As I was taking my girls up to bed this evening, Faith’s eyes alighted on the homemade perfume we bought from a neighbour’s children as they carried out door-to-door sales on the day after Boxing Day.
Now, let me make it clear, that I couldn’t help but be impressed by the industrious and impressively enterprising response of those children to a traditionally slothful day of over-eating and laziness and that this did spur me on to pay the requested £3.50 charity donation in exchange for a jar of ‘mint perfume’, but since that day, the jar has remained forlorn, unloved and unused on the bookshelf by the door.
It may be unjustified snobbery on my part that has led me to snub a product designed primarily as a children’s craft activity, but I have significantly greater cause to be mistrustful of potentially unappealing perfumes than most given that I have no sense of smell. As a consequence of this physiological defect, I find myself unable to judge perfumes on their merits and am forced to rely entirely on external, artificial and not necessarily reliable sources to help me in my perfume choices.
There is a parenting issue buried somewhere in this post, I promise, and it revolves around the fact that my children have recently been introduced to the world of perfumery via a collection of Christmas gift sets. In theory, this appears to be a fairly harmless move towards the fast-approaching ‘tween’ years, but for me, it has brought a nagging feeling of uncertainty and worry about the future smells that may emerge from our house without my knowledge!
So far Ana has showed very little interest in the perfume collection, but Faith – always one to sniff out (excuse the pun!) a chance for mischief – has already begun to put it to use, albeit in a slightly more inventive way than that intended by the manufacturers. Since Christmas, she has managed to use up an entire bottle of her own Japanese Momiji doll perfume as well as her sister’s (goodness knows what she did with it all and what she may have being walking round smelling of!) and only last week I was forced to confiscate her Hello Kitty perfume when I discovered her spraying it all over the walls of her bedroom. According to her sister (only too eager to reveal all) Faith had also spent a happy afternoon last weekend using the Hello Kitty scent as a ‘strength spray’ which involved squirting it all over a birthday party balloon and then launching an attack to see how well it resisted destruction.
Given that the balloon survived, I can only report that I am now worried on many counts.
I am worried that my daughter may be wafting round school smelling of a Kitty’s boudoir; I am worried that my soon-to-be-teenage child may manage to escape the house cloaked in a smog of pop star-endorsed scent without me being able to advise against it; and I am worried that Hello Kitty’s ability to protect a balloon from the merciless power of Faith’s highly trained assault suggests that it is stronger than I may have first thought….and even I know that this is not always a desirable characteristic in a perfume!
For now, I will concentrate on advocating to my children the potential business opportunities in perfumery demonstrated by my enterprising neighbours and attempt to downplay the strengthening qualities achieved by the liberal spraying of cartoon character scents.
Hello Kitty do your worst, I am armed and ready with the very best homemade mint perfume!
First published by: Families Solent East 18/03/2015 11:41 am