The top of my 3-month-old’s head smells soft and airy, like a breezy day that’s wafting powder my way and picking up the earthy scent of a French forest on the way. I’ve given a lot of thought to the matter because I spend about two-thirds of my day with that bald little melon within a foot of my nose. Although my unbiased opinion is that mine smells best, all babies inherently smell delightful. It’s one of the top three lines you’ll hear from any friend or relative who stops by to see the baby: “Oh, you smell so good!” everyone will cry out, often followed by, “If only they could bottle this scent.”
Well, my baby-sniffing friends, they have. And it is glorious. The staff at my local beauty store first pointed out Mustela’s Musti Eau de Soin Spray, after packaging up some Mustela cream for me. “This stuff smells uh-mazing,” was echoed around the room, and despite the fact that the idea of perfume for a baby raised a snark alarm inside me (perfume to spray on my already-perfect-smelling baby? Isn’t that the definition of gilding the lily?), I relented and took a whiff.
They were right. A blend of rose, lavender, honey, amber, chamomile, and citrus, it doesn’t smell precisely like my baby, but it captures the essence of general infancy — like Dreft and a rolling European field had a love child. I would have bought some then and there, but they were sold out. Couldn’t keep it on the shelves. All the other bougie moms in my neighborhood were snapping it up, I guess.
Though other companies peddle the sweet scent of baby — Love’s Baby Soft, Philosophy’s Baby Grace, Bvlgari’s Petits et Mamans, and Burberry’s Baby Touch — nothing beats Mustela’s Musti. It’s sweet but not cloying, powdery but not reminiscent of deodorant, and clean without being medicinal. It’s now my nostalgia creator. I’m building the association between Musti Eau de Soin and my daughter’s infancy so that when her own little bod loses that first-year freshness, I’ll still have a mechanism for purposely bringing myself to mom tears. I spritz it on my own clothes, my towels, and in closet drawers. I don’t want to smell like a baby myself — I just want to access the scent of wiggles and coos whenever I need a dose. For only 30 bucks, it’s a worthwhile experiment. But no matter what, I never spray it directly on the baby. That’d just be weird.
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