You’re probably not surprised when I tell you that I’m what they call a “low-maintenance woman.” I do wear makeup, but only a little; my idea of a manicure is two minutes with nail clippers and a file; and my visits to beauty salons are pretty much an annual thing.
But every once in a while, I do have occasion to get gussied up, and when I do, I like to smell good. Not that I usually smell bad (at least I don’t think I do), but sometimes I like to smell like something more than soap and water. I like to wear perfume. It’s a silly little thing, I guess, but it makes me feel pretty. Besides, Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man likes it when I wear perfume (he calls it SmellWell).
Trouble is, I tend to like the more expensive stuff. But forty-dollar bottles of Eau de Whatever are not in the Blue Ridge Blue Collar budget. And that is why I am grateful for perfume samples.
I’m not picky, though I do favor Beautiful and Pleasures (or maybe it’s just the pictures of cute children and puppies). It’s not as easy as it used to be to find the fragrant pages in magazines, but they’re still there, especially in holiday issues. I look for them in the recycle magazine pile at the library, I look for them in waiting rooms, and I pick them up in the homes of friends. I’ve gotten so I can sniff them out like one of those pigs that looks for truffles underground.
I like them, not only because they’re free, but because the scent you get from using them is light and subtle—barely there, really. A couple of friends who have allergies and usually find perfume unpleasant say they can’t even tell when I’m wearing the sample stuff. Believe me, I know what is it to be stuck in an elevator with folks who apparently dumped half a bottle of cologne on their heads before they left the house. They always seem completely unaware of the noxious, choking cloud of overpowering scent that emanates from their bodies.
So thank you, perfume companies for your samples. I’ll confess that I never buy your product, but sometimes when a friend or stranger catches a whiff and tells me I smell good, I tell them what I’m wearing. Just think of me as a walking advertisement. Only I’m cheerful and happy to be smelling good—unlike that sullen, petulant model in your ad.