I realized a few weeks ago that I hadn’t left the confines of New York City once since Christmas, when I went home to Georgia to see my family and eat lots of Waffle House and Publix subs. Unless you count that one time recently I had an out-of-town job that took me to Pelham, NY — Westchester mainstay or a suburb of the Bronx, WHO’S TO SAY?! — but I refuse to. Give me a break, guys.
I was starting to have that oppressive feeling one gets living in New York (which definitely sounds melodramatic to those that haven’t chosen this rat-infested paradise), that all the buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and maybe even some of the bigger ones in Queens, were definitely going to close in on me at any second. So I had no choice; I packed my bags and booked it to the Bolt Bus, finding my way to the City of Brotherly Love and The World’s Most Fattening Foods. I’m pretty sure Philly and Chicago are in a cholesterol-greased race for the most obesity-causing foods per capita, and I was ready to jump face-first onto the Crisco-laden Slip ‘n Slide that leads to this delicious darkness. Cheap beer wishes and cheesesteak dreams!
One of my besties, Ally, canceled her many appointments for the weekend (she’s a VERY BUSY BUSINESSWOMAN!) and carried me around on her shoulders, taking me to the farthest reaches of Old City and beyond — doorsteps I had ne’er darkened in previous P-town visits.
Despite the fact that it rained literally EVERY SECOND of my entire stay (no different than the soaking wet weekend NY experienced, luckily), we managed to circumnavigate Philly on foot, and occasionally by train or cab.
One of the pit stops along the way was to Philadelphia boutique Scout Salvage & Vintage Rescue, an adorable vintage clothing and small goods shop that has everything I could ever want in one place — including the most ridiculous and beautiful blue caftan the world has ever seen, which I will soon unveil to you all. I’ll make sure to smell something in it and force someone to photograph me while doing so, just so it will be relevant to these proceedings. Calm down, you smell blog purists.
But I digress. The real star of the show here is the Ripe perfume oil I purchased at Scout, in an absurdly good scent called Campout. With a coconut oil base and notes of sandalwood, cedar, pine, dried leaves, heliotrope, amber, vanilla and ROASTED MARSHMALLOWS (THAT’S LITERALLY IN THE DESCRIPTION!!!!), this scent can’t decide if it wants to build a log cabin or bake some cookies. Maybe it’s a modern woman and wants to do both, so lay off!
In fact, this roll-on delight smells exactly like a campfire and fruit-flavored Lip Smacker had an awkward little made-on-the-top-bunk baby, when all the counselors were asleep (or making their own secret babies). Let’s face it, camp is a hormonally charged situation, as Wet Hot American Summer so succinctly captured 13 years ago. Even I know this, from that one time I was lucky enough to attend a church-based one. It was here that I developed Tina Belcher-level crushes on every boy in sight, which I had to shove deep inside my sad and lonely heart — for fear that my sunburnt, makeup-free moonface and flabby, yet womanly bod would have never been appreciated by those 100 pounds-soaking-wet, brace-faced hunks before me. That internal shame saved me from a far more soul-crushing, public shame.
Campout ever-so-delicately brings back those uncomfortable memories, but in a way that makes me oddly nostalgic for the unrequited longing and insecurity of youth. The sweet, feminine aromas combine harmoniously with the woodsy, masculine ones, making this the perfect everyday fragrance. Wearing it is also the best way to conjure up those teenage daydreams; you know, the ones of making out with boys who will never actually make out with you, so instead of dwelling, you gorge yourself on s’mores in between bouts of singing Kumbaya by the fire? It’s ok, you can stop crying. Middle school is over!
And even though it might remind you of your embarrassing adolescence, the positive reactions you’ll get while wearing Campout will only reassure you what a mature, nice-smelling woman you are now. My only regret is not buying a couple of Ripe’s other amazing fragrances, which can be purchased here.