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Poetry Pleases: In Praise Of Smelling Nice

So what do you wear in bed when you are sixty-three? That is, what perfume do you wear? Sylvia West's delicious poem gives you the answer.

“And what do you wear in bed?” I said
To my friend of sixty-three.
With wide-open eyes she smiled at me:
“Chanel No. 5” she said.
I looked askance: “What,you?” I said,
“But you are sixty-three!”
“So what!” she said. “I have to smell nice
For the man in my life, you see.”
“Then what about now, at twelve fifteen?”
I sniffed the air to see
If I could guess what she had on
At wrist and throat and knee.
“Anais Anais is for every day,
Intuition’s for after three,
And Je Reviens if I’m out at night,
And nothing at all if I’m free.”
“Good Lord !” I said. “You must smell like a shop
Where all can be tested for free.”
“You may be right, but what a delight
So long as the smells are on me!”
Just then the man in her life came up
And said “My dear, come and see.
I bought you some Devon Violets,
And this bottle of Poison


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