O Romeo: Discover Prompts Day 14 and 15

His bio reads like a great book. Born in 1949 into a wealthy Italian family, fashion designer Romeo Gigli lost his parents at 18 and set out on his own, traveling the world, before landing in New York in 1977. As the disco age raged, Gigli met Bianca Jagger and others at the famed Studio 54, where he was admired for his style.

A lover of history and art, Gigli eventually turned to design and started his first fashion label in 1981. His style was celebrated for its understated romanticism, even eschewing the big shoulder pad craze.

His signature fragrance, Romeo di Romeo Gigli, was launched in 1989. I was 14. Yes, I had other perfumes before Romeo, what I consider to be my signature scent. (I’m far from alone, this having been among the most popular fragrances on the market, at least back then.) There were stolen spritzes of my mom’s Charlie. And there was a momentary crush on the heady drug store favorite: Taboo. I still like a little Tocca Florence now and then. But Romeo has stuck, and I’ve been wearing it ever since.

What does a fragrance say about its wearer? What do you think yours says about you? Can my taste in perfume predict my taste in clothes, or makeup–or even books? Over at Twitter, I asked just that.

Heidi Czerwiec is an author, poet, and perfumista, who practices #perfumebookpairings. For one, she paired Randon Billings Noble’s collection of essays, Be With Me Always, which I talked about over here, with Maii by Bogue Profumo.

So, I asked her if she’d ever made a book recommendation based on someone’s signature scent, a reverse perfume book-pairing. And she did for me! I was thrilled:

“Based on your signature scent, Romeo di Romeo Gigli, which is a sweet, innocent floral with edgy marigold & asafoetida notes, over a resinous base, which fans have described as being in a fairy garden…I would recommend My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: 40 New Fairy Tales edited by Kate Bernheimer,” with stories and poems by some of my favorite authors and poets, “work that riffs on the old tales in unexpected ways.”

Brilliant, right?

So, spritz away if you’ve got it, even in quarantine. Anything to make you feel more human, more romantic, or even more like you’re sitting in a fairy garden (instead of your ratty old bathrobe–is that just me?) Read more about Heidi Czerwiec and her work. And tell me what are you wearing and reading today?

I’m chronicling our isolation with the help of WordPress Discover Prompts. This post was in response to Discover’s daily prompts: Book and Scent. Care to join in? Read others’ responses here. My other prompts responses:

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