Thursday, August 25, 2005


There's a Friends episode where Joey gets a job at a department store pushing the fragrance Bijan for Men. He goes head-on with a guy dressed as a cowboy promoting the cologne Hombre, who steals his customers with magnetic manly appeal and the sexy, throaty offer of "Hombre?" The two end up racing to spritz passers-by with their products, and unfortunate shoppers get caught in the crossfire.

I always remember this episode when I go to department stores and walk past the perfume section. I try to slip through as quickly as I can so as to dodge the people offering me a free spritz or a sample sniff strip. It's awkward turning down so many people in a row, especially when they're all smiling doofily and chirping "CK Eternity?" or "Clinique Happy?" and you know they've been smiling and chirping all day and are probably sick of the routine (not to mention the smell of their frangrances). I just feel sorry for them, the same way I feel sorry for elevator operators and people handing out leaflets on the street. Rustan's is the worst, because they have the smiliest and chirpiest bunch of perfume pushers, so as soon as the automatic doors to the store slide open, I brace myself, charge in, and find the path of least resistance. Sometimes though, even when I prudently avoid them, they still manage to zero in on me and cheerfully offer me Burberry or Lacoste or whatever brand they're armed with (there are even an overeager few who try to get me to sample men's cologne). Once trapped and held at spritzer-point, the usual thing I resort to is an apologetic smile and a wave of my hand to indicate "thanks but no thanks." Occasionally, out of guilt, I take a sniff strip which I promptly chuck in the next wastebin I see.

I'm just glad that when I go on store visits to other department stores, I don't have to pass through the perfume section to get to men's wear-- it's just too exhausting. Besides, none of the perfume pushers look remotely like Joey or the Hombre guy. If they did, I'd gladly stop to take a whiff of whatever they're selling.


At Saturday, August 27, 2005, Blogger Elyse said...

Hay, i guess more than just the feeling of being sick and tired of the routine is the bad feeling o being ignored...:( As if you're not there and just being walk passed by people...parang may experience ba? well, I once did a premiere project with friends and at the last minute we had to sell the tickets a promo price, in the middle of megamall offering the tickets....just brought back bad memories. haha. So i guess we should at least acknowledge their presence and politely decline:)


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