Shalimar, P.I.

nā-palm, Chanel no. 5 Eau Première, Shalimar Parfum Initial, WTF

Modern Girls Love Modern Scents. Or Maybe Modern Guys Love Modern Girls. Whatever.

I’m still trying to figure out where the heck this review came from.  I’m not even sure what it means.  However, I’m positive that it means something.  Well, almost positive.  Maybe.  I think I’ve been spending far too much time around artists lately.

In any case, Shalimar Parfum Initial smells really good, kinda like hot young women wearing Shalimar Parfum Initial.  I don’t know.  It made sense earlier.  Just read it.


A rusty pickup truck roars westward on I-70 across central Kansas.  The sole occupant, one Redneck Perfumisto, is making one long push from Lawrence to Boulder, Colorado, where he will meet up with his climbing buddies.  A plush Chococat toy, his silent, wide-eyed companion, sits in a hunk of climbing rope, hanging from the rear-view mirror as an impromptu swing.  The speakers blast electronica as the driver’s knees manipulate the steering wheel from below.   The bearded poser cowboy sways to the music, his elbow resting in the open window, as he uses both hands to thread brilliantly colored, high-strength cord through aluminum and titanium climbing gear.  The warm, humid wind whips tentacles of Chanel no. 5 Eau Première violently throughout the cab, as the scent emanates from the plush toy under the mirror.  The driver suddenly yells out “BASENOTES SALUTE!” as he sniffs his last drop of Shalimar Parfum Initial from one wrist.  Hexagonal aluminum cylinders, hanging from the hand next to the sniffed wrist, tinkle like badly tuned wind chimes.  The driver leans back, sighs, and lets out a breath that comes in somewhere between après-sex and good poetry.  For a few fading seconds, an image of a glistening boutique in Las Vegas flashes through his mind.  The memory takes flight into reverie as bottles shimmer and dissolve into streams of thought.

As the truck breezes past a highway patrol speed trap, going marginally over the limit, the patrolmen fail to notice either the cowboy hat or the odd driving technique, distracted by the riders in the bed of the truck.   One is a handsome young man, who looks oddly like Rob Lowe in mean, cheap shades.  The younger cop swears it’s a white rapper known as N.A. Palm.  The man’s arms are stretched out on the edge of the truck bed, one of them behind a riveting blonde in sunglasses who stares into an e-reader of some kind.  On the other side of the bed, another young beauty, dark and vaguely middle-eastern, talks expressively into a cell phone, shouting over the wind, the engine, and the hiss of speeding tires.  Looking backward, resting his back against the cab of the truck, a shirtless American Indian with a headband and a bone/tooth/claw necklace stares into the distance through his swirling hair, with an odd, panting white dog at his side.  The scene, frozen in time, flashes past the highway patrol car in a momentary burst of senseless sight and sound, rising and falling with the Doppler effect. 

The older cop looks at his video monitor, and points to the freeze-frame image of a Douglas county license plate.

“Lawrence.   And just when you think you’ve seen everything that particular municipality has to offer.”


“The nerve of that woman!  Calling me on my business line.”

“Chill, baby.”

“Seriously, Shal.  Just relax.  Mothers are all like that.  She’s just worried.”

“No, she’s controlling.   SO controlling.  You would THINK she’s been in menopause her ENTIRE LIFE.”

“Why don’t you just tell her how you feel?  That worked with my mum.”

“Totally.  Yo, babe – you do NOT want to be in a downer when we hit the mile high.  You dig?  Don’t let her mess with your game.  I say finish it here and now.”

“He’s right.”

“HOW?  The woman does NOT listen to me.”

“Don’t say it for her, babe.  Say it for you.  When she sees you’re real, it’s over.  All that other shit don’t matter.  It’s just words.  She needs to respect that you respect yourself.  You dig?  Whattayasay, Chief?”

“Word.  Youth respects age by speaking truly, even when it speaks against the old way.  This is how youth gains respect in turn.  Tell her your truth.”

“About what, may I ask?”

“About you.”

“AURRRRRGGGGHHHH!  She doesn’t even listen to word one.  How the hell….”

“You gonna take that ringtone, Shal babe?  It ain’t me.”

“Shalimar, P.I.  How may we help you?”

“Mother, please.  I am not changing my mind.  And I would appreciate if you would not call me on my business line.  I have a long list of clients who I need to transfer to new agencies.”

“Sorry, Mother.  I’m through with medical school.  And if you want the money back, I’ll just send a check.  OK?  I have more than enough of my own now.”

“Why can’t you give me a break?  First you criticize me for starting my own business, which was rather successful, I might add, and now you criticize me for quitting it.  Where is the logic in …..“

“Because it’s wrong, that’s why.”

“Mother, I’ve found a new way.  I want to RESPECT information.  I don’t just want to take advantage of it.  Just because I can bring technology to bear on something, doesn’t mean it’s right.  Even if nobody ever knows.”

“No, he’s not just some guru.  He’s the first person who doesn’t want anything.  In fact, he wants me to walk away from him and teach others my own thoughts – not his.  He says that Great Spirit will bring wisdom to me.  So I’m going out to Stanford with Eauie.  I’ve got some ideas I have to pursue.”

“Forget it, Mother.  Just call it off.  He doesn’t love me.  He doesn’t even respect me.  He loves Eauie.  She’s the only woman our age he even thinks is worthy.  All he talks about is Eau Première this and Eau Première that.  Why can’t you just accept it?”

“No – arranged marriage is a lie.  That’s why.  It’s more fundamentally wrong than slavery.”

“Mother, I’m not saying that.  Octavian is a wonderful man.  He wants to be with my best friend.  I would rather go through life alone than stand in their way.  If you love me, call it off.”

“No.  I refuse to believe it.  You KNOW that if Nellie had loved dad, you would have let her have him.  Don’t you get it?  I’m more like you than you want to believe.  Down underneath, beyond all the chemistry and biology, we’re the same.  There are greater truths that give us the same spirit.”

“There you go.  We actually agree for once.  See?  There’s something about us Guerlains that you simply can’t rub out.  Even my stupid, lovable sporto homeboy brother has it. But you and I – we have something truly deep.  No matter what you think, I’ll always love you.  We can’t help it.  We’re like twins separated in time.”

“Oh, phooey.  I may be pink because of dad, but down under, I’m just like you.”

“Mother, you’re still beautiful.  Don’t say that.  Men half your age still swoon for you.”

“No, I’m not being patronizing.  I’m being real.  I’m the way I am because of you.  But beauty wears differently in our generation.  If a girl want’s to be a tech leader and marry a dumb guy with a kind heart, it’s all good.  I can wear pink to a business meeting, and if some guy wants to make a deal out of it, I just let him look foolish and go on.  People may look at me funny, but I’m too busy being me.  I’m beautiful and smart and so are you.  But my time to be young and alive is now.”

“Dig it!”

“Oh, that’s nā-palm.  He’s Eauie’s summer fling.  It’s kind of a tease-fest, despite the eye-popping rumors on the web.  You know how she likes to stir up the boys.”

“Yeah.  I’d rather pick their brains.  Well, let’s just say, before other things.”

“No – there’s nobody.  But when there is, don’t worry.  You’ll be the first to know.  And it will be MY choice.”

“Don’t worry about that.  I’ll settle down eventually.”

“I don’t know.  I think the fields are pretty green for me here in America.”

“MOTHER!  Don’t make me blush.  I didn’t know you could talk like that.  How CATTY.  I love it.”

“Well, I’ll admit it.  I might talk like that on occasion.  I can get animal, too.  But it’s never trashy.  Exactly like you.”

“No, no, no.  Don’t worry about anything unsavory.  I’m planning to live with Eauie and her new roomie from Japan.  It’s almost on-campus.”

“Of course she’s somebody.  She’s a hardcore DJ.  TOTALLY RAD.  Plastic miniskirts and colored wigs.  She carries a guitar everywhere on her back.  I think I’m going to have to buy earplugs to study.”

“Yes, I know!  Exciting, isn’t it?  I think you might know her mother, actually.  I can’t remember now.  Somebody important.  She’s a distant cousin.  Mitsouko something.”



“What’s the deal?  Dropped call?”

“I think she’s screaming.”

“Listen, Shal.  You gotta hook me up with this DJ chick.   Jonesy is sayin’ this little mommy could make the palm-boy her bitch.”

“REALLY.  Say  – I know this may be a bit early in your career and my life, but would you ever consider doing a wedding gig for a friend?”


All I know is that I curse the day my son left his demo CD of the evil, vulgar, and extremely talented white-bread Chicago frat boy known as nā-palm on my dining room table.  I simply cannot stop listening to this guy.  But I will cherish the day that fellow Basenoter Primrose sent me her last drops of Shalimar Parfum Initial.  I have promised to dedicate my bottle to the Comte d’Orsay himself in gratitude for that smidgeon of youthful beauty in the bottom of a vial.

Now – what the hell any of this has to do with anything else …. I’m still working on it.

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