Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dollars and Scents

As a proud consumer of Pert Plus, I’ve always considered myself a pretty simple person when it comes to beauty products. You can be sure I’ve got something special going on that day when I break out the separate shampoo and conditioner. I use my Dove bar soap in the shower, and my lotion is purchased at the pet store, designed for the hooves of horses. Needless to say, it is on the rarest of occasions that I set foot in a store like Bath and Body Works. One such occasion was last week.

My sister Kelly’s birthday was on Wednesday, and traditionally we simply go back to the items leftover from her Christmas list to find gift ideas. I chose this strategy and acquired a list of supplies from Bath and Body Works that hadn't turned up under the tree. There’s a Bath and Body Works location close to my house and since I didn’t have much to spend, I figured I could zip in there, pick up something small, and be on my way. So with a list of desirable items, a ten dollar bill, and the kiddos in tow, I headed out the door.

It took all I had to actually enter the store that I typically don’t walk past without holding my breath, but as I lingered by the open door my body began to acclimate and the sensation of passing out subsided. Upon entering, I was pleasantly surprised that a sale appeared to be going on. I had my doubts when I began reading price tags, but the enthusiastic signage assured me that this was indeed a “sale”. Had it not been for this bit of provident fortune, I would have headed home to gift-wrap a tube of lip balm.

I started at the top of my list under the heading “Shower Gels”. Looking up from the paper, I found myself standing before three bins of sale-priced shower gels. This would be easier than I thought! I dug through the bottles looking for either Peony, Tropical Passion Fruit, or Magnolia Blossom, but to no avail. Apparently Kelly had popular taste. I moved on to the next sub-heading: “Wallflowers”. What was a wallflower? Did it come in a bottle? Did you spray it, smear it, or lather it? Facing far too many unknowns, I decided against questing after this option.

I then saw that there was one item on the list that stood alone, no scent listing, no sub-category: “Aquatanic Spa Vitalizing Marine Body Tonic”. Intimidated though I was by its formidable title, I had already made visual contact with the “Spa” section of the store and began moving in that direction. As I stared up at row after row of Aqutanic Spa product, the last item on Kelly’s list became more and more enticing: “Gift Card”. But determined to get her a 3-dimentional birthday present, I pressed on.

As I began to wonder if I would ever breath fresh air again, the sales clerk must have taken note of my split-ends and unscented aura and quickly recognized my plight. “Can I help you find something?” she asked sympathetically. At first I read items off the list to her, but soon she had taken the list and was zipping around the store in search of a match. I did my best to keep up with my stroller and mesmerized two-year-old but soon realized that much like chasing a butterfly, it was best to wait for her to land on something before attempting to approach her. I watched from a distance as she scanned labels on a shelf and when she turned around she had two bottles in her hand. “Black Raspberry Vanilla Shampoo and Conditioner.” She stated with a satisfied nod.

“How much are they?” I asked, fearing her response.

“They’re on sale!” she gushed, “Two for ten dollars.”

“Perfect!” I exclaimed. “I’ll take them”.

Remembering her sales training, she held up a small metal can. “Would you also like the matching Body Butter?”

As tempting as it was, I only had ten dollars. Kelly would have to churn her own. We headed to the checkout desk, made the purchase, and stepped back into the real world. It didn’t smell like Gardenia, Coconut Lime Verbana, or Sensual Amber. It smelled like a combination of exhaust, French fries, and the adjacent Petmart store. We headed toward the latter establishment so the girls could look at the fish. “While I’m there,” I thought to myself, “I may as well pick up some lotion for myself, too.”


Kelly said...

Wow, I had no idea you went to all that trouble for my birthday! I won't forget the mountains that were climbed to obtain those luxurious hair products as I wash and condition (separately) in black-raspberry vanilla heaven. Thanks for staying the course! (Just think of it as practice for when that little two-year-old of yours turns twelve.)

The Paasch-inator said...

I definitely feel your pain, Kristie. I think, however, on the "girly" gamut, I fall somewhere in between you and... um... Bethany. ;) But, what exactly is "body butter" anyway? I've always wondered just exactly why butter can't just stay a food item.

Bev H said...

I detest too much "scent" in a product, bordering on an allergic reaction. But I will admit that I use Body Butter faithfully due to the dryness of Colorado (purchased from another establishment however). It's not fruity, musky, or anything. In fact, my husband's first impression was that I smelled like toast. Whatever.

Lisa said...

I'm totally disillusioned by those stores. I go in, take an hour to figure out which scent I like, buy it, use it, go back for more...and they've discontinued it. So then, you spend an hour to find another scent, buy it, use it, go back for more and it's discontinued.

I'm off the carousel and back to Suave.

Tyler Johnson said...

I am the only male so far to comment and I love strong scented lotions and butters. In fact Coconut Lime Verbana is my favorite!