Baby, I like your scent

Perfume for babies? Complete nonsense or the stuff of memories? Amy argues a little spritz doesn't do any harm.

By Amy Valm
Baby, I like your scent

Photo: Renzo 79/iStockphoto

I can hear it now, the gasps and sighs. I can see the disapproving head shakes as people read this and think, “well, she’s obviously not a mom.”

Nope, I’m not a mother. And because I’ve never experienced the joy, protectiveness and new baby scent associated with being a parent, my opinion on perfume for babies is: Why not?

Heavyweight fashion house Dolce & Gabbana are the latest to jump on the infant fragrance bandwagon. They’ve crafted a unisex, alcohol-free scent that is designed to “cuddle and pamper every little boy and girl.” Burberry rolled out a scent that enchants with lily of the valley, jasmine, orange blossom and cyclamen. While L'Occitane's angle is a matching mother/child scent — because, you know, matching is cool.

Over the top? A little. Unnecessary? Maybe. But with all the lotions and powders that go onto a baby’s skin anyway, a little perfume now and then isn’t a bad thing — as long as it’s not harmful.

Think of it this way: You’re in the car and baby has filled his pants. Mask the nasty scent with your nifty overpriced baby perfume. See? It can be useful. And, perfume-wearing moms — realistically, you’re rubbing your alcohol-containing perfume off on your baby anyway. So, what's the diff?

It's not for everyone, and I get that. But, perhaps I’m particularly apt to this idea because perfume is incredibly special to me. It’s not just about smelling nice and feeling attractive, it’s tied to sentiments. Some of my most cherished memories are linked to scent.

Growing up, my mom’s dresser was decorated with pretty bottles filled with clear and yellow liquids with sweet, floral and musky scents. I’d often sit on the bed and watch her get ready. With her hair loosely pulled back, she’d slip dangle earrings in and dab her neck with the perfume that brings back my fondest memories: Dolce Vita by Christian Dior.

At that time, my fashion knowledge was limited to high-waisted jeans and oddly patterned sweatshirts and turtlenecks, but because of perfume, I knew and loved names like Chanel and Calvin Klein.

Fast-forward 17 years. People often comment on my scent, and associate me with sweet smells. I love that my perfume defines me, just like Dior defines my mom.

Of course, to each their own, but a spritz of perfume on my future kids won’t bug me. I may even harbour a little jealousy if their infant cologne collection starts to outshine my own.

This article was originally published on Jan 29, 2013

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