A thing about smells

My friend Annabel wrote about a Prada scent in her ES magazine column today, which I will paste below so you can get up to speed on this important issue…



I’m thrilled to say I’m the Sophia who sniffed Annabel’s wrists in the office last week and shrieked about how delicious it was.

Basically, Vetiver is the key word here. I once walked past a man in the street and had to stop and ask what he smelt of because I wanted to nuzzle him. ‘Darling, you’re so sweet!’ cried the man, whereupon I realised I probably wasn’t his target market. ‘It’s called Vetiver.’

Now, technically Vetiver is a boring-looking plant found in India, but when its oil is extracted and popped into a bottle, I promise you it smells infinitely better than bacon in the morning or freshly-cut grass, or any of the other smells that people wang on about.

After talking to that nice man, I trotted into a Space NK and found a Tom Ford version called Grey Vetiver, because as Annabel says women AND men can wear it. I douse myself in it when I need to feel all tough and macho. Like when I’m taking my car to the garage or having the plumber over, for example.

In a review of a new book about scent in the Spectator this week (called Perfume: Century of Scents by Lizzie Ostrom), India Knight wrote ‘as a broad rule, people who really like sex tend to be unperfumed – sweat and skin, innit – though there are exceptions.’ I’m still trying to decide whether that’s true or not. All I know is that anytime I smell Vetiver on a man – even gay men, apparently – I want to be special friends with them.