I don’t remember when exactly I came across Baby Doll; I know it was at a YSL counter – and I think it might’ve been when I was buying a mascara. I think I bought it because I knew instinctively it would annoy my mother.
It’s as if Yves himself had thought of every possible way to make my mother roll her eyes. It’s in a pink bottle. The bottle is shaped like a spinning top so it doesn’t sit easily, or neatly. It smells overwhelmingly of grapefruit. And most likely to annoy my mother; it’s called Baby Doll. A name which combines three ideas that make her unhappy. 1) baby doll toys – she despises them, 2) baby doll lingerie – she has a big chunk of internalised misogyny; and 3) infantilisation.
It was a hugely juvenile choice, but while other people rebelled with tattoos, piercings and hairy biker dudes I chose passive aggressive shopping choices.
Despite the inauspicious arrival in my collection Baby Doll was for a while one of the most interesting scents I owned. It is a fruity floral, but not in a cheap way. The floral is a very grown up rose, and the fruit is a mix of berries and citrus. Though apparently no grapefruit, even if that is the most overwhelming scent for me.
My last bottle ran out a couple of years ago, and I’m not sure it’s slightly defiant scent suits me these days. But it is absolutely a scent stage that I’m glad to have gone through; my difficult years scent.