I have just commenced two months paid leave from my job. This is ‘Long Service Leave’, and I’m eligible for it as a permanent member of the Australian Public Service. Yay me!
A lot of people use their LSL to travel, volunteer for an NGO, build an extension on their house, take a pottery course … that sort of thing. I’m not interested in or able to pursue those paths. I’m just gonna do … nuthin’.
Okay, not quite. I have some research and writing projects on the go (as usual), and I will do a bit of gentle gardening. I take a walk each day, and be there when my kids get home from school. I can read all day if I want, (at the moment it’s Raymond Chandler’s The High Window, and the latest novel by Australian author Alex Miller, called Autumn Laing). Sounds pretty good to me.
Of course being alone for a large part of most days means I can have extra fun with perfume. I work in an office so I have to be a light applier, normally. I can now throw that caution to the winds. This is a great chance, for instance, to really get to know some of those very intense Tauer perfumes that normally give me pause. I hardly ever wear his heavy incense and rose perfumes because they just don’t seem right for an average day at the office. And I can give Zeta and Vetiver Dance a good airing to see if I like them or, sadly, not.
I can get out all my Sonoma Scent Studio samples and work through them carefully, hopefully to discover if there is actually something in the base of some of Laurie’s perfumes that does not suit me. I have been suspecting this for a while. Better still, I can re-test a lovely clutch of vintage perfume samples sent me by a vintage perfume penfriend. These need special concentration.
And in a fortnight I will spend a week visiting friends in Melbourne, eating, drinking, going to shows, museums, galleries and – of course – perfumeries! I’ll be able to test stuff that normally I would have to pay to sample. Oh yes, I will probably splurge, but it has to be on something I cannot buy at home, or get cheap online.
High on my list is Klein’s Perfumery in groovy inner-city Fitzroy. They carry a good stock of Penhaligon’s, none of which I have ever tried. Then there is Peony, in genteel Hawthorn. Its range of Parfum d’Empire is all on special because it is about to discontinue the line. And there is always Paint ‘N’ Powder, which has for years had a prominent shop in Melbourne’s famous Royal Arcade. I don’t think they carry many, or any, niche lines, but they tend to carry a few of the more obscure Guerlains and so on.
The two major Australian department stores, David Jones and Myer, have mega-fragrance floors where you can spritz until the cows come home. They stock a few niche lines these days. And the full Jo Malone lineup. This is my chance to find a JM that I like, or abandon the whole lot as a bunch of overpriced nice smells. (Jo Malone prices are much higher in Australia than elsewhere.)
Enough! You get the idea!
Any thoughts on how to make the most of my perfume-cation (Olfactoria’s term) will be most welcome.