Monday, October 4, 2010

My nose in Italy, it's not about meatballs.

Annick Goutal's Petit Cherie, the same bottle I bought in 2004.
A teeny car parked in a strange piazza, although I don't remember which one. On the corner of Via del Giglio and Via Faenza I think.

Above: Via Cosimo Ridolfi 2, 50129 Firenze, Toscana, Italy

Six and a half years ago, during the spring semester of my last year in college, I lived in the building above. Thanks for taking me back, google maps. I was 23 in this last semester (I spent 5 years in college, go UMASS!) and was looking forward to living in such a historic city, drinking cappuccinos, and going on "la passegiata" after dinner. I did all this, and more, but to my surprise, I did it mostly alone. Maybe it is because most of the Americans that chose to study abroad that semester were 4 years younger and usually drunk. (Underage in America means bottoms up abroad). All I remember were Uggs, lots of Uggs, hot off the press. And juicy couture sweat suits. (you know you had one) I befriended some Italians but my Italian

So I strolled and I shopped, oooh did I shop! One day I decided it was time to purchase a perfume by which to remember Italy. I popped in to a perfume shop with a mission. Because I had never bought a real, grown-up perfume, I put my olfactory fate in the hands of the expert. I asked the shop girl to chose a perfume for me. If I were a perfume, what perfume would I be?

She took one look and decided that I was Petite Chérie by Annick Goutal. The perfumer describes the scent as being "reminiscent of a young girl's cheek that you want to lovingly kiss." Well, I don't know about all that, but... I wore this scent walking around a rainy Florence, writing, taking photographs, and listening to Aphex Twin on my first generation ipod. The time spent alone, in such a beautiful place, was pure indulgence. Smelling Petit Cherie now reminds me of the adventure that the 23 year old me started to madly crave. I guess if I had a signature scent of all time, this would be it. I buy new perfume every so often, but this is the stuff that grounds me, makes me feel like I'm walking on cobblestone streets again.

Petit Cherie Olfactory family: Fruity, floral, musky (pear, peach, musky rose, fresh cut grass, vanilla)