Tips on how to be ‘Dead Sexy’

Essentials of the home cabinet, including a scent you can love.

People flock to Cannon Beach for any number of reasons. They drive clear across the country or fly across the Pacific Ocean to take selfies at Haystack Rock. They come for the craft beer, to hike Ecola State Park. They love wandering the delightful downtown, browsing the first-rate bookstores, sampling fudge, nibbling crepes, getting ice cream, tarrying awhile at their favorite independent coffee shop. Increasingly visitors come for fine dining, exploring sophisticated menus created by highly regarded chefs. They come for Mo’s clam chowder and to run their dogs on the beach. They come for the art and the great galleries. They come for the Birkenstocks.

Personally I come to Cannon Beach to satisfy my yen for home décor and build up my little luxuries closet. That’s why Sesame and Lilies is my favorite CB store, in no small part because they carry a good selection of Tokyo Milk fragrances and infused shea butters.

A few weeks ago I realized I was out of my current Tokyo Milk scent, Vie La Mort, an intoxicating blend of cardamom and hibiscus, blossoming sweet flowers, white tuberose and jasmine. The scent puts me in mind of Morticia Addams of “Addams Family” fame.

“The next time we’re in Cannon Beach,” I said to my spouse, “I have to stop in Sesame and Lilies to pick up some cologne.” I had already decided not to repeat the same scent, in part because the company has so many I’d like to try, and also because I like seasonal change. A 1.6-ounce bottle takes me through one complete season, which coincides with the time I’ve gone nose-blind to whatever I’ve been wearing.

The selection of Tokyo Milk fragrances available at Sesame and Lilies is rather grand. An obnoxious person with a lot of time on her hands could easily hang out at the tester area spritzing herself all day. I’m not that person. I like to shop fast.

“What do you think of this?” I said, inviting my husband to sniff my wrist. I sprayed on Honey and the Moon, a spicy Oriental fragrance.

“Hmmm,” he said in that passive aggressive way meant to indicate he didn’t much care for it.

“I like this one,” he said, busy doing his own sniffing. He likes to have a say in my choice of perfume, which sometimes irks me. The scent he waved under my nose was, quite honestly, a bit juvenile for my taste and sweet. It had strong notes of vanilla, which I enjoy in a milkshake, but less so on my skin.

“I don’t know, it reminds me of a scent I wore in high school called Love’s Baby Soft,” I said. If you are of a certain age, you may recall the fragrance which launched in the early ’70s. It was — and how should I say this? — reminiscent of a freshly powdered baby bottom. Described as a “sensory relic,” the brand today boasts 15,000 Facebook fans. A drugstore scent, I remember keeping a bottle close at hand in the summer to refresh my armpits.

I made an executive decision to purchase the very next Tokyo Milk scent I sprayed on. I was running out of flesh to test. I pretty much love the whole line, so I figured what the heck. Outside on the sidewalk, I offered my spouse my neck to sniff.

“Yum, this is nice,” he said. “It reminds me of Play-Doh. It’s got that perfect sweet and salty mix.”

I was aghast.

“I do not want to smell like Play-Doh,” I said. I turned around and marched back to make an exchange.

“Don’t worry,” the saleswoman said soothingly as I blithered my lame apology. “Can I recommend our best-seller? It’s called Dead Sexy. Everybody loves it.”

I didn’t even try it on. I just made the exchange. Ten minutes later in the car, I opened the bottle and sprayed Dead Sexy on my arm. The enclosed space was immediately redolent of ebony and white orchid, topped off with vanilla. I blinked back my frustration. It smelled just like Love’s Baby Soft.

“That’s the one I liked!” my husband said happily.

Am I wearing it?

You bet I am.

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