Decision making has always come easy to me. No dithering, no confusion. However selecting gifts for friends and relatives leaves me puzzled.
For years, books have been my best bet. I am known for gifting books. It’s a friend’s birthday next week. Now this friend is more into make-up than books. After much brainstorming I decided to buy a perfume. At the end of the day I did buy a perfume but the confidence in my decision taking abilities was badly shaken.
You see, I have a heightened sense of sound but a subdued sense of smell. And when options are numerous, then my olfactory prowess gets further anesthetized.
For some reason the young sales girl was interested in selling a deodorant. “It is better than a perfume maam. It has been recently launched. Haven’t you seen Bipasha In the advertisement?” The girl had a nose for selling.
“No deodorant or anti-perspirant please. I don’t want my friend to -think – that - I - think – that- she - stinks. I want a perfume, one which is applied on pulse points and not the one sprayed on hairy arm pits.”
I mean I did not exactly say that, but you get the drift.Ok, what I meant was show me perfumes and nothing else.
The girl continued. “Floral, woody or oriental?”
“Okay maam, is your friend male or female?” she said with a suggestive smile. Hello?
“Then do not go for woody, spicy or citrusy ones. They are for men. Go for floral ones….” She placed an array of exotically packed boxes from an aromatherapy range. “Is it for the summers or winters?” “Summers.”
“What would your friend like? Lavender, Rose or Sandalwood?”
“Well, I don't know.”
“ Isn't she your friend?”
Now I was steadily losing it. My patience that is. I was behaving like an indecisive confused woman.
I asked her for some known brands. A few moments later my pulse points were emanating a dozen fragrances, and my olfactory confusion reached its zenith. Decision time!! I closed my eyes and picked a known brand which snuggled in my budget.
“Don’t go by a budget maam. If you sniff the test spot after an hour and still like it, only then you should go for it.” And how do I spend that hour Mona Lisa incarnate?
The enthusiastic girl dispensed some extra gyan. “Maam, fragrances are like notes. They have top, middle and base notes. A top note is what you smell first. As the day progresses the other notes take over. The lighter notes evaporate first and the last ones to evaporate are the heavier oils.” A big smile. Bigger than UPA’s bungling. This girl should get the ‘sales girl’ of the year award or something.
By the time I emerged from the counter, I smelled like a bouquet of jasmine, rose, lavender and sandalwood. The cocktail effect was not quite heaven-scent. Forget any ‘Axe type’ effect, people heaved a sigh of relief as I moved away from them and entered a coffee shop.
A hot cuppa would surely calm my smelly senses. The waiter came smiling. “What would you like to have, maam?”
“One hot coffee please.”
“Latte, Cappuccino, Café Breva, Americano, Flavoured or Espresso?”
Did I say that decision making came easy to me? I was winging it. Big time!