Comme des Garçons was (and is) a perfume that introduced in 1994, a year when I was the editor-in-chief of a small professional magazine, a shopper of some repute, and at what turned out to be the height of my career. I bought my scents mostly at Barneys (remember Barneys?) in part because I certainly could not afford (nor fit into) their clothes. Its name came from the fashion house that produced it, meaning “like the boys” and whose ads proclaimed that it “worked like a medicine and behaved like a drug.”
It was and is absolutely luscious. Their web site says the scents are “Labdanum, Styrax, Cedarwood, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Honey, Rose, Cloves, Nutmeg, Incense, Sandalwood.” It manages to be both exceedingly comforting and frankly erotic, like deep December holidays and Midsummer Eve at the same time. It was never a daily perfume, but it was always in regular rotation.
I wore the last of the last bottle last night. I am sure I could still find it, if I chose, but I am going to let it go. In all its loveliness, it brings to mind a part of my life that is now so much in the past that I feel as though a different person lived it. That is true. I could not let it go without a tribute.
ADDENDUM, June 6, 2022
Today was my 75th birthday, and in the mail today, came a gift from a couple very dear to me. They read this essay, they found that beloved scent, and made sure that I would no longer be without it. My heart is full.