Dad's Memories

- 27 August 98 - 27 August 98

"Bidets to Bullfights"

c - Arthur J. Langdon -1970

013f -- Nice - "French Parfum for the females of the family" -- 013f

There are bedroom things and frilly things

and expensive panty hose,

and things for sale that challange -

the fancy tastes of those.

For extravagance and luxury their very

tastes arose,

to find that only in perfume you pay -

right through - the nose!!

The everloving had decided before leaving home that perfume from France was what should be sent home as a gift to the feminine contingent in the family. She also wanted to bring her own quota up to par. So, knowing the prices of all these perfumes back home - our walk stopped at the first tax free perfume shop that got in our way. Everloving went in "just to get a comparative evaluation" on what she knew she wanted to buy, and since I hate shopping in all its fazes - I just stayed outside the store to watch the girls go by and sort of get the lay of the land. After too much time had passed for an "evaluation of prices" and out of a concern for a lone woman in a strange environment, I magestically entered the perfume shop to see what was going on.

It was immediately apparent that the prices were right and purchase was in progress. Lady fair, in keeping with accepted practices of the female group - did not commit herself to any specific product and allowed the salesgirl to wander through many varied scents, stinks, and smells until a few were decided upon to try. This, although mama knew before hand what she was going to BUY, but looking at the others would be an indication of what the other girls were using.

The technique used in trying out perfumes is not too complicated. The salesgirl says, "Madame - this is a real new one called Use it and run like hell - or be prepared for the consequences". She then sprays it on the left arm between the wrist and elbow, blows on it a minute to simulate how it will be a long time later and then the prospective buyer flexes her elbow and makes an appropriate face. If the result is not favorable, the salesgirl will push the left arm into the nose of the husband in the hope that something dramatic will happen.

Left arm is shot, we still have another to go.

"Madame - this is one of our new creations and is causing a revolution in the industry. It is called Don't use it - if you can't fight him". This, sprayed on the right arm, properly breathed upon and snifted - mama says something like "ugh" and the sales girl pushes the right arm up to daddy's nose and says - "Try it Monsieur". So, you take a big sniff ..... and grabs your everloving tight in your strong arms ... press her to your hairy chest .... and try to bite off both ears in unrestrained passion or something. But, due to the uncalled upon strength of the sprayed one, and with the added help of a big brute who has somehow remained hidden in the background, you are pried free and no serious damage results.

Although mama herself does not particularily care for this particular scent, she buys a large bottle of it - perhaps for use on those rare evenings at home when there is no Eastern Star meeting, or Amaranth meeting, or public health meeting, or a gathering of the church social workers ... with the intent that... boy-oh-boy if it has that effect ... this is what our marriage has been missing. The net result will be that the large bottle of Don't use it - if you can't fight him will remain intact because of the pressures of other duties, with the cap unscrewed until the contents evaporate. Unscrewed is perhaps the most descriptive word to use in the circumstance.

At any rate, all the daughters and daughters-in-law were sent perfume - selected according to the calculated guess as to how much stimulant was needed in each individual case.

Our first day at Nice was nice. We took a bus tour to nearby Monaco, went through buildings erected by the Romans before the birth of Christ, still standing in good repair, and with people still living in them. Then, to better understand our experience of the day before, we went through a perfume factory, where we were told that it takes two hundred and fifty pounds of flower petals to make one ounce of concentrated extract. The petals are spread on pork fat for three days, removed, and fresh petals replace them. This process is repeated for six weeks and then the pork fat is put through a distillation process. The stills, retorts, etc. are much like the standard lab equipment, and the distilant is used for the perfume. The residue is used to scent solids - such as soap.

Index - Uncle Art & Aunt Clara's trip to Europe - 1970, "Bidets to Bullfights"

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