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RAB MCNEIL: Reader, I’ve bought perfume (again)

Rab's done it again. He went and bought perfume.
Rab's done it again. He went and bought perfume.

I’ve done it again. If madness is making the same mistake over and over, I must be aff my heid. Yep, I’ve gone and bought a male scent thingie. Again.

Don’t know why I bother. What’s the point? You can’t really smell ’em.

All right, to start at the beginning: why would a man in my position – unsophisticated, anorak-wearer, aficionado of oven chips – want to invest in male scents in the first place?

Well, I like a good pong as much as anybody: the reek you get occasionally from shower gels and the like.

‘Some to make me a man, like…’

I wanted something leathery and woody that would comfort me during the day, and give the illusion that I was a man, like.

However, I knew from experience that I can’t get the hang of these things. The first time I got one I blasted it on, after detecting very little initially.

Then I went out to an exercise class in a small room, and folk started commenting about someone over-doing the fragrance.

The best of it was that, as I had a beard, and they assumed it was aftershave, I got off scot-free. A clean-shaven cove, who looked the type to wear such guff, got the dirty looks.

Later, I learned you’re not supposed to be able to smell scent yourself because, if you can, it’ll be overpowering to others.

So what’s the point? I’m not buying it for others’ benefit. Not at those prices.

I went for the big one

Online, I find the decent ones cost around £160 for a wee bottle, though I got my latest one for 20-odd.

You say: “Well, there’s yir mistake right there, ya bawheid.” That is a good point well made. But I’ve bought quite expensive ones in the past, with the same result.

This time, based on Amazon’s advice, I went for eau de parfum rather than eau de toilette, which I’ve never liked the sound of. Literally toilet water.

Parfum supposedly smells stronger than toilette.

You know, Eau de bathroom…

I selected something woody, leathery, vaguely Arabic, but it was just the same as usual to me: Auntie Jessie’s bathroom cabinet, circa 1976. Eau de bathroom.

Perhaps I just don’t have a discriminating beak, or discerning senses at all. I read reviews of beers tasting like biscuits, bananas or pine trees, and think: ‘Have you not got one that just tastes of beer?’

My favourite beers actually have a beery taste. Don’t know what else to tell you.

I’ve learned where to put scent: wherever you’ve a pulse; so, your wrists, neck, that vein on your foreheid. But it never lasts, despite Amazon reviews saying it does. Well, every second one.

What made me do it?

You know what Amazon reviews are like: “This runs large”, “This runs small”; “Too bright”, “Too dull”; “Works perfectly”, “Doesn’t work”; “Cured me”, “Made it worse”.

I hope I’m never tempted again to purchase a less than flagrant fragrance.

It is anyway just a whim that I indulge when I haven’t had a threatening letter from the bank in a while.

You know the sort of thing: “Dear Bawheid, Once again, your outgoings exceed your incomings. Perhaps if you didn’t waste so much dosh on pricey pongs you’d be in a healthier financial state. Just saying.”

Fair enough. Henceforth, I’ll see sense over scents.

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