Thursday, November 13, 2008

Franken-Body Splash

The bad news: This post is not about the Senate race in Minnesota. The good news: This post is inspired by an ongoing discussion I've been having with Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog about my tendency to "juice up" my drugstore body splashes with essential oils.

It all started, simply enough, with a bottle of pina colada-scented body spray. I received it as a gift (brand withheld to protect identity of the person who gave it to me - don't want to give away the game here) and was wearing it for a few days when I noticed that it was way, way too sweet for me. The coconut note in the spray wasn't even the fresh buko juice accord that I usually associate with fine sun protection products, but the overly cloying, candied coconut flavor that I associate with - yep, you guessed it - supermarket pina colada mix.

Well, then, I figured: Back in college I kind of liked the combination of patchouli and coconut essential oils, so why not juice up the body spray with patchouli oil?

So that's what I did: went to the nearest health-food store, bought a bottle of patchouli oil, and proceeded to goose up the aforementioned pina-colada fragrance with it.

If it was possible to come up with an after picture of what happened afterwards, the end result would be similar to pineapple soda:

Suddenly the pineapple was pushed forward onto the top note, with an uncharacteristic fizziness that came from the mingling of the "coconut" with the patchouli. The end result turned what could have been a garden-variety body spray into something that smelled like something I shouldn't be wearing for work - the olfactory equivalent of a Valerie Joseph cocktail dress worn with chunky jewelry and the strappiest of strappy sandals.

Mind you, the experiment is actually ongoing as we speak. I actually bought an oil blend called "Money" in Cleveland at the hippie/wiccan store Scribe and I visited on Coventry - it smelled intensely spicy, which I then proceeded to blend into a blackberry spray that turned too sweet on me. Voila - the refreshing (and un-candied) scent eventually became my lucky fragrance, since I wore it to all of my job interviews and has helped me land my short-but-sweet work experiences at my last two jobs. This same oil is currently being road-tested on another fruity spray that I've also started wearing to work.

There's something very Jo Malone about this - playing with the olfactory elements of certain fragrances to come up with one's own special signature blend - and I'll admit that it's a great way to make certain fragrances smell warmer or spicier, especially when the weather starts dropping. So far, however, I only do this with my inexpensive stuff, since there's more to go around and my finances don't extend to splurging on designer juice at my next trip to Sephora. For now, it's all about striking the perfect balance between sweet predictability and dark maturity - a sort of cautious optimism for the times ahead, if I should say so.

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