Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cologne for Christmas Again - Time to Stop the Madness!


One Man’s Plea to End 25 Years of Designer Fragrances

Every Christmas, for the past 25 years, I've received a gift of cologne from my mother-in-law. The trend continued this year as I unwrapped a bottle of Guilty Pour Homme, by Gucci. 
The fragrances occupy prime real estate atop my dresser and serve as a stark reminder I rarely use Eau de Toilette. After a quarter century, I'm hoping to reverse the trend of receiving a liquid that is as useful to me as a square bowling ball.
Bottled-Up Frustration
Why I receive an annual gift of cologne remains a mystery. The first few years were understandable, as shopping for your daughter's beau is no trip to the circus.
"I'm not getting him anything special," she probably said, "I doubt they'll get married."
But marry we did and the bottles continue to pull into the station on December 25.
Part of the blame is on me, as I never verbalize my perturbation. What am I to say?
"Thanks for the gift, Helen, but I've enough cologne to douse the French Foreign Legion."
Inventory of Elegance
Mind you the colognes are not cheap, but rather top names in designer fragrances. Whether a woody, floral musk or a sophisticated blend of basil, gardenia and fern, the scents have been collecting unabashedly.
A partial inventory includes:
Unbound by Halston (2003)
Good Life by Davidoff (1998)
Performance by Jaguar (2002)
Euphoria by Calvin Klein (2006)
Wings by Giorgio Beverly Hills (1994)
Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels (1989)
Casual by Paul Sebastian (1995)
Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Bean (1988 - 90)
The sad part is these fragrances remain in mint condition. Each bottle is unwrapped by the Christmas tree and given but one singular spray.
"That's smells great!" I exclaim yearly, then banish to the dresser with the other fugitives.
When Spritzing Makes No Scents
The main reason the bottles sit unused is my social calendar rarely warrants a function worthy of aromatic enhancement. And there's little hope on the horizon.
Certainly I'll not be invited to the White House, as the odds of winning a national spelling bee are minimal. I'd surely be stumped by a word such as "malfeasance."

I'm too old for the Easter Egg Roll.

And let's face it; being a member of a team that brings home the Stanley Cup is improbable. I have weak ankles.
Furthermore, casual use of the fragrances is not fiscally irresponsible. A jaunt to 7-11 to pick up International Delight French Vanilla Creamer does not require a dab of costly oil.
So the bottles sit. And sit.
Solution for Solutions
Throwing the bottles away would be a shame, as they still appear to have life. As far as I know there's no expiration date for cologne. I've had a bottle of Brut since 1980, and to me, it seems fine.
The Internet is littered with ideas for unused cologne and perfume. One dainty site suggests it can be sprayed on cards and letters as a token of friendship.
I'm sure my mortgage company would love breathing in a whiff of Escape, by Calvin Klein, upon receiving my overdue payment.
"This guy's always late," the rep would say, "but his correspondences smell terrific."
Of course there's always eBay. As my list reveals, many bottles could bring in enough money to buy what I really want, a Kindle (hint, hint.)
The point of this article, however, is not to solicit buyers for my extensive collection of perfumery, but rather to end its tragic stock piling. So Helen, if you happen to be reading, next year a sweater would be nice.

Or a tie. Or even a fruitcake. Just not cologne.
Thank you and have a joyous holiday season.




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