“Smell Like A Man.”

February 15, 2016

Paco Rabanne, age 14: Lavender spice. Earthy and hot. Summer in the south. I’m standing in front of the mirror admiring my tan and mop of brown hair, almost a mullet, parted hard in the middle. “My name is Paco,” I say to myself in what I imagine to be a Spaniard’s accent. “My name is Paco. Paco… Raybon?” Maybe I’ll take Spanish next year. I pick up the bottle and study it. “Rabanny. Rayban. Rab-anne.” I settle for Ra-BON. “I am Paco Rabanne. I AM Paco Rabanne. My name… is Paco Rabanne. Have you met my friend, Paco Rabanne? Please, call me Paco. Paco Rabanne. Collect call from Paco Rabanne. Now checking into the game, number 23, Paco Rabanne. Hello, my name is Paco Rabanne. Have you seen Paco? Paco Rabanne? It’s Paco…” In the mirror, something has changed. A perspective shift. I turn and find her standing there, arms folded. “Your father wants you to mow the yard,” she says quietly, adding after a beat, “Paco,” the punchline. Barely an hour later, Paco Rabanne is wilting under the choking, gray, noxious exhaust spewing from a Lawn-Boy.

An episode in Kevin Depew’s remembrance of fragrance in his teenage years, “Smell Like a Man.” Read the rest here.