Friday, November 5, 2010

"So" my Perfume

When I was around 13 or so, I had a small obsession with my Aunt Penny. First of all, I looked more like her than my mom. Aunt Penny looked killer in red (as did I, according to my color wheel), wore lipstick, drove a stick shift, could tease her bangs in true 90s fashion, and had certain assets that my awkward pre-teen self truly desired. She was the coolest.

At our almost-weekly lunches at Los Cabos, she would laugh hysterically at everything I said. I never figured out why, but I didn't care. I was just so enamored that a grown woman besides my mom would find me fun to hang out with.

Aunt Penny wore So de la Renta perfume. To me, it was the icing on the cake. That perfume was so grownup! So womanly! So expensive-smelling! I had to have it.

So imagine my joy when, at my 13th birthday party, Aunt Penny bestowed upon me a magic bottle of the golden, treasured So (pictured above). I vowed to wear it and a bra at the exact same time, therefore proving my womanliness.

Yet I wanted to treasure every last drop. So I made a compromise with myself: I would only wear it to special occasions, like church and all those homeschool functions I attended. (I'm really upping my coolness quotient with you, aren't I?).

So I wore my So to my middle school graduation, first homecoming, as a bridesmaid in Shane & Jill's wedding, for good luck during my driver's test (I passed the first time, thank you very much!) and first cheerleading event and SATs, to my Hult Center concert, high school graduation, first day of college...

And even my own wedding and honeymoon. On the day I gave birth to Jack. So and I have been through a lot together.

A few years ago, Oscar de la Renta stopped manufacturing So. I was terrified. Would I be a real woman anymore without my signature scent?

My awesome mother-in-law stepped in, buying me a few more bottles online before they went. I was saved!

I still wear So. Yet lately, as the gold level in my bottle drops lower and lower, I've been thinking. About getting a new perfume. Gasp!

Yet I think it's time. I've been wearing the same perfume for a dozen years, and I love it (thankfully, so does Nick). But it's time to move on. To what scent, I don't know. But I feel older now, ready for a change of scentery. (Any suggestions?).

I think I'll still keep the last bottle, though. Maybe I'll smell it every once in a while, and remember what it was like to feel the longing for adulhood live in that strange, in-between land between girlhood and womanhood. For me, So encompasses both sides of the fence, so it's doubly special. They say scent is the strongest emotional trigger, and I think it's true.

So long, So. You've served me well. And thanks, Aunt Penny, for setting an awkward wannabe on the path to all things woman. :-)