Back in Los Estados Unidos (The United States) when one girl asks another, what are you wearing, they are generally referring to an item of clothing or an accessory. American girls have no problem accosting one other digging for info on where she can get her hands on whatever girl x happens to be have draped on her body frame, strapped on her foot or slung across her shoulder.
With that being my frame of reference until recently when asked, ”que te llevas” my reply usually went something like,”oh thank you. I got these soo long ago at x sample sale. They were the last pair of size 10s!” Wrong answer. What I was being asked had more to do with how I smelled than how I was dressed.
Here in Barcelona, girls sniff each other out and I mean that literally. They are fragrance freaks and when they catch a whiff of something they like, just like us American girls, they go on the hunt inquiring about the scent chica x is wearing.
When it comes to beauty, los gringos don’t have the same affinity or understanding for scents like European women. They only thing that can compare with las guapas europeasl (European babes) obsession with fragrance is our freakish attachment to skincare products. It has been recorded that on average, the American woman keeps a constant staple of 34 beauty products in her bathroom and spends 50 minutes each day on her beauty routine. I might gander to say that a tiny percentage of those 34 products are fragrances while in Spain or other EU countries the percentage would be higher.
It took awhile for me to figure out what they were asking blaming my faulty Spanish language skills for not understanding. I have embarrassed myself a lot responding to a question I thought I was asked but in fact had interpreted incorrectly. The question just wasn’t obvious because I don’t wear fragrance. I do PR for fragrances. I own a variety of scents but mainly because I like the bottles and together they make a beautiful still-life in my bathroom cabinet but I am not a daily spritzer. By the way, you shouldn’t keep your scents in the bathroom but in a cool, dry place to keep the juice inside from evaporating.
Low and behold they were admiring my hair cream, Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding. I was tipped off by my boyfriend’s mother. I endured an interrogation of sorts. I had just showered. My hair was still wet and freshly groomed with Curly Pudding. I walked passed her and she stopped me in my tracks remarking that I smelled splendid. I told her, thanks but I wasn’t wearing any perfume. Then she grilled me about body cream (cold), face cream (still cold), laundry detergent (freezing cold), shampoo (warmer) and then finally she asked,if there was anything I put in my hair. CALIENTE! What a super sleuth she was.
I have been using the lilac hair goo for months and the scent has all been lost upon me. I use it daily to tame and stretch my afro kinks into manageable curls. For me it’s a fundamental part of my grooming routine therefore I guess my nose became numb to its scent. In any case, I have Spanish girls trying to figure out who is Miss Jessie, what exactly is pudding and can it be worn on the skin like a scented body cream. Go figure.
For more info on Miss Jessie’s, click here.
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