Once in a while, you come across a perfume that you know is worth your while. You recognize at first sniff that this is so, and it proves as much to you over the course of the day.
After a few weeks of cycling through my Atelier Cologne Perfume Stories set, with small vials of mostly linear fragrances (of which my favorite has been Clémentine California, which I would describe as grapefruit-woody but has clementine, juniper berries, and vetiver listed as main notes), I shifted gears to try out Andy Tauer’s Une Rose Chyprée.
I was immediately delighted by an unapologetic opening of cinnamon as though I were inhaling mulled tea, gradually revealing the fresh greenness of the modern-chypre character. As promised, a dark rose danced around like a translucent phantasm, adopting a powdery amber facet—that’s more like the amber I remember from a bygone era! This perfume was complex, and it took several hours to get to know even for the first time.
There’s no denying the quality of Une Rose Chyprée. However, that doesn’t mean I like everything about it. When I first smelled the nozzle, before spraying it, it reminded me of… disinfectant? And the powdery part of the drydown—I’d rather it weren’t. Yet, as a whole, this perfume is beautiful.
To milk a dry cliché, if I embrace a wild rose, I’m going to get pricked by a thorn or two. If I get too close sniffing a flower in someone’s landscaping, I’m going to get a streak of pollen across my nose (this actually happens to me).
Now, to pay off the gray word clouds that have been foreboding an analogy: Sometimes the price to pay to have meaningful interactions with people is to get rubbed the wrong way—the natural result of which is to get, involuntarily, a little irritated. We may all be in a cosmic game of whack-a-mole, where we react to (whack at) things popping up in every which direction—and, in a parallel universe that intersects with ours at the most inconvenient times, we pop up erratically in others’ lives, and endure their whacks at us a.k.a. when they react to us the only way they know how in that moment, with the unique set of knowledge and experiences that their lives thus far has conferred them. Even though we may never understand it.
Despite the idiomatic stars circling around the illustrative space inside our dully aching skulls, the totality of the interaction is worth it.
So we wear the Band-Aid of bafflement, and move on.
One way, or another.