It's all right if I call you Michelle, right? I feel like I know you well enough. After all, I'm not the only person I know who has fallen asleep and dreamt of hanging out with you and Obama. In one of my friend's dreams, you were barbecuing and wearing a Duke University jersey. In my dream we were at St. Sulpice in Paris and a priest was explaining how we were really cousins. (Don't worry, it was only a dream. I'm just glad there weren't giant ducks or submarines or something like that.) But I'm not writing to talk to you about dreams. I want to discuss something more important: perfume.
I understand that you recently bought a bottle of Boadicea the Victorious Noble Eau de Parfum. I've been lucky enough to smell Noble, and it's a wonderful rose scent with a sophisticated patchouli and amber dry down. I wouldn't mind having a bottle of it myself. But since you're First Lady, I see broader horizons for you than the perfume output of a British hairdresser. You undoubtedly have big things on your mind, what with being a razor-sharp attorney, mom, and target of public attention. So, to save you time and to bring you maximum olfactory pleasure, I've chosen a few perfumes for you to put in the cabinet next to Noble:
Jean Patou Joy extrait: This is an easy choice. Joy parfum is a deep, glorious pleasure. On your skin it will show you the pure delight and beauty of roses and jasmine, but marbled with carnality and the memory of heartbreak that gives the emotion joy the edge it needs to be real. If you aren't used to classic perfumes, it might smell old fashioned to you. But you wouldn't call Rembrandt old fashioned, right? Besides, Joy was reportedly a favorite of Jackie Kennedy, from the first American Camelot. Joy is a shoo-in for greeting foreign dignitaries. Tell your staffers to track down a bottle that's at least a few years old. Word on the street is that the new stuff isn't the same.
Coty Sand & Sable: I've noticed how you like to mix the high and low, what with your J Crew sweaters and all. The next time you slip on an Armani gown, try a spritz of Sand & Sable. It's a party of white flowers and good times at the beach. I think your athletic physique and forthright attitude would complement a layer of womanly tuberose and gardenia. Maybe you're tempted to try Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower instead. Hey, everyone is wearing that these days. Sand & Sable is more chic and a twentieth the price. Make it part of your personal stimulus package.
Guerlain Vol de Nuit: Everyone needs his or her signature Guerlain. For you I'd choose Vol de Nuit. You're one of the few people who could get away with wearing the sharper Eau de Toilette, too. Vol de Nuit is strong, linear, and dreamy. Although it's a scent with presence, its warm wood and tonka let it blend with whatever else is happening. This is a good perfume to take on the road. It is suitable to meet with everyone from Bono to President Sarkozy.
Chanel Eau de Cologne: Washington, D.C. is a steam bath in the summer. Sometimes you'll need something to cool you off, something that burns away quickly but leaves you feeling like you've downed an icy gin and tonic. Since in your job you need to stay sober, I recommend Chanel Eau de Cologne. Keep it in the refrigerator and splash it on whenever you need refreshed.
Bvlgari Black: They say you and Obama have regular date nights. This is the fragrance to wear when it's just you, him, and the posse of Secret Service agents. It has a spicy kick that men seem to love, and its rubbery-leathery-musky body is strange and compelling and makes you want to smell it again and again. And yet it's definitely a perfume in the grand sense. I almost suggested another mankiller, Amouage Jubilation 25, but I see you more as a Bvlgari Black gal. Angelina Jolie is, too, so you'll be in good company.
Michelle (it's still o.k. to call you that, right?), these five perfumes would make a good core fragrance collection for you. But I'd love to introduce you to others, and as you get used to fragrance you might find that you want to explore the world of scent. Call me, o.k.? If I'm not home, be sure to leave a message. In the meantime, I'll see you in my dreams.