In my last perfume review, I took an intimate look at the scent of my boyfriend, and explained exactly why I fell so head over heels for Opus Oils’ Dirty Sexy Wilde.
Now, I touched briefly on the concept of one’s own unique scent, and I mentioned that past paramours of mine have commented on my smell: I (apparently) smell of baby powder. Talcum notes dance across the expanse of my skin. Ha, imagine dusting me on a baby’s bottom!
Many of the past men in my life have told me that I am a study in opposites: my tiny hands, babyish face, and bouncy curls are but a mask for the hypersexualized reality of my personality. Impish grins and talc-scented skin hide the deviant within - or emphasize it, perhaps? How many men have commented, in the middle of the night, on the softness of my skin and the delicate scent that it emanates! Years later, I reconnect with them and immediately they say “I never forgot how you smell.”
And shouldn’t it be like that? Shouldn’t the mark we leave on those most intimately connected to us be one that never quite fades?
There is no greater memory-trigger than scent, none. I can tell you exactly how every man who has graced my life smelled, just as they can surely tell you how I smelled. I know exactly how I feel when I smell the fragrances so closely related to special times in my life, but I never thought about how I’d feel when and if I’d come across my own scent. How can I ever really recognize such a thing? Does one ever pay enough attention to oneself to notice something so intimate and fundamental to one’s being?
I’m not sure. I look at myself in the mirror multiple times of day but when it comes down to it, I see myself as a reflection of what others project onto me. I think I smell myself in the same way: I look for the honeyed, powdery notes in my sweat and I project onto myself all of those restless nights and bright mornings and I smell memories. I smell those whose skin has caressed mine, whose words spoke of desire and wanton lust, and whose breath echoed the soft silence of shared slumber.
Familiarity and seduction are the keys to every scent I’ve ever loved; an awareness of my contradictory personality, and a purposeful exploitation of it. As I write this review, I make a mental list of my favorite scents of all time. All of them are skin scents; all of them dry down to powdery whispers. They all become a part of me.
Thus, I’ve spent the past few years finding scents that fulfill my need to amplify the desire within me. Of course, I also love fragrances that don’t necessarily fall into the confines of my perfumed predilections. Still, whenever I find a perfume whose first whiff elicits a deep pang of familiarity, I hold onto it tightly and don’t let go. A “like me, but better” scent - a funny idea, but I think it can exist. I think I found mine.
Third Eye Blind’s “I Want You” played on my iPod, while I was on my way to visit my boyfriend last week. It is, in my opinion, the finest love song ever written. I realized that, despite having listened to the song over and over again countless times in the past 14 or so years, I never picked up on a lyric regarding scent:
“Here I am and I want to take a hit of your scent ‘cause it gets so deep into my soul.”
So funny that I never noticed that! Maybe I’ve always spent too much time focusing on the hook of the song: “Send me all your vampires.” Vampires! I was struck with divine inspiration. I travel with an assortment of fragrance vials with me, to dab and test as the mood strikes.
I pulled out Opus Oils’ Ode de Vampyre and applied it to my wrists, waited, and then sniffed.
Oh my god, oh my god! I experienced a moment of sensory confusion: I could smell the perfume, but it was something I had smelled before, a myriad of times - so many times, in fact, that I almost didn’t notice it.
(picture borrowed, of course, from the Opus website - I love all of the product options offered!)
Ode de Vampyre is my scent, bottled. The slightest hint of a spicy saffron mixes with this unbelievable powdery accord: orris and sandalwood, two of my weaknesses. A strong facade of innocence covers up the demon within - I get hints of rose, of resin, of wood, but they take a backstage to that beautiful babyish scent. Delicious, so close to the skin, and frighteningly familiar.
Is this the scent that strikes my prey? If it is, I completely understand now why I’ve always been complimented on my smell: I was simultaneously hypnotized and comforted. I spent that entire bus ride with my wrist to my nose, enjoying how the fragrance became increasingly honey-sweet and soft. In that moment, I came to understand myself in a new way; I saw myself as human and not, vampiric and haunting, smiling and open. Dangerous, flawed, fragrant. I finally understood the appeal.
And if I needed any more proof that Ode de Vampyre is Ode de Joey: the next evening, back in my room in New York, out of the corner of my eye I saw my boyfriend grab the shirt I had worn on the bus ride to Jersey. He held it up to his nose and breathed deeply, and then crumpled the shirt into a makeshift pillow upon which to rest his head. I couldn’t help but laugh - it was nice to know that my scent affected him so.
Ode de Vampyre is part of Opus’ Afraid of the Dark collection. I already reviewed Charlie #5, also from this collection. I highly recommend ordering the sample pack of these fragrances - $8 for four vials is a small price to pay for the ultimate in seduction.