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Small pretty things

Keeping up with life's pleasures as well as its ponderables lest I turn into Steppenwolf, the last couple of days have been a lot of fun.

Though a terrible shopper, there's enjoyment to be found in umbrella-flooded Oxford Street, with everyone crowding into the foyer of Selfridges, then being lured through to sample ridiculous things, perfumes and cosmetics, expresso machines and hand printed cushions. My weakness is for smellies; this year oud is absolutely everywhere, so popular  I'm surprised we aren't facing oud-flavoured breakfast cereals. Some versions are sheer and elegant, some take no prisoners. Black Afgano's great but pretty terrifying. It's like an olfactory version of the dance for Agamemnon in Time Bandits with added coffee and cannabis. Mugler have  brought out their new version of Angel, a scent ruined for me by its ascendency among the demi-porn stars back at the studio. The new version, 'Muse,' is redolent with hazelnut extract,seduction for the squirrel in your soul. I love hazelnuts, not so sure if I want to smell of them.

I found myself in front of the Tom Ford counter. Beside me stood a young hipster in a well thought combination of tweed and spectacles. Together we stood in front of those little tester pots, and sniffed at everything,swapping positions half way through. He was all about flowery scents. I found myself drawn to a gorgeous tobacco/vanilla combo, not sexy or alluring per se, but  lovely for Autumn. Scent is a magical thing.  I wonder why cigarettes smell so ghastly while cigar smoke can be rather delicious?  I tried a little of the tobacco leaf/vanilla thing and went out into the rain, smelling like nicely kept books and warm chocolate.  Looking back, I saw  the hipster spraying himself with a patchouli/ rose perfume,lifting his wrist to his nose very delicately.

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