While planning today's article, I asked my husband to help me find a couple of synonyms of a certain word. That led to something quite unusual in our household, a conversation about perfume.
Me: I need a word that would convey the same animal, primitive meaning as the F-word but be acceptable in a polite society.
Husband: What’s that for??
Me: Oh, an article I am writing…
H.: About perfume??
He comes up with a couple of suggestions, then:
H.: So why do you need those words if you are talking about a perfume?
Me: Well, this perfume smells like sex.
H.: What, like a musky smell?
Me: Wow. Well, yes, it is a musk-based scent.
He is silent for a while, then:
H.: So do you have this perfume?
H.: Can I smell it?
Such requests are very rare so I run to find my decant of Muscs Koublai Khan. Apply some to his wrist, some to mine.
H. (sniffs): Is this alcohol-based?
H.: I can’t get past that…
Me: Well, wait a little bit, it will subside, then you’ll see what I mean. Oh, mine is getting there already…
H.: (sniffs again): Yep. Yes, I see it…Smells like Hugh Hefner’s mansion the morning after the Saturday night party. Or like Caligula’s sofa.
We both digest those descriptions in silence, then:
H.: So if you could have a scent made especially for you, what would it be like?
Me: A woody scent. It would have cedar and sandalwood. Maybe some roses. A little of musk. Spices. Definitely cardamom.
H. (dreamily): I want a perfume that smells of bacon and coffee…