i’m a notoriously bad gift-buyer; the whole on the spot thing unnerves me so that i refuse to go running for some improvised left over. i’m even worse to buy gifts for… the proverbial looking the gift-horse in the mouth story. it’s not that i don’t appreciate gifts, but there are few people that know me well enough. yes, yes, i know it’s the thought that counts but often the thought stops at a sense of obligation and it shows. the grab gift on the way to party thing not only lacks thoughtfulness but testifies to the low priority that person occupies in your life. never be surprised if i arrive at a birthday party with my hands waving as the portuguese say.
in my defense however, i might just arbitrarily be at the perfume counter smelling something that reminds me of you and birthday or not, i’ll send it over quite unexpectantly…
such was the case when i last found myself at the christian dior counter with my mother… the competent assistant, ironically called ‘rosemary’ invited us to have a seat and that’s when i knew something was up. my mother, who has learnt her lesson in buying gifts for me when i accidentally gave it back to her as a chistmas gift, suggested we go together to choose a gift for my birthday. having been low in the fragrance department, i innocently suggested such and there we were with rosemary introducing la collection privée.
needless to say we had to go through the whole collection and when it came to deciding i was convinced of the dark sensuality of eau noire… sufficiently spicy but with a bitterness - quite perfect for me i thought.
my mother who only lives for making everyone happy was also delighted although she preferred the more woody leather oud.
through this all rosemary was entertaining us with french interjections of her aspirations to work in ‘payree’.
I must concede that the entire collection of perfumer françois demachy has a layered finesse that embodies the elegance of dior. i found the range, inspired by the fashion house’s long history of style and sophistication, refreshingly sensible - the simplicity of packaging and the sheer volume of 250ml of provocative bliss. the collection of scents all have a confidence which i can only image originates with the traditional preparation methods and use of noble ingredients.
this beautiful kaleidoscope of the senses of course didn’t have such a happy ending though. after rosemary carefully wrapped the gift and the olfactory din of an hour’s worth of spritzing subsided, my head cleared for the first time from this perfumed dream only to realise the assault of the price tag. knowing my mother’s financial position and the almost embarrassed look on her face, i had to remedy the situation by exclaiming that i was suddenly not so certain which one i preferred. her relieved sigh was counterpoint to rosemary’s disappointment, but the aspirational assistant quickly recovered and presented me with a selection of these delectable samples to try at leisure and in good faith of me returning. full marks for rosemary and although my mother apologized profusely, i assuringly reminded her that it is the thought that counts.