What Happens in Vegas… Part II: Confession of a Sillage Monster

What do I think about Las Vegas? It’s a quintessence of kitsch. It’s busy, crowded, artificial, vain and idle. I like Las Vegas exactly for all these traits. Having grown up in the downtown of a multi-million-population city and living now in a suburbia (highly urbanized but still and all), I miss crowds. I miss well-dressed work crowds and dressed-up holiday crowds. All that is within a 30-minutes drive from where I live but I do not take that drive too often in my day-to-day life.

Las Vegas is my fix. Once every 2-3 years for several days I live in a very busy downtown. Every time we’d stay at one of the newest hotels, walk the Strip, do some [window] shopping, watch a show and occasionally pay for resting at a video poker machine.

Many years ago my vSO and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate my birthday. The plan was to have a dinner and go for a walk but then my vSO decided to take me to see Riverdance show which I wanted to see but was hesitant to spend money on (for budgetary reasons). It was a very thoughtful gift on its own but while we were getting ready to go out my vSO handed me a nicely wrapped gift. I suspected (and hoped) it would be a perfume but wasn’t sure which one since at the time there were several perfumes that I liked and hinted to my VSO I wouldn’t mind having in months preceding my birthday.


It was Vera Wang’s first perfume Vera Wang.

Vera Wang – created in 2002 by Jean Claude Delville and Harry Fremont, notes include Bulgarian rose, calla lily, mandarin blossom, gardenia, musk and white woods. In 2003 it won two Fifi awards – for the Women’s Packaging of the Year and Women’s Nouveau Niche.

I liked Vera Wang perfume very much and was so excited that I got it that as soon as I tore off the wrapping paper and opened the box I sprayed myself all over with this wonderful perfume. I mean all over. I don’t remember how many sprays it was but I wasn’t trying to be frugal: after all, it was a new 100 ml bottle of eau de parfum.

Riverdance performed in a small venue with somewhat unconventional seating arrangements: there were sets of a table with four chairs next to it. Tickets stated only a table number. When we arrived there a couple who shared the table with us was already there. They had occupied two seats adjacent to the table leaving us two seats a table and two chairs apart. I felt bad about it: it was my birthday, we paid a lot of money (for us at the time) to go there and we were forced to sit apart. My vSO is a nonconfrontational person and I… they were just much older and I didn’t find the right words.

Vera Wang EdP

So we sat apart. And despite everything I was enjoying the show. Until I realized that a woman sitting next to me started coughing and sneezing and I suspected it was caused by my perfume. Because even two hours after the initial application I was still in a fragrant cloud. I felt hostile towards her for grabbing those seats but at the same time I felt guilty for aggravating her allergies. I even contemplated apologizing to her after the show. But then I thought she could have changed places with her companion (or with my vSO to be even further from me) but she hadn’t. So I kept silent. I don’t know for a fact that she did react to my perfumed indiscretion but since then I’ve never applied too much perfume when going to any performance.

Since then for many years Vera Wang was my dress-up perfume. I used it for occasions where I wasn’t afraid to over-apply it. On the onset of my perfume hobby my tastes and my collection changed and for a while I forgot about my old favorite. And then I took Vera Wang to my most recent trip to Las Vegas and wore it (very discreetly) to a show (Penn & Teller – we loved it). I still enjoy this perfume. I have no idea if it’s good or if it just holds a sentimental value but I love it. It’s loud, very feminine and very flowery. And, I think, it’s mostly (all?) synthetic. But I still would wear it from time to time and remember myself being once a Sillage Monster.

Vera Wang perfume and my cat Rusty


See Vanessa’s take on this perfume: The Art of Wearing Perfume Ironically: Vera Wang EDP

Images: Riverdance from broadwaysd.com; perfume (and the cat) – my own.


25 thoughts on “What Happens in Vegas… Part II: Confession of a Sillage Monster

  1. I agree, great story. I’m so surprised that the people at your table didn’t offer to move, though. How rude! (I’m sorry to be judgmental, but that is how I feel about it. ;) ) About the perfume, if you like it and it makes you happy, then it must be good!


  2. Most of us have a sillage monster story. Mine was in the 90s and I was called by the school to pick up one of my girls for an incidence. We had to sit in the principals’ office with me covered in Bijan after over applying. Even I was suffering. At one point he opened the windows. Tee hee! My daughter has never forgotten and won’t let me forget either. I must say though that I ususally love to go to events just to catch the waft of different fragrances and I drive my DH nuts trying to name them. Most of the time its pretty easy and I love it when I have to track someone down to ask what they are wearing and they look at me like “You mean you can smell my perfume!?”


  3. Also, I have enjoyed your Vegas stories very much. I am going to Vegas in April and now Guerlain is on my “must do” list. Thanks for sharing your experiences.


  4. It’s fascinating to me how our childhood homes can still have such an influence on us. I grew up in the country on a large acreage beside the banks of a river and miles and miles of undeveloped northern boreal forest. So it’s not surprising the most enjoyable part of my Vegas trip last year was getting out of the city and hiking in Red Rock Canyon – who knew something so gorgeous and diverse exists a 1/2 hour out of city limits? Vegas has something for everyone. :)

    The Engineer and I had spent a day sniffing before seeing a Cirque de Soleil performance, so by the time we sat in our seats that night, I was wafting about ten different fragrances. I admit I winced for the person beside me as I sat down, but there were no complaints or sneezes, so hopefully I wasn’t too overwhelming.


    • Hm… I might look into that hike for our next trip there: Strip doesn’t change fast enough to hold my interest for three days there. Thank you for the idea.

      You’re the second person I know who calls her spouse Engineer in online communications (the second one is my close friend). I like it :)


  5. I too am flabbergasted at the audacious rudeness of your table mates; how on earth they could sit there while you and your VSO sat to either side of them… I certainly would have asked them to move!

    I’m glad that you still love your old favorite! :)


    • It was rude, I agree. But it’s their Karma and my story – so, let’s say, we’re even.

      I have to confess: I was genuinely surprised that I still found it so enjoyable.


  6. As I’ve never been to Vegas, I really enjoyed hearing why you love it, what draws you there, and the types of shows you like to see. (Riverdance is something I’d love to see, too.) And your memory of receiving this most longed-for perfume grabbed hold of me precisely because you conveyed your excitement in the way that all of us have probably done at one time or another. Sprayed ourselves with abandon, simply because we’re lost in the joy of it. If anything has been brought home to me by the recent blog discussions of sillage monsters and how much or how little we spray, it is that. And I’ve decided to loosen up this week and spray more than I normally do, and it’s been good for me to step aside from my opinions and be a more feeling person in this regard.

    I second what Natalie said about Vera Wang: “if it makes you happy, it must be good!” (And if it’s as floral as you say, it must be incredibly good!) ;)


    • You know, you’re right: I don’t remember being that excited about any other new bottles. Usually, once I get a new bottle, it has to stay in my collection for a while before I open it and start using.

      I did my “loosing up” last weekend (also because of all talks) – and nobody noticed!!! :)


  7. I loved your take on Vegas – I have never been but think I could get into the brazen artificiality of it all very easily. The lights alone must be just something to behold!

    And I am so pleased to learn that you have this nostalgic connection with Vera Wang. I have a mini of this scent which I like a lot – I used to wear it half ironically till I went and spilt most of it, sadly. By half ironically I simply mean that I didn’t feel girly enough to wear it, not that I feel it is in any sense unworthy qualitywise or in terms of its brand image. I think it smells pretty well made in fact (Boisdejasmin’s upcoming post may shed more light on this topic!) and I gather it is popular as a bridal scent – to go with the Vera Wang dress, no doubt… : – )


    • Thank you, Vanessa! Lights of Las Vegas are really impressive… and excessive – as everything else in Vegas.

      Of course! Once I forgot to ask readers to share links to their reviews (I just didn’t think anybody has reviewed Vera Wang original perfume – I looked for them!) – and there is a review out there. I’ve updated my post and will try not to omit that invitation to share in future.


  8. How ironic, one of the last times I was in Las Vegas it was for my birthday and my sister gave me a bottle of Vera Wang Princess. I guess I must have forgotten what box I put it into in the last two moves I have been through because I haven’t worn or seen it in three years! I found it recently. I haven’t worn it but yes, I got flashbacks and they were good memories. It’s a cute heart shaped bottle and maybe I’ll have the urge to spritz it on for old time sake!


    • None of the other Vera Wang perfumes works for me (I tried) so I gave up trying. But I agree, that heart-shaped bottle wasn’t bad.

      You can try it on before taking a shower. This way if you still like it, you’ll put it on after you take a shower, call your sister and tell her you still like her gift. And if you can’t stand it any longer, water will wash it all away.


  9. Pingback: Girls Just Want to Have Fun! « Undina's Looking Glass

  10. I LOVED Vera Wang when it first came out (also,Vera Wang for Men which I wore too!!!)….happy to see a mention of a non-niche perfume….I think every once in a while a gem can be found in more conventional places.

    Liked by 1 person

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