Saturday, 2 January 2016

Joseph, the beginning of a furry scented love affair

 Joseph peeps from the dizzying elevation of the kitchen cupboard

You may have noticed the absence of a Christmas post at Odiferess in 2015. Not even a measly seasonal greeting. I apologise profusely. You see, just before Christmas, my ordinarily calm existence was delightfully disrupted by the arrival of a new and wonderful friend – Joseph Cat. Perfume was far from my thoughts.

Joseph was an inmate at Manchester’s Millstream Animal Shelter, a charity that re-homes pets and provides life long care for the more feral creatures that are unlikely to find a loving human.

Joseph however is dead easy to love. In similarity to the other males I have adored, he's a curious type, a keen adventurer and a tad complicated. He doesn’t particularly like me hanging out with other men, despite those that he’s met so far being either related to me or gay. For the moment, we snooze together in a middle-aged stereotype of cat besotted woman, (plucked) Italian wool blankets and spoilt cat.

The centre of my bed, stolen

My perfume habits have been restricted as I try and get him used to ‘my smell’. At night, I have worn nothing, not even my beloved blends of essential oil remedies that I used to slather over my hands in bed. In the daytime I wear my most cat-like scent. A miniature bottle of Serge Lutens Clair de Musc which has always reminded me the scent of feline fur.  He seems to like it.

Joseph unsurprisingly smells like a cat. A subtle whiff that is barely discernible, given his excellent licking skills and cleanliness bordering on the neurotic. He frequently sleeps next to my face. I gave up trying to keep my pillows cat free about 3 nights in when the joy of being close to this purring pile of affection outweighed the hassle of having to launder my bed linen more frequently. On these wondrous slumbers, I bury my nose into his belly and inhale his smell. The sensation is one of warmth, closest in my memory to the smell of extreme heat on sand and dry stone experienced in the deserts of Oman. A very slight sourness is detectable, not unpleasant, but similar to a trace of fresh human sweat at the point before it stales. Whatever pheromones are contained within Joseph’s fur have an overwhelming effect on me. I’m fiercely in love and feel an urge to protect and nurture him, despite the fact that, as a cat, he won’t love me back with the same unconditional adoration!

Friends in perfume land played a role in influencing me to adopt a pet. Their blogs and Facebook feeds bombarded me with images of beloved companions. Vanessa of Bonkers About Perfume recently adopted the girliest pretty kitten on the internet, Truffle Bonkers

Truffle perfects the calendar kitten pose

Liz of Papillon Artisan Perfumes added to her gargantuan menagerie with the arrival of stud muffin Bengal ‘Baby Boy’ who rapidly impregnated Mimi with a litter of exotically spotted kittens (lucky Mimi).  Jicky, her elder feline sister must surely be feeling envious.

Baby Boy (there are more seductive photos of this handsome boy but I adore his squeezable nose in this shot).

It takes a lot of style to live up to a Guerlain inspired name, Jicky has oodles of it.

Undina’s beautiful ginger Rusty has long graced her perfume photos with a whimsical pose adding a uniquely personal touch to her blog. Cats are not known for looking 'kind' but somehow Rusty looks like a compassionate cat. I adore him. Whilst Gaspard, an elegant and comically spooksome black cat not unlike my own Joseph, resides with the equally elegant Alex, AKA The Silver Fox. Gaspard is king of the wild eyed pounce pose.

Undina's Rusty, perfume PR pussy

Gaspard, peek-a-boo 

Perhaps the most photogenic pets belong to my first and greatest perfume buddy, Saskia. Lubbe and Lano are her much photographed Weimaraners who reside with her in the Netherlands. Some years ago she likened one of them to handsome indie perfumer Kilian Hennessey, I think the likeness is detectable in the cheekbones and lithe figure. 

How to look oddly human, Weimaraner style

Perhaps the most famous pet in perfume land, is the black cat featured in the notorious 1960s adverts for My Sin by Lanvin. They chose to feature a moggy rather than a long limbed Oriental or a pampered Persian, a feline symbol of luxury. Maybe it's because this tough looking black cat represents the dangerous life of the street cat, hinting at the perfume's ability to render it's wearer feral and vicarious?

Thank you to my perfume friends for allowing me to use their fantastically characterful photographs.

If you know anyone in the North of England hoping to adopt a pet, please do consider a visit to Millstream Animal Shelter. They are reliant on donations and the hard work of volunteers to provide a safe space for some very vulnerable animals. 

Coming up at Odiferess this year, I have a stash of posts in planning for your consumption. The first of which will explore the concept of 'wearability' and discuss two scents that are impossible not to love, regardless of your tastes. I look forward my fourth year of getting to know my readers all around the world and I wish you a wonderful 2016 full of love and perfume.

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