I'll never forget the first time I smelled Creed perfume. It was six years ago. I remember this because it coincided with my first job in TV drama.
I had just landed a job on a really big BBC drama. I had no idea what to expect and was thrown into this high speed whirlwind of scripts, actors, directors. It was brilliant fun but such hard work. I'd sit in awe listening to the producers, script editors, directors and actors chat away over lunch about their jobs, etc... I felt way out of depth and quite lonely really. Everyone knew each other really well...I was a very small fish in an oceanic pond.
I shared an office with the admin girls. They only talked about clothes, shoes, and men. They'd flirt with every guy who came in, in a loud, bold confident way which made me cringe. Actors, directors, stuntmen, crew - they knew them all and everyone knew them. I just sat quietly in the corner, doing my work, and trying to laugh at their jokes every once in a while.
Chris was the lead actor of the show. Tall, dark and handsome. Being a friend of Chris's was a sure measure of a person's popularity and status. He was a notorious flirt and the girls loved him. They behaved as if he was theirs... hugely competitive, they hated the girls in the crew and the actresses who hung around him. If anyone dared talk to Chris the girls would rip them apart. I decided, as far as he was concerned, to act as if he didn't exist, despite his obvious leering at the 'new girl'. I smiled politely when he came in, then put my head down and pretended to be busy.
Then there was a leaving party for one of the lead actresses. Everyone was going, and the girls in my office insisted I come too, even though they ignored me as soon as we arrived. I tried my best to mingle. The party got raucous and everyone got loud and crazy and drunk...making me feel even more self-conscious and dull.
I was hiding in the corner, ready to leave, when Izzy, an older actress approached me. She started chatting to me and for some reason took a real shine to me. The trouble was, she got really drunk and I ended up being charged with taking her back to her hotel. So I did, while all the other girls partied and flirted as if their life depended on it. I got her back to the hotel and she insisted I come in. She talked at me for a good hour. Then she took out her make up, perfumes etc...went through it all, recommending what a girl like me should wear, etc. As much as I was enjoying the beauty tips, I was knackered and desperate to get home to bed. I finally made my excuses to leave when she thrust a beautiful bottle of Creed perfume into my hands.'Take this,' she slurred. 'It'll change your life.'
The next day I was at my desk, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, while the others dragged their hungover selves in, full of what fun they had last night after I left. Stories of all the drinks Chris bought them, how they'd watched as a drunk girl wouldn't leave him alone and they had to sneak him out, how they ended up back at his, one had even slept in his bed with him, etc... A great night for them by all accounts. I put my head down as usual and got to work.
Then Chris came into the office to raucous applause and cheering. He was 'so hungover.' Then he spotted the bottle of Creed that Izzy had given me. I'd sprayed a bit on, and was going to return it to her. He came over and lifted it up.
'This is my favourite women's perfume. It's beautiful.' He said.
'What's your name?'
'Nice to meet you Luna. I'm Chris.'
He leaned towards me and kissed me on the cheek.
'You smell amazing.' He whispered.
I looked at him, smiled, and he smiled back. We held eye contact for a split second longer than I felt comfortable with.
He left the office, and the girls swooped down on me. Envious, they asked what the perfume was, how much it was, where I got it, if they could try a bit.
'Sure.' I said. Clouds of Creed wafted around as they sprayed away, desperate to smell of Chris's preferred ladies fragrance.
The girls invited me to lunch with them. That was when we bumped into Chris again. He was with Izzy. He greeted me loudly.
He put his arm round me and took me over to Izzy.
'Izzy, this is my new friend, Luna. She wears the most amazing perfume and she smells delicious. I think I'm in love! You will sit with us for lunch, won't you?'
The girls stood with their mouths hanging open. Izzy just smiled at me, and gave me a knowing wink. I smiled back.
Creed hadn't changed my life, Izzy had.