“Once he hears to his heart’s content, sails on, a wiser man.
We know all the pains that the Greeks and Trojans once endured
on the spreading plain of Troy when the gods willed it so—
all that comes to pass on the fertile earth, we know it all!”
-The sirens’ song, Odyssey
To the sound of a backhanded bong, gurgling its fragrant bilgewater across the floor of the surf shack, our hero did awake, smilingly, from his terpinoid bliss.
“Dude!”, he said to the dog.
“Verily, I did dream of meeting some righteous babes today!”
At this exclamation, the blond-haired man’s fluffy white dog barked up a storm and wagged its tail, for the shaggy beast had yet to meet a woman who did not hug it mightily upon meeting. Bearing, as it did, a great likeness to those dogs which are called teddy bears, the man’s furry friend was surely woman’s best and most instant friend as well.
“Let us walk along the beach and see what the day brings – shall we?” said the man.
“Woof!” said the dog.
And off they went, in search of pleasures unknown, but likely tubular.
At first – nothing. Just the usual ambergris and gold coins – useful for paying for sundry herbal items, but of little interest to a charmed beach hippie. But then he saw it, laying on the beach. Neither fish nor fowl, it made strange growling noises at him.
“So whatcha gonna do, sailor boy?”
To which the dog did bark most furiously.
“Whoa. That’s funky. Ahem – I do say, he does not normally act that way. And who do we have the pleasure of addressing, if I may so humbly ask?”
“Giorgio Armani Privé Cuir Noir. But you can call me Noir.”
“Indeed it is a pleasure to mee…..”
“You think I’m sexy – right?”
“Well, yes, but….”
“And exotic – right?”
“Oh, yes. I’m not really sure if you’re…”
“Leather. And spicy. And I last a looong, looooong time.”
“What’s that smell?”
“Saffron. You like it, don’t you?”
“Yes, but… oh, man. There’s something about you that makes me feel like the cops or something. You know that feeling? Kinda like you’re trouble. No chill, no way.”
“You want to come live with me forever?”
“Like – can I take a rain check? I wanted to get in a little surfing this afternoon.”
“Human. You don’t deserve me. Enjoy your floating board.”
And with a flip of the black leather tail fin, Armani Cuir Noir disappeared into the ocean, as mysteriously as she had appeared. For although our hero would never see her again, he would never forget her either.
Continuing his merry stroll along the beach, Goldilocks and his fine furry friend perchanced upon a wrecked wooden ship – ancient, old, dated, not very recent, and
pine nut barnacle-encrusted. In the water behind, stood a young and beautiful – but very unfashionably dressed lady.
“Whoa! I like your bikini bottom, sister. It looks like a….”
“It’s not a bikini bottom.”
“L.T. Piver Cuir. But you can call me ‘Lieu’. It’s short for Lieutenant. It’s a joke.”
“Like, OK. Not sure I get it, but that’s cool.”
“Have you ever dated a mermaid?”
“Not really. I mean, I went with a lifeguard for a couple of years, but we broke up.”
“So what do you think of older women?”
“How old are we talking?”
“Four. Maybe five hundred years.”
“Just kidding. A little over a hundred. But I pass for a lot younger.
“Totally. I thought you were twenty-something.”
“Thanks. I do lie about my age, but not when I’m serious. And I’m serious. We should get together.”
“Ahem – you know – I would say, like, totally, except that I really think you should meet this dude I know.”
“Redneck Perfumisto? Yawn. He just wants me for his collection. He thinks I’m ‘special’. Sorry. I want somebody who loves me utterly and completely. I deserve that much.”
“Totally! But, like, I can never be ‘that guy’. Know what I’m sayin’?”
“Yeah. I know. Who was I kidding?”
“I really think you should think about Red. He said you were like a leather version of Vintage Tabârome. He says you’re even a bit like Vol de Nuit.”
“Flattery. Sorry. I want to be worn to work. I want to be taken to restaurants – on cruises – even Arctic expeditions. I don’t want to sit on the shelf.”
“OK. Maybe that’s a bit extreme. Maybe an adventure vacation in Siberia. With a guide.”
“Cool. That’s totally doable. You’ve got that birch thing down!”
“You sure there’s nothing? We could be happy.”
“Like, just – it can’t work. Trust me.”
“Maybe I can let Red keep me, and have some French lovers on the side.”
“There you go. That’s not bad for over 100.”
“Take it easy, kid. You’re a good one. You’ll find happiness. You deserve it.”
And with that, L. T. Piver Cuir bent over backwards, and disappeared into the quiet water of the shipwreck, with barely a ripple.
Leaving the shipwreck, our hero tarried along the beach, happy that he was still available, but sad he had still not found true love amongst the leather-finned sirens of the sea.
Throwing a frisbee to the dog, it sailed a bit over the snapping jaws – only to be caught by a lovely young woman, who looked remarkably like the man who had thrown it.
“Thanks. You’re from the surf shack down the beach – aren’t you?”
“Totally. Do I know you?”
“I’m the third mermaid from this story.”
“Whoa. Heavy. But light!”
“Totally! So what do you think?”
“You’re most awesome! Kinda girly, but in a good way. Kinda hip, but still classy. The leather’s there, and in a big way, but it’s not everything.”
“Not too sexy?”
“Nope. And I mean that in a good way.”
“Not too old-school?”
“No way. A little bit boho is never old-school. Starbucks, or the ballet. You’re cool everywhere you go.”
“Listen – about this whole live-in-the-sea-forever thing – you know, I’ve got my legs already, and I’ve been thinking…..”
“Yeah. That would be totally awesome.”
“See? We really were made for each other!”
And with that, our hero learned the most important fragrance lesson of all. You don’t have to own them all – even the ones that were made for you. A great fragrance is still a great fragrance when you set it free. In fact, it may be an even better fragrance, the next time you run into it.
PS: Many thanks to Primrose – the Basenotes Dandy of Leather – for providing me with samples of some of the world’s most amazing leather fragrances.