Sauvage. J’adore. Joy. Miss Dior. Acqua di Gio. Bad Boy. Good Girl. You know a holiday gift giving season is upon us when the purveyors of luxury fantasy are beating down our doors to peddle their scents. A perfume or cologne is the perfect impersonal gift to define us. It’s a touch of elite aspirational branding that we can own for a relativity modest price. An entree into the rarefied air of expensive things that bestow status on the gift giver and recipient. A thing that has little inherent value except that which we invest in the idea of the brand. A vial we can give and receive without thought for the thing itself, yet be content that money has clearly been spent – a proxy for our affection for each other. And they all seem to have escapist names, mostly in languages we’ve romanticized and make us feel worldly. A little beautiful and meaningless lie we collectively choose to perpetuate as a necessary rung on the ladder of striving.
It’s amusing that fragrances are ephemeral and so are luxury brands and so is the joy consumerism elicits and so is the high of exchanging meaningless gifts.