Perfect Smells

31 Aug

Two weeks ago saw the end of my favourite bottle of perfume. It was an end both natural and unnatural, in that it ran out but also happened to fall into the hand basin and smash into indelicate shards. So that was that then – time to get a new scent.

I remember when I was fifteen my mother arranged some private tutoring for me and my sister. My sister was to get help with her Maths and I was to get help with my Irish (a complete waste of time, I thought, but still). And the tutor she found was an unbearably attractive 22-year old from Listowel with flowing strawberry blonde hair, a creaky old Citroën 2CV and the most captivating violet scent.


I was smitten immediately. I sat beside her and just drank in her aroma, nodding at the right places and trying in my fifteen-year-old manner to be charming while she teased out my Irish grammar.  And when it was my sister’s turn, I would be moved to the bedroom of the small house where her scent hung in the air, soaked into me and melted my unformed little heart.

That was the first time I really understood the whole concept of “woman”. And these days a white 2CV can still make me shiver, and when I catch that violet scent from some passing female my heart tries to climb right out of my body.

My Irish, understandably enough, didn’t improve one bit.

scentAnd then I remember my first big crush on a female of my own age. She wore white musk, and that smell alone could flatten me on the sofa with an aching heart for half a day. She left a scarf in my possession one time, and I must admit to sniffing it with painful sighs and even sleeping with the thing under my pillow.

So scents are immensely powerful, charging right into those dusty depths of our minds and dragging out long filed-away memories. And the “signature” scent of a cherished person is as much a drug as their skin, voice or touch.

So anyway it was time to get a new man perfume. And after a frantic help session on Facebook, aimed mostly at the people most qualified to judge these things (women), some web research provided me with a short-list, which was the following:

  • Kenzo – Air
  • Van Gils – Tendenza
  • Gucci – Pour Homme
  • Guy Laroche – Drakkar noir
  • Van Gils – Basic Instinct
  • Marco Polo – Pure Green
  • Diesel – Fuel For Life Pour Homme
  • Boss – In Motion

A long session of discreet sniffing in a few of Stockholm’s perfumeries gave me the eventual winner, which was – wait for it; the card please Mr Crystal – Basic Instinct from Van Gils! And I must say, I am very happy with it.

Now all that remains is to get a young female student or two of my own to tutor in order to imprint them and gets their hearts fluttering whenever, in the years to come, they happen to catch my scent or hear a snatch of “Danny Boy”.

No, wait, hang on, I’ll have to remove that last part, it’s just way way too pervy…

/ paddy


Posted by on August 31, 2009 in Ireland, Life


17 responses to “Perfect Smells

  1. Rolf

    August 31, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    “Now all that remains is to get a young female student or two to tutor in order to imprint them and gets their hearts fluttering whenever, in the years to come, they happen to catch that scent.

    No, wait, hang on, I’ll have to remove that last part, it’s just way too pervy…”

    Not to worry. She’ll imprint on your son, who is just about the right age anyway. Remember how it happened to you. B t w, who are you to take away from your son the kind of experiences you yourself had as a kid?

    When I was about seven years old I managed to embarrass the fifteen year old girl next door. In front of her parents I asked her to marry me…

    As for smells, I’m not much of a smelling man so I can’t really comment upon your wonderful story. I have noticed however the great difference in sweat smells. How is it that one smells wonderfully suntanned after sunning oneself, but smells disgusting after a sweaty day’s work?


    • paddyK

      September 1, 2009 at 8:39 am

      Always had a thing for the older ladies, eh Rolf? I guess outdoors sweat is full of happy hormones, and work sweat is full of nasty hormones. That’s my scientific explanation, and I’m sticking to it!

      • Rolf

        September 1, 2009 at 12:22 pm

        Unmasked at last…

        Btw, do you still use your old Skriva mailing address? It’s still alive at Korkek anyway.


      • paddyK

        September 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm

        Yes, it’s still active. Why, are you sending me a present?

  2. Rolf

    September 1, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    No, I was just wondering if you read all those postings… And if you saw the test mail I sent a couple of days ago. (What? You have no comments unto the Korkek avalanche??? :-)


  3. ladyfi

    September 2, 2009 at 8:24 am

    I’m very miffed that you didn’t include my suggestion of dog poo, or even wet dog… who knows, you might attract animals from miles around?

    Actually, on a more serious note – I do love the way you have described your sensory memories!

    • paddyK

      September 2, 2009 at 8:43 am

      No, there were all out of “Chien Humide”. And thanks, I’m also very happy with the text, don’t know where it came from…

  4. Muiris (Tallaght?)

    September 3, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Do you have the correct amount of self awareness?

  5. csrster

    September 4, 2009 at 10:51 am

    So you’re back!

    I unsubscribed back in the Spring when you announced you were stopping and I’ve been waiting for the third episode of “Swimming to the sun” since April!

    • paddyK

      September 4, 2009 at 10:59 am

      Sorry for not informing you in person but, you know, I’m a lazy git. Yeah I couldn’t keep away. I’m found my niche, it appears!

      • csrster

        September 7, 2009 at 9:12 am

        I’ll forgive you, but only because being a lazy git is always an acceptable excuse in my book.

  6. Glen Gordon

    September 6, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    “My sister was to get help with her Maths and I was to get help with my Irish”

    Wait, maybe I read that wrong but I assume that “getting help with the Irish” is a charming Gaelic euphemism for a day at the pub? Nothing like gettin’ help with the Irish every now and then, I always say. At least, it’s fun until the coppers escort you home. Lol.

    Anyways, I guess I must admit that a good whiff of some Aqua Velva or Old Spice passing by on the street sometimes tugs at my heart strings. But flowery smells just make my nose itch. :)

    • paddyK

      September 7, 2009 at 9:55 am

      Glen: Yes, we could all do with a little more Irish in us. Or hang on, that was possibly the wrong double entendre.

  7. Piggy in Helsinki

    September 7, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    So that list is made by empirical experience? What about Farenheit, a true safe card for men.

    So did any fancy non-rural girl teach Irish? Did she wear make-up? Or was she just young and clean? Look her up!!!! Maybe she fancied you too, a young little teen with a hard on….

    • paddyK

      September 8, 2009 at 8:45 am

      Piggy: The list is, as I said, made after discussing it with some experts and searching around on the web. Fahrenheit didn’t make the list (I think it’s a bit 1997, to be honest).

      Yes, I will look up the girl with the following google search: “tutor, Irish, Listowel, Citroën, hard-on”, since I don’t recall her name. Try it and see what you get!

  8. Piggy in Helsinki

    September 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Well, I got this result :

    But your parents might know the name. I was in love with my mothers nurse, she smelled disinfectant and sweat, but she was gorgeous. I later found out her name- Piia. I still don’t know her age.

    • paddyK

      September 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm

      I doubt she is findable. She is lost in the mists of time, and probably weighs about 150 kilos by now. Better keep the memory alive than face the harsh reality.


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