing our ‘fragrance’ is based on personal choice and preference.
The same principal need apply to your home, and just like an aftershave or perfume choice, it requires a little bit of effort for a lot of reward. This means testing, maybe some research, product sampling, lots of sniffing, and asking ‘This one?’ (insert pause) Or this one?’ questions to someone you may have bought along as you take it turns to sniff aromas repeatedly in comparison, ‘just to be sure’. Whatever the case, sample a few individual fragrances or even combinations until you find one that is, “Pour Vous”
We interrupt this post for a quick and (unscented) French lesson.
Pour. Vous. Means. For. You.
Ultimately, you will find your scent as a candle in a glass jar with a lid that provides a lingering (not overpowering) scent, with a long-lasting wick.
Not only safe and practical, they make for beautiful decorations around the home – whether it be with the lid still on, or how they glow (and some even crackle) whilst burning, or even when emptied and used as a jar again.
If you do go down this path, I implore you again to make the effort to reap the ongoing rewards, and be sure to heed these words on your Olfactory Adventure: