Each and every single time I go into my bathroom and closet area, whether it’s time to get dressed, wash my hands or (heaven forbid) actually use the bathroom (alone!!), it’s not long before I am surrounded by one, two or all three of my boys (naturally, my black lab follows them, too). They have a way of knowing when I want privacy. I often brush my teeth and threaten my kids at the same time. I ask that they stop fighting and/or practicing karate on each other. You’d think I (or they) would give up by now. But no, not at all. They love to open my drawers, rummage through my belongings (not all appropriate for my young children), and lastly, they love to sample, spray and touch my perfumes. Everybody who knows me knows that I believe you can never have too many black bags, shoes, dresses or perfumes. I often (actually always), finish a quick shopping trip by sampling and sometimes purchasing a new scent. Bottom line: I have a lot of perfumes and therefore my boys have a lot of material to work with in the bathroom.

One night recently, as I was drying off after a shower and getting ready for bed, my middle son handed me “the round nice perfume.” (Cacharel’s Noa perfume.) Ironically enough, my middle son’s name is Noah. He handed me the perfume and insisted I put “the bedtime perfume“ on. I was impressed. Out of the 20 perfume bottles that sit on my vanity, Noah picked the one I always, without fail, put on before bed. The scent is light, airy and soft. Putting on perfume before bed reminds me of my own mom’s bedtime rituals and my childhood good-night kisses. Ironically, I had recently switched my night perfume. I guess Noah was asking me to stick with the old and ditch the new.

The fact that Noah paid close attention to my choice in perfume was surprising, but what really got me thinking about the significance of fragrances was an equally surprising comment my oldest son made. I was tucking him into bed before heading out to an adults-only birthday event. As I kissed and hugged him, he asked that I hug him a bit longer and tighter. He said, “So your pretty smell stays on my pillow. I’ll think about you when I fall asleep.” Come to find out, Dylan used the term “pretty smell” for the perfume I use when I have makeup on (which is rare), and have taken the time to brush my hair (maybe twice a year!). It’s funny that he knows that when I get dressed and go out at night I like more musky scents and usually use Cartier’s Baiser Volé perfume.

The two comments my sons made got me thinking about scents and the awesome ability a perfume has to take you back — sometimes five or ten years — right back to an exact spot and time in your life. A fragrance alone can put me under the chuppah, as a nervous and eager 25-year-old about to marry my husband. Likewise, the Chance Eau Fraiche for Women by Chanel can take me to the beautiful beaches of Barcelona, where my siblings, parents and I spent some wonderful summertime trips.

When I look now at my vanity and see the many (too many, if you ask my husband) perfume bottles, I can’t help but wonder if this collection really is a photo book of sorts? I often get upset when I grab a perfume that I swear I just bought, only to find the smell has faded and the liquid color has gotten yellow. Then, I smile and remember the time and place I last used the perfume. It was, in fact, a long (more than I would like to admit) time ago. The personal scents we use not only leave temporary aromas on our clothing and seat belts, but they leave a lasting, if not almost eternal, mental picture and memory. I guess that’s part of the magical quality of perfumes — both new and old. They represent time periods and places. If we do collect them, like we do memories, I guess I’m on the right track — you can never have too many. I’m not ready to chuck my digital camera or close my Shutterfly account just yet. I am satisfied, however, knowing that we can make and keep our very own memories. One more good reason to sample and perhaps buy that new fragrance.

Source: http://new.www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-dosoretz/perfume-fragrance-women_b_1919035.html

Perfumes hold a special place in my heart, as I believe in the power of the perfect scent. I know people who swear by just one specific perfume; in some cases they have used the same one for the past 15 years. I’m not such a loyal customer, though I do have my favorites for day, night and post-workout. That said, I don’t discriminate and I’ll give any scent that appeals to me a place on my vanity.

Recently, I complimented a friend on her particular perfume and asked where she had purchased it. This friend smiled, and told me that she would “have to lie about the name and the place she had gotten the perfume.” It turns out that the perfume was purchased at Target and my friend boasted that she had spent under 50 dollars on it.

This conversation was long forgotten until I found myself in a fix. I was at the gym when I realized I had forgotten to buy a holiday gift for my son’s karate teacher. (Trust me, she deserves a gift.) I had enough time to stop by Target on the way to pick up my kids. I made a mental note and finished the workout. As I showered at the gym, got dressed and put on my foundation, I realized I had left my “after workout” Stella McCartney perfume at home. When I shower at the gym, I am very careful — and slightly obsessive — about making sure I have all my necessary post-shower belongings with me. My perfume is just as important as the bra, shoes or socks I plan to wear. I definitely did not have time to go home for the forgotten scent, so I headed out the door without perfume and feeling naked.

Once at the store, I quickly found a gift for my son’s karate instructor. I then headed towards the makeup and perfume aisle. My jaw dropped at the sheer amount of fragrances available. (Plus, no annoying saleslady who insists on spraying the tester perfume for me.) I had a field day sampling every perfume (male and female) and placed a few well-priced scents in my cart. I was delighted: Not only did I find a few new scents I liked, but I also saved money! Maybe my friends were right and my expensive perfumes weren’t worth the price tag.

No matter the length of my shopping list, when at Target, I always manage to buy more than I need. As I loaded the car and made room for the bags, I started to scratch my arm. Florida is notoriously hot and humid, even in the winter months. I was feeling warm and flustered. My perfume extravaganza meant that I found myself running late for my son’s pickup. I ended up shoving everything in the trunk. I cranked the air way up and pointed all of the vents right towards my sweaty and flushed face. At that exact moment I realized not only how much perfume I had tested, but also what an unpleasant (and strong) scent the combination of my sweat and the perfumes was giving off. I arrived at my son’s school and realized my cheeks felt hot and my eyes were starting to water. By the time I had my kids in the car, I looked horrible: my eyes were swelling and my arms and legs itched. I realized quickly that if I didn’t act fast, my face, legs and arms would probably be scarred for life (thanks to the non-stop itching and scratching.)

I quickly dropped the kids off at my mom’s house and dashed to the nearest emergency room. After some uncomfortable conversations with my newfound, just-as-desperate emergency room friends, I found myself face to face with a dermatologist who asked if I had done anything new or different. I was so embarrassed: I had tried on so many perfumes and lotions that morning that I had no idea which one might have caused this chaos.

Thankfully, this allergic reaction was nothing a Benadryl IV couldn’t fix. I laid in the hospital cot cringing each time the door opened and the wind flew in my face and hair. The strong mix of perfume was still going strong and had started to give me a headache. (Note to perfume shoppers: these scents lasted longer than four hours.)

Apparently, my immune system is not a fan of the widely used fragrance in perfumes, geranial. Geranial gives off a sweet floral and rose odor. No doubt one of the many perfumes I had tried contained this ingredient. Nothing is without a lesson, which is that I will continue to rely on my favorite (and expensive) brands for years to come.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-dosoretz/perfume-testing-story_b_2575816.html