Back in the day when I worked for my living, I had a boss who told me that she once got so overwhelmed in a Super Target because of its sheer size that she abandoned her cart mid-shopping and left the store. I think she told me that story with the assumption that I would sympathize with her about the evils of commercialism. Instead, I recall wondering if I really wanted someone leading the company for which I worked who couldn’t handle florescent lights and a large inventory.
That was a number of years ago, and I have been to many a Super Target or a Super Walmart without becoming paralyzed with fear. However, I have thought about that conversation on several occasions recently when I visited Bath and Body Works.
When Bill and I were first married, I always had Bath and Body Works products at hand. I would buy coordinating scents of bath wash and body lotion. Every morning I put on a wonderful-smelling lotion, and each night I would use the body wash in the shower, and then apply the matching lotion before getting into bed. I always smelled simply divine, or at least I hope I did. Bill falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow, so he couldn’t vouch for my scent.
Sometime after being married for a while, the practice stopped. As I ran out of my lovely-smelling personal products, I didn’t replace them. Pretty soon I was washing myself with Zest (or whatever soap was on sale) and body lotion was a no-go.
Recently when cleaning out one of my bathroom cupboards, I came across a half-used bottle of a Bath and Body Works body wash in a scent called White Cherry Blossom. In the same cupboard there was one of those big – really big – scrubbing sponges that you use along with the body wash. What the heck! Why not give it a try?
So I did, and I found that I really enjoyed it. I liked the fragrance; I liked smelling good; I liked scrubbing my skin with the sponge. But I was sad that I didn’t have a matching body lotion. So I went into a Bath and Body Works store seeking White Cherry Blossom body lotion.
Well, there was Twilight Woods; there was Tokyo Lotus; there was Beautiful Day; there was Peach and Honey Almond; there was Moonlight Path; there was Warm Vanilla Sugar.
But no White Cherry Blossom. The closest I could get was Japanese Cherry Blossom, but it didn’t smell the same. Apparently Japanese cherries aren’t white. Or something.
But so what, I asked myself. I will simply choose another fragrance and buy a matching bath wash and body lotion and start anew.
Piece of cake, no?
Well, Piece of Cake is about the only fragrance BBW doesn’t have. (They do have Frosted Cupcake, however.) Everything ranging alphabetically from Alpine Suede to Wild Madagascar Vanilla, with Banana Nutmeg Bread Pudding, London Tulips and Raspberry Tea, and Sunset By the Pool in between. One hundred and thirty-five fragrances, my friends.
I was stumped. I admit it. I was absolutely unable to choose from so many fragrances. Counter after counter of choices. And the sales clerks are so helpful, what with their little baskets and all. But I’m afraid I had to leave the store because I simply couldn’t make up my mind with so many choices. (Fresh Linen or Fresh Cotton? And do those two textiles really smell that much different?)
But I went back. In fact, I went back on five or six occasions, to probably five or six BBWs, with the same result. I was just like my former boss – absolutely overwhelmed and needing to abandoned my little basket and leave the store.
But last week, I committed to making a choice. Back to BBW. Once again, with my little basket in hand, I forced myself to select a fragrance. I just made myself do it. Pear and Cashmere Woods (what the hell does that mean?). Body wash and body lotion.
So, feeling very proud of myself, I went up to the counter with my two bottles, only to hear these dreaded words….
“When you buy two, you get a third one free.”
In my perfect world, BBW would offer a spray fragrance for Pear and Cashmere Woods. No such luck. So I spent another 25 minutes trying to decide a) what type of product I should buy; and b) what fragrance I should choose in that product.
I promise you I am not exaggerating.
I finally picked a glittery spray (they call it a diamond shimmer mist) in (wait for it) Japanese Cherry Blossom.
But the sad part? I learned I can’t wear the spray fragrance because it makes me sneeze. So it will sit on my dresser until BBW no longer makes Japanese Cherry Blossom.
Such is the fragrance of life.