Fifteen years ago, my then-wife thought a trip to the fragrance store would be "fun." This was in the days when a trip to the mall was an exciting road trip for my kids.
She wanted perfume. This was almost exciting, like having a second glass of wine on a Friday when the kids are on a sleepover. Maybe. Just maybe, she recognized me as her husband, and not just the guy who entertained the kids and took the trash out. Maybe she wanted to get my attention. Maybe. Just maybe, she hoped I recognized her as my wife, and not just the girl who kept upping my workload at home to free up time to spend money and play online poker.
So I went. Yay, a mall. Yay, shopping. Actually, yay browsing.
(I hate browsing. Unless it's cars or tech. Even then, you've got 10 minutes - lead with your best pitch.)
So there I was, stuck at Perfumania or some such faceless discount smell store in the last chance mall, and I had license to get something I actually wanted. What to choose, what to choose? There were literally 18 million choices.
Ralph Lauren Polo? I wore it in the 1980s when it was hip, thinking it would help me with the ladies. [Ed.: it wasn't, past that one summer; it didn't. Ever.] Still smelled the same, like AXE after a polo match. Next.
Wait, what's that?
Yeah, that! I know that one. It was never hip, but boy did it help with the ladies (since a then-girlfriend picked it out. Believe me, it looked a lot fresher the first time and 15 years ago.) Anyhoo, if it worked once...
...yeah no. Nice try, though.
All those years, six addresses and [>1] encore trials later, there it sat in my medicine cabinet(s) until last weekend, mocking me for its disuse. It never recaptured that initial magic.
But maybe it never had it to begin with. Maybe it just smelled nice to somebody a lifetime ago, and there in the afterglow of a memory it should have remained.