Plus Que Jamais (Guerlain)

Driven by the same internal contrariness that compels me to don my most precious Chanel No. 5 extrait to haul ladders on gallery day, I wore Guerlain's Plus Que Jamais Friday night to eat jerk chicken with my fingers. Our good friends had invited us over for a home-cooked dinner, replete with Cajun red beans and rice, mocha layer cake, and icy bottles of Red Stripe. A fine time was had by all... and PQJ fit right in.

If you're surprised, so was I. The House of Guerlain projects such an unassailable aura of elegance, I thought the contrast would be self-evident. I confess to wearing Plus Que Jamais with tongue in cheek, but it confounded my attempt to be ironic by proving itself the most laid-back, comfortable fragrance around-- a seamless, soft floral with no pretenses, possessed of impeccable breeding but perfectly at home in both blue jeans and the big world.

If one of us had a chip on its shoulder, it was me.

As I leaned back and watched Plus Que Jamais assimilate effortlessly into the company of kids, dogs, laughter, toys, and TV, it struck me that this is what good manners are really all about: not a ritual show of lofty superiority, but simply the acquired gift of putting others (and thus oneself) at ease.

Thank you, Guerlain, for this lesson learned. Better late than jamais!

Scent Elements: Aldehydes, bergamot, neroli, ylang-ylang, jasmine, iris, amber, vanilla, vetiver, tonka