Here at Perfume Anorak we are convinced that there is something rather magical about fragrance. Its ability to reach into the depths of our memory banks and take us back to a treasured moment from the past, the powers of attraction it seems to exert or the fact that one spritz of the right scent can lift our spirits like nothing else – surely there are greater powers at work here? Read on and find out how award-winning guest writer Laurin Taylor fell under the spell of Glossier You…
Last Friday, three things happened: a tiny sum of money landed in my bank account, someone from my past got back in touch and my train was delayed by fifteen minutes. None of this came as a surprise. Back in July, I signed up for a tarot reading course, and I’ve been consulting my cards every day since. That morning at 6am, I’d drawn the Ace of Pentacles, the Six of Cups and the reversed Three of Wands from my now well-worn deck – three little clues on how the next sixteen hours would play out.
By now, you are either intrigued or you’re rolling your eyes so hard they’ve fallen out the back of your head. If you’re in the latter camp, I understand. I won’t try to convince you, because I can barely convince myself some days. If you’re a believer, however, perhaps you’d agree that there is something quite appealing about seeing the future laid out neatly in front of you. It gives a certain comfort to believe that the hand of destiny rests on the small of your back, guiding you gently through the twists and turns as the day unfurls before you. If you already know you’re on the right path, you can look up from the map and just enjoy the view. You can bring a book to the station and look forward to the kebab you’ll buy that evening with your £5 lottery win.
Funnily enough, I’m less sold on the concept of pheromones, those sly chemical wingmen who consider it their job to sniff out your perfect mate. Nevertheless, the idea that they might exist holds a similar fascination. What if your destiny was written not only in the cards, but in your genes as well? What if the key to attraction was etched into your skin? Finding love – real love – is never as easy as movies would have us believe. If you’re lucky, there will be butterflies and goose bumps, but with that comes the fear of exposure. Putting yourself out there, making yourself vulnerable, is a tremendous act of bravery and hope. When you open yourself to another person, you bare all the places that are tender to the touch and you pray that they’ll be gentle. If pheromones are the real deal, couldn’t they do this dirty, messy, emotional work for you? They could be the gatekeeper and you’d be safe inside the castle – no soul could get through unless their heart was pure and their intentions were good.
There are a handful of fragrances that claim to enhance your pheromones and cast these love spells on your behalf. Glossier You does not. What it does claim is that “mostly it smells like you” and goes on to flatter that “the formula comes incomplete: You are the first ingredient.” This reads like a wink and a nudge. It’s all about YOU, but we’ve got your back. “You look good” is the first thing I see when I rip open the parcel. These are the words printed on the inside of the box. A cheer goes up from the crowd, urging me towards the playing field. The bottle is love at first sight – milky pink glass that brings to mind not sugary candyfloss and whispered sweet nothings, but the flush of rosy cheeks and the first buds of Spring. It even has a little hollow that fits my thumb perfectly, as if to say, “We were made for each other.”
Going deeper takes a leap of faith and an open mind. Glossier You will not be to everyone’s taste. It is unapologetically itself – bone dry, earthy iris with a smirk of pink peppercorn that comes off either as wry or prickly, depending on your sense of humour. These two do the talking while the fuzzy base of ambrette seed, ambrox and musk get on with it behind the scenes. They are the backup singers that allow your own voice to shine. Even when they go quiet, you can still feel their presence – warm, salty, cosy, clean. The thump of a beating heart. This is how your skin smells. The thin, soft skin on the inside of your wrist and just behind your ear.
I spent a few days with Glossier You, and I like it. I like it a lot. If this is what I smell like, I guess I must like me, too. In the end, I’ll take that over the pheromones any day. As Ru Paul reminds us, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” You are the first ingredient, but you’re also the last – the good parts, the dark side, the soft tender spots and everything else that lies hidden beneath your skin.
You can purchase Glossier – You, 50ml, for £45 here.