Years ago I read Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. It was one of those books that fell in my lap at precisely the right time – impacting my life in profound ways. Captivated, I tried several other Robbins books but they never grabbed me enough to finish them. I had totally forgotten about that book, and that time in my life, until I read Alyssa Harad’s delightful book Coming to My Senses : a Story of Perfume, Pleasure and an Unlikely Bride. Once again I am thinking about smells. About the act of smelling, and how scents, in this case perfume, can shift the way we percieve the world and ourselves. Her book has me longing for a more fragrant life.
Harad was a self-described mall-hating, practical-shoe-wearing feminist who had disavowed all things feminine when she discovered a sub-culture of bloggers writing about the scented world, and shockingly, her own passion for perfume. She starts out plagued with shame and guilt about this “frivolous obsession”, but evolves into a self-proclaiming perfume-lover eagerly assisting others in finding their signature scent.
Harad had me wondering why I had stopped wearing scents, and how I’d lived so long without them. Her book somehow gave me permission to begin buying tiny bottles of wonderfully described perfumes created by small perfumeries I found online. I may work in a fragrance-free office, but my private life is once again filled with fragrance. Yours could be too. –Erin