The other day, Mr Bonkers attempted to climb into an unmade bed - that's "unmade" as in stripped. In other words, no bedding had been put back on following the mysterious business of laundry processing, which is conducted in our house by a team of invisible and recurring fairies. I shan't specify who these fairies are exactly, but let's just say that I bear an uncanny resemblance to every last one of them. Realising his error, Mr B agreed under duress to help me make the bed first before getting into it. I use the word "help" advisedly, as bed making is largely outside his sphere of competence, along with buying the correct sort of aubergines, detergent and ham.
So I took one corner of the duvet and gave Mr B the other to hold and insert in the duvet cover. I had already got my corner all the way in, when I noticed that Mr B was attempting to stuff the top corner of the duvet into the lower corner of the cover.
"No", I said, "you have to thread it through and up to the other end."
"Up there - a place known as 'the top right hand corner'." Sensing my playfully patronising tone, Mr B smiled, but continued to stab the top corner of the duvet into the opening of the cover.
"Well, I just thought you could maybe use a bit of nomenclature", I quipped.
Mr Bonkers laughed good naturedly, and said: "Well, I don't know what 'nomenclature' is, but it sounds disparaging!"
Whereupon we both collapsed in giggles, and moments later the penny had dropped and the corner was correctly despatched to its rightful corner.
Then last night I hatched a mischievous plan - based around the idea of detergent, indeed ...
Knowing that Mr Bonkers eschews all forms of fragrance, lovethescents jokingly suggested once that I apply a bit of cologne to his person while he slept - a practice known as "stealth perfuming". At the time, I thought that that was a bit radical and risky as pranks go, but last night I came up with a more subtle approach, and stealth perfumed the duvet cover with L'Artisan Parfumeur L'Eté en Douce. L'Eté en Douce is one of my most expensive "albatross" scents, bought in an impulsive moment by what Katie Puckrik recently dubbed the "pin the tail on the donkey" method, right before closing time in Bon Marché in Paris.
Notes: mint, rose, orange blossom, hay, white woods, and (shedloads of) white musk
As anyone who has read Perfumes: The Guide will know, Luca Turin famously compared L'Eté en Douce to "laundry-soap-on-steroids", and - despite a pretty linden note in the opening - this perfume is seriously spoilt for me by an insanely high dose of clean musk, exactly like washing powder.
There are three other things I should perhaps mention: firstly, Mr B has remarked that his mother's laundry smells fresher and cleaner than ours - he has even referred to our clean washing on occasions as "musty". Hmmm...those fairies may need a bit of a pep talk on pre-wash fabric softener procedures. Secondly, the last time I wore L'Eté en Douce (admittedly layered over a German body lotion with aloe vera), Mr B actually said I smelt quite nice. Yes, this is the second such instance apart from SJP Lovely - the unifying factor being the scent of soap. Thirdly, L'Eté en Douce (which roughly translates as "summer comes gently") was formerly known as Extrait de Songe ("extract of a dream"), before the clash with Annick Goutal's Songes prompted a re-think. So, you never know, maybe he would actually sleep better as a result of my little experiment...
Given all these facts, I didn't feel too mean therefore when I crept into the bedroom last night - Mr B having conveniently nodded off downstairs in front of "Amish: The World's Squarest Teenagers" - and sprayed his side of the duvet cover a few times with L'Eté en Douce (okay, maybe about 10 or so: mostly outside, a couple inside, and one on the pillow underneath the one he puts his head on).
This morning, agog with curiosity, I inquired how he had slept.
"Very well, thanks."
"Did you notice anything?"
Which was my cue to come "clean" immediately about the stealth perfuming scam.
"Actually, I did...it was vile....well, not vile, but a bit too much."
"So....did you get a clean laundry smell, then?"
"Yes, and I couldn't work out how."
(I'm issuing those fairies with a formal warning.)
"But you had a good night?"
"I don't know, I was asleep."
On hearing the good news that I had sort of got away with it, I promised Mr Bonkers that I would not pull such a stunt again. And though I may have managed to "waste" a couple of ml in my spraying spree, the albatross remains firmly round my neck. Though on the upside, Mr B is now a competent bed making partner.
Photo of L'Eté en Douce from letsbuyit.co.uk, photo of laundry fairies from woodlandsenchanted.co.nz and artlandmark.com, photo of detergent molecules from elmhurst.edu