I went to Barney’s last night. (This blog title is a Barney Fife quote. I thought it would tie in. It doesn’t really.) Barney’s reminds me of Ferris Bueller describing Cameron’s house. “The place is like a museum. It’s very beautiful and very cold. And you’re not allowed to touch anything.”
Except you are. But they don’t want you to. Still, I trucked my allergized nose in there and headed for the perfume counter. Their onsite “nez” was actually spectacularly helpful and we talked about perfume books and both gagged a little over a bottle of S-Perfumes 100% Pure Love. She turned me onto The Different Company and their smashingly fruity and yet not candy-like Sublime Balkiss. As I’ve had to reapply it about 8 million times today, I probably won’t end up purchasing. BUT as soon as I can afford to take a perfume bath, this will be my summer pick.
Actually, the entire perfume staff was pretty low key and helpful. I was also one of maybe three customers in the joint. I wore one of what I call my “ambiguous financial situation” outfits. Not too dressed to the nines, or you look like a poseur. But not too junky, or they stare you down and check your bags. Heels. Always. A dress. Sunglasses, and sort of wind blown hair. The sort of look where you could have been just anywhere at all before you showed up. And then, don’t balk at prices. It’s perfume. You’ll need to wear it for a day anyway, so might as well indulge, right? She said, “smell this one. It’s like the L’Artisan, except, like 100 bucks cheaper.” I then, any acting coach would have been proud, took a second with whatever bottle I had in hand, set it down, and then said gently, “Hmm? Oh. Yes. Very nice.” And then picked up the expensive bottle. Sure I did a little knee wobble a la Catherine O’Hara in Best in Show on my way out (damned heels), but up until then, I sold it. Where are directors for these kind of performances? Why can’t I sit them down in the shoe department of Saks, slip them a headshot and whisper “watch”. Then I’ll sidle my way over to the Manolos and sigh, “Ugh! No fall line yet!? Alright. Bring me the black slingbacks in an 8 and put a fire under it.” Then I’ll wink back at the director who will immediately cast me in something glamorous, and buy the manolos as a welcome gift.
And now I’ve slipped off into dreamland once again. See how perfume does that? I should come up with a scent called “In the Now”. It will be a combination of salt, iron, oakmoss (I just really love oakmoss), and dirt (freshly tilled). The ad will read, “A scent created to ground you smack dab in reality. A streak of oil highlighting the cheekbone of a young James Dean. Sweat on the brow of the farmhand. The clean smell of a cotton tshirt mixed with the musk of a hard day’s work.” Perfume critics will rave over it’s earthy intenseness. Luca Turin will say, “Is that…blood Perhaps, gasoline?” It will be considered one of the grand masterworks in all of perfumery. And it will never sell. Why? Because Mariah Carey’s butterfly monstrosity and Paris Hilton’s eau de Skank DO sell. That ain’t reality. No matter how real it is.