I have to resurrect this old thread!
It amazes me how sometimes it takes forever to get around to the fun things in life...I found Shocking in the L.A. fashion district shortly after we had this chat and I've been carrying it with me on my trips to California, waiting for the chance to give it to my friends, ever since.
Anyway it was just last night that I finally got to visit my friends in their apartment and give them my well-traveled bottle of Shocking. We were meeting there for a quick glass of wine before going off to dinner at a common friends' house. We were all dressed very casually.
I asked them if they knew who Mae West was and if they had done any investigations into her life and her time living in this building. They were aware of her of course but I gave them more info about her: that she was perhaps the first sexpot of the modern age, the first Pamela Anderson if you will, and that she was an outspoken advocate of human sexuality and sexual freedom. Basically I painted her as one sexy beast.
Most importantly they were missing the big piece of the puzzle - that she had passed away somewhere HERE in the top floor suite of the Ravenswood building - the very place where we were sitting and having this discussion! They thought this fascinating and we discussed the possibility that her spirit remained here to this day. I then gave Claudia the bag and she opened it up with a real mixture of puzzlement and excitement - she held up the Shocking box for Mike to see as I told them that this was the perfume that Mae wore - and they FREAKED OUT, they were like Oh my God that's amazing I can't believe you did this.
Claudia immediately opened it and gave it a try on her wrist and I'm telling you Mae entered the room right then and there - we were all struck by this rich decadent sexy come-hither smell that had just been unleashed. We all kept sniffing her wrist again and again and she said "I wish I had this earlier I would have worn it instead of what I have on now"...then she said "Oh forget about it I'll just cover it up" and began spraying with abandon! The room was as rich as an opium den and it was fantastic. We all just could not believe how good this stuff smelled and suddenly Claudia jumps up and announces she is underdressed and goes off to change into something sexier! Moments later she's back in something a lot tighter, blacker, low cut, and pointy shoed. And she was beaming. (She's a lovely woman and can doll it up with the best of them.)
So off we went to this dinner, where everyone was complimenting Claudia on how great she looked and the other ladies were perhaps feeling a bit outdone and she turns to me and tells everyone that I was the inspiration for this and why don't I tell my story and I got to do it all again but this time for the larger group. Claudia had to go around the circle time and time again as everyone sniffed her wrists and marveled. What a great evening.
So that's what it's like when you get to watch Mae West channel through someone.
I got that bottle for about 20 bucks IIRC - best money I've spent in a long time. It was a complete bulls-eye as gifts go. I feel great for having done it. And my friends think I'm the coolest American ever. You now may return to your regularly scheduled activities ;D