“It’s not very easy to grow up into a woman. We are always taught, almost bombarded, with ideals of what we should be at every age in our lives: “This is what you should wear at age twenty”, “That is what you must act like at age twenty-five”, “This is what you should be doing when you are seventeen.” But amidst all the many voices that bark all these orders and set all of these ideals for girls today, there lacks the voice of assurance. There is no comfort and assurance. I want to be able to say, that there are four things admirable for a woman to be, at any age! Whether you are four or forty-four or nineteen! It’s always wonderful to be elegant, it’s always fashionable to have grace, it’s always glamorous to be brave, and it’s always important to own a delectable perfume! Yes, wearing a beautiful fragrance is in style at any age!”
 ― C. JoyBell C.

When puberty snuck up on me, a few things followed in her wake that caught me off-guard. Aside from the obvious, there came along came issues I had never had to deal with before like buying bras and wearing jerseys on hot days to hide my growing chest. There came a consciousness of the fact that I was slowly becoming a woman. Most importantly, there came the realisation that sweat had a smell. A really unpleasant one. Suddenly, personal hygiene became important. I discovered antiperspirants in all their forms (roll ons, sprays, gels)

My first favourite scent was some apple scented deodorant spray. I bought dozens of cans of the stuff. I thought I was the best smelling teenager in town. Of course, now I look back and think, either those cans ran out really fast or I walked around smelling like a whole harvest of apples….smh.

In Varsity I was all grown up wasn’t I. I needed a scent to reflect that so I sought out a grown up scent on a budget. I settled on Serendipity by Yardley. It was perfect. In retrospect, the meaning of the word serendipity perfectly suited where I was in life… happily discovering I was no longer a little girl but a grown woman…. the beauty of naivety…

Post Varsity and with a few more experiences packed under my belt I moved on to Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger. How ironic that at a time when I felt most grown up I chose a perfume for girls. Perhaps because despite my good and bad experiences in love, nursing my mother through brutal cancer, being head of home at a relatively early age, my freshly minted degree, my fresh forage into the world of formal employment and moving to such a big city by myself…. I was still only a girl on the inside.

 

4 years later, it’s that time again. Much has changed and with it, my taste in the scent that defines me. I can’t pinpoint all that has changed about me but I know for certain that I am not a girl anymore. If nothing else testifies to that fact then my age is evidence enough lol. This close to 30, I can claim my right to womanhood with no shame and I step into a new phase of my life cloaked in the scent that best tells of the woman I am…. L’eau by Narciso Rodriguez

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