Smells like Christmas spirit now the telly’s spraying perfume ads – Susan Morrison
Retail is not a natural environment for Yorkshiremen, mine in particular. The image of my personal Northern Man wandering dazed and confused through the dazzling lights of the festive season puts me in mind of a dehydrated wildebeest staggering through a glittering sun-drenched landscape trying to find a watering hole.
Yes, he’d rather I referred to him as a great thirsty lion, but let’s be honest here.
Gift shopping is a nightmare for him. He usually gets around this by asking what I’d like for Christmas. Under normal circumstances, he asks me what I’d like around about 24 December. Usually around 6.30pm. It’s astonishing what you can buy in a petrol station these days.
Yesterday he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. It’s still November. This is deeply shocking. It’s like he’s getting sentimental in his old age or something. It makes me wonder if he’s been worried for my health lately. It’s not as if I’ve been giving him cause for concern these past two years.
The problem is, of course, what do you buy for someone who’s been in your life for 35 years? He’s managed some crackers in the past. He gave me athletes foot powder once. Then there were the raw wool Afghan slipper socks knitted by depressed women of Gilgit-Baltistan. The reek was pure dead minging, man. The Afghans were fighting the might of the Soviet Union at the time. One sniff of these and the Red Army wouldn’t have stopped moving until it hit Lenin’s tomb.
I have a little plan to help my little Christmas elf. I’ve done it in the past, and it seems to work, so I’ll pass it on. It’s a Christmas list. Yes, I know, who would have thought that at bus-pass age, I’m still writing letters to Santa.
I’ve taken a whim for a fancy perfume, despite their best efforts to dissuade me through the adverts. So. I have written the names of five stupidly expensive smelly things and he can choose one as the lucky winner. Let’s see how our Santa’s little helper gets on with that.
I’ve done this before with, variable success. One year, four of the candidates had formidable French names, complete with accents. One, however, was the snappily titled Aromatic by Clinique. I saw his Christmas shopping list that year. It said: “Smelly stuff from the Clinic. John Lewis”.
I suppose I should be grateful I didn’t get a bulk buy of Dettol.
Obviously, I am not the target audience for expensive perfumes. I base this on the adverts currently bombarding me from the telly.
For one thing, I am a haggard old bat who should be happy zooming upstairs on my stairlift, not dreaming of swanning about reeking of Parfum de Vieille Dame Française Folle. I’m not miserable looking enough. Have you seen these drippy dweebs hanging around beaches with faces like a well-skelpt kipper? If that’s what Ming du Mer does for you, I’ll pass.
Then there’s the zany people who dress up like they’ve run through Armstrong’s Vintage clothes in the dark. I wore those platforms first time around. Let’s not go tripping up the frozen food aisle in those again.
There is one with a young lady in a ballgown on a bus. She’s hanging on to the pole screaming her head off. Liam Rudden and I can relate to that one. Edinburgh. Buses. Road works. Not moving. Need I say more?