“rae, all small letters, very chic.”

It is funny how fragrances can work in unexpected ways, how they can bring people together and form bonds. In my professional life I make a lot of phone calls all over the U.S.A. from New York to Georgia, from California to the Canadian border. I talk to a lot of people every day. Over time you get to know people in other towns, in places you would most likely never visit. You get glimpses of lives and events and ways of life that are different and interesting. In this info-jet age everyone is really just “down the street”. Neighbors are hundreds even thousands of miles away, yet so very close.

One of my neighbors just “down the street” lives and works in Georgia. Her name is Rae. She is very professional and very good at her job in customer service, proficient and pleasant and to the point. One day I called and she said “good afternoon this is Rae how can I help you?”

I said “rae, all small letter’s very chic.”  She laughed and asked me what I meant. I told her about an old Susan Hayward movie called “Back Street” (Universal 1961). In it Susan Hayward plays a fashion designer and early on she decides that her hook in the industry will be to write her name in lower case only. It becomes her trademark.

(rae smith working hard. “It has line, style, simplcity. It says something.”)

Over the following weeks Rae and I became better acquainted and in this time she revealed her unique and bubbly sense of humor I knew she would get my jokes. And lets face it, when you are on the phone all day dealing with Big Business, once in a while you have to crack a joke. It is healthy!

“Good morning this is Rae how can I help you?”

“What are you wearing?”  I said in a lower register.

With out missing a beat she said. “J’Adore by Christian Dior darling! What are you wearing?”

“Black dress shoes, white socks with a hole in one heel, a thong, a purple fedora, Bulgari Pour Homme Soir and nothing else. I know the Bulgari is too heavy for summer but I can’t help myself, I love it.”

“You are crazy!” She screamed.

I told Rae that her answer was interesting to me. It was about perfume, not clothing. Most women would have described their outfit but not Rae. She had opened the door with J’Adore.  I asked her if she was into perfume. That is when it happened, her voice shot up in a delighted bubble of joy and burst into glittering cascade of laughter. “I am crazy about perfume!”

That was all it took, we were off to the races in a speedboat. The cement set that day on a new friendship and I was delighted to have rae, all small letters and very chic in her J’Adore. as my new best fragrance friend.

Now when we talk on the phone I always say. “What are you wearing?”  and she bubbles up like champagne and tells me the scent of the day that is knocking them dead in Georgia.  We share emails and give each other advice and tips on scent. She asked my counsel on what to get for her father-in-law who is well advanced in wisdom.  I suggested Faconnable for Men. A classic that has a fascinating history that I thought he might appreciate. And besides that it is fresh and easy to wear.

Today Rae, who is very chic, told me that the Faconnable was a hit with him and her entire family. That just made my day!

(Just like rae, Marilyn adores J’Adore)


(clip from the film Back Street 1961 ~Susan Hayward, John Gavin, Vera Miles)


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