Life-long Learning

I briefly entered another world today, a parallel universe where everything is shiny and subtly lit, where everyone is beautiful and where anything can be yours. At a price. I talking, of course, of Selfridges and Harvey Nicks.

The reason I entered these hallowed halls was because it was Mrs P’s birthday today and as usual I was stuck for what to buy her. I consulted our personal shopper, Miss P, before I left for work and she promised to give it some thought and would call me later.

The conversation went something like this: “Hi dad. Joe Malone,” “Who’s he?” “No, she, Jo Malone who makes perfume,” “Oh,” “Pomegranate Noir,” “Pardon,” “That’s the name of the fragrance,” “And where will I find this stuff, Debenhams? Boots?” “Noooo, try Selfridges,” “Where’s that?” and so on.

As it was chucking it down and had been all morning, I settled for a bit of web research first. From the potted history, I discovered that Jo is the daughter of a beautician and an artist. And that black pomegranates don’t come cheap.

Thunder rumbled outside, the rain poured and the clock crept closer to 3pm and I figured that a soaking was preferable to what Mrs P might have in mind if I arrived home prezzie-less, so I hit the streets armed with a small umbrella borrowed from a colleague.

By the time I reached the ‘rich quarter’ the top half of me was dry, but my trouser legs were flapping wetly. I tried Selfridges first, wandering it’s marbled floors, scanning the various brand names without success. An assistant shook a wistful head saying that they don’t stock Jo Malone and I should try Harvey Nicks nextdoor.

Which I did, wondering exactly which exit might lead me ‘nextdoor’ but I chose correctly. There was a bloke in a pink suit and top hat holding the door open for me. Why they can’t have the automatic ones that do at Morrison’s, I don’t know, and since he was better dressed than my bedraggled self, well it should have been me opening the door for him. But I didn’t, smiling sweetly.

Needless to say, the black pomegranate went down a treat with Mrs P. The point of Jo Malone fragrances/scents is that they are equally as much for men as women. And what you do is buy several sorts and overlay them depending on the time of day.

According to Chandler Burr:

“Her genius is not weightlessness — it is weight that floats and hovers in the air. It is solidity shot through with light.”

Yeah, right. Actually, her real genius is marketing:

  1. Create a smell that is equally aimed at men as women — doubles the audience.
  2. Said fragrances costs twice what you’d normally pay.
  3. And you have to buy four of them to ‘overlay’.
  4. And use four squirts instead of one.

Genius, but, sorry, when I’m rushing around in the morning getting ready for work, something that says ‘pour homme’ on the bottle does the cheek-stinging, face-slap trick for me.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

3 comments… Add yours
  • Elle 15th September 2006

    I would like to be sucked into Jo’s world but somehow I can’t find a woman who lives in a white house, with white furniture and stuff who only wears white herself AND HAS A CHILD quite scary.

    Or is that cleanliness-envy?

  • Yorkshire Pudding 16th September 2006

    Clearly you have discovered the fascinating world of “leisure shopping”! With regard to the rain, I have it on good authority that it is ALWAYS raining in Manchester so why not wear shorts to avoid long trouser wetness? Or have you got another problem that hits men of a certain age?

  • Shooting Parrots 16th September 2006

    Laura – a white room, with white furniture, is a sign of a diseased mind. I should know as I once worked with someone who had one.

    Yorkie – I realise that folk on the distaff side of the Pennines don’t own umbrellas becuse it blows so hard that they would be floating around like so many Mary Poppins, possibly drifting west to pollute God’s clean Lancashire air.

    Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t rain much in Manchester (unless Lanky need a clear day to win the cricket championship) which is why I don’t own one and so had to borrow from a colleague.


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