Mon, 14 Oct 2002

Dear Mr. Wonderful,

Why is it perfume for women, and cologne for men? Is there any true way to identify whether a scent should be worn by a woman versus a man, or is there someone who makes the arbitrary decision on that?


The Scent of a Hermaphrodite


Dear Chanel Number 6,

You've come to the right place, chum. Mister Wonderful, a saucy hot bucket of wisdom in a labcoat who makes the ladies cry and the men wear tear-away trousers, certainly knows his way around a gender issue: when in doubt, do it fabulously. Confidence will allow you to pull off damn near anything.

Including Aimee Semple McPherson's knickers.

It certainly wasn't always this way. No, no. My early troubles with gender identification, sexuality, and the proper way to choose between boxers and briefs are chronicled in the blockbuster pulp novel of 1936, MISTER WONDERFUL and the DRESSING ROOM of PETER PAN. Taut with innuendo and rigid with promise, it was immediately banned in twelve countries, including Neverland, Lemuria, and Mu. Nevertheless, a stage musical version was soon mounted by several burly gentlemen from Australia and that nice Mr. Turing. Critics wept blood, but everyone had kind words for the showcase number, "They're Playing My Thong."

What's my point? Wouldn't you like to know.

Okay! Fine. What I'm saying is: yes, perfumes and colognes are the same sneeze-making stuff in different overpriced bottles. Wear what you like. Or, preferably, don't. Atomized scents are indistinguishable, interchangeable and inexplicable. Why people want to stop smelling like mammals is beyond me. But hey, it's their evolutionary dead-end; one of these days they're just gonna cut out the middle-man and fuck a rose bush. In my opinion.

If you must smell of anything other than clean, might I suggest spilled wine and brimstone? It works marvelously for both sexes and, as always, the journey is the reward.