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As I read an article in Marie Claire Australia’s November issue on a person’s experience losing her best friend to marriage, I began to think about the perfumes that I’ve lost and discarded along my own perfume journey.

Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Coffee (PC) stands looming over my other fragrances from the back of the closet. It remains there and hardly gets bothered very much anymore. PC was released as a limited release in 2008, a flanker to the original A*Men. I’ve always wondered why people have such strong reactions to A*Men while I have only at most, “pleasant” feelings towards it. So when PC was released, I was intrigued and thought that perhaps it would be interesting to sniff since it did feature one of my favourite smells, coffee. A couple of sniffs at the perfume counter at Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and a largely positive review by Kevin from Now Smell This sealed the deal for me.

It was love at first sniff. Smelling more like Starbucks’ Mocha Frappuccino then freshly ground coffee beans, I was only to happy to indulge. This sweet treat lasts for about an hour on me before the familiar original A*Men notes come into play as the mocha notes slowly retreat backstage. I don’t kiss and tell, so I won’t go into the details of how A*Men smells but safe to say, I’m sure most readers would have encountered A*Men at some point in time.

So when did the relationship begin to sour? It was almost three months in, when I decided to wear PC to work one day and I found that even after a single spray, PC completely overpowered me. Gone was the rush of its gourmand warmth, replaced instead by an overbearingly sweet patchouli vanilla relentlessness. Even the once harmless original A*Men notes could nowhere be found. Yet, I persisted. I tried to make it work. I wore PC in different weather conditions, different moods and different outfits in various combinations. Sadly, nothing worked.

In the original Marie Claire article, the author ends up realising that though friendship like life, changes, she and her best friend will always be there for one another. As for me and PC, breaking up is hard to do, but I did it anyway and have never looked back since. Amen to that.