Every woman above the age of three (3) knows Opium by Yves Saint Laurent. I know Opium, and I’m not even a woman. I’m not a big fan of the stuff. Opium and I had several encounters, that all ended in the same way: Me, unable to taste anything for at least 24 hours. Opium frightens me. However, to be able to write this column about a forgotten bottle of Black – even worse? – Opium in the most unbiased way I could, I had to step out of my comfort zone. I had to get out there. For you, dear reader. I do it all for you.
So I took my bike and paid Parfumerie Louise in the Cornelis Schuytstraat a visit. I went inside and elbowed myself a path through herds of posh looking ladies, reached the counter and asked someone that might have been Louise herself if she sold Black Opium and if I could check it out it.
‘Sure’, she answered, without blinking her dead blue eyes. She asked me if I was looking for a present for my wife or girlfriend. ‘No’, I answered, ’hurry’. ‘OK’, she said. The lady turned around and reached for something.
Might be Louise faced me again, holding this small dark bottle. She sprayed some eau de parfum on a piece of paper, waved the tiny thing around in the air for a bit and shoved the paper under my nose. I closed my eyes, sniffed and got teleported.
There I was, standing next to the toilet at this crowded Starbuck’s on a very hot day, holding on to a paper cup with the name ‘Oto’ written on it. Then, from out of nowhere, a sweaty old witch tied a steamy brie baguette to my face with wet ducked tape. Everything went black.
When I came to my senses again, I found myself in the waiting room of a Chinese massage salon, the kind where they don’t advertise happy endings, but where you can most certainly buy one.
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