Savoir Flair Presents an Original Story for Givenchy ‘Irresistible’ Eau de Parfum
A New Chapter Will Appear Every Week
Isn’t it time to become a free-spirited, effervescent heroine who follows her desires at her own pace and listens to her instincts?
“The problem with your generation,” Noor’s mother says as she draws back the curtain to let Dubai’s blinding rays fill the room, “is that you have too many options.”
“Mooommm,” Noor groans, stuffing her head under her pillow. It’s way too early for a lecture.
“You grew up with so many opportunities that you think you can just chase whatever whim strikes your fancy that day. You don’t plan for the future,” her mother concludes, prodding her daughter out of bed.
“Mom, have you ever thought that my dreams and my future are not mutually exclusive?” Noor retorts, swinging her long legs off the side of the bed.
At the age of 18, Noor is moments away from making a decision that would change her destiny forever. As an extremely gifted dancer, Noor is chasing her dream to become the principal dancer at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, but her parents have other plans. As a gifted academic student, especially in science and mathematics, her parents are urging her to head another direction: MIT. She has gotten into both schools, having applied to MIT to please her parents. She knows that if she went to MIT she wouldn’t just make her parents happy, but also set herself up for a lucrative career. Her heart was torn. There is nothing she loves more in the world than ballet, but it’s a much bigger risk and a much more uncertain path. The decision day is upon her. Either way, I’m getting out of here, she thinks to herself.
As Noor and her mother continue bantering, the phone rings. It’s the admissions counselor at Boston Conservatory. Wow, it must be late over there, Noor thinks. Suddenly, a sweet, irresistible aroma fills the air. It is completely intoxicating, different but still familiar, unlike anything she has smelled before. What is it?
“Mom, did you just spray something?” Noor asks, while reaching for her phone.
Her mother looks at her surprised. She smells it too. “No, dear, I thought you did.”
Noor hesitates as she looks at her phone, ready to finally respond to the call of the universe.
Her heart skips a beat as she presses the big green Accept button on the call.
“Hello? Noor speaking…” she answers.
Noor sinks back down on her bed a little shell-shocked. Her sister Yasmine peeks her head in the room. “Is this a bad time to talk?”
Noor pats the bed next to her, gesturing for her younger sister to come sit next to her.
“Why is mom crying?” Yasmine asks.
“Well,” Noor pauses. “I told the Boston Conservatory that I was accepting.”
“Noor! That’s huge!” Yasmine screams.
“But, there’s a catch. The admissions counselor said they could only offer me a limited scholarship. It will barely cover the cost of residential housing and materials.”
“Oh,” Yasmine says quietly.
“And the scholarship offer from MIT is so much bigger, it seems like that’s what I have to do,” Noor feels her eyes well up with tears as she says it out loud for the first time.
“Honestly, sis, you should talk to mom. I know she’s upset right now, but she is still so proud of your dance accomplishments. She’s always bragging to the other moms at school about you. I think she’s just worried for your future,” Yasmine says encouragingly.
“I will, I promise. But, Yasmine?” Noor looks at her younger sister’s sweet face. “What do you think I should do?”
Yasmine wraps her arms around her big sister’s waist. Again, the room fills with the same sweet aroma as before. Noor inhales deeply, trying to find its source.
“Noor, you already know in your heart what you should do.”
Yasmine kisses her cheek, and then heads out of the room, leaving Noor alone with her thoughts. She is so filled with anxiety. Is she about to walk away from her dream? Before she can decide, she needs to talk to her mom and dad together.
Noor stood up, and heads down the hall to her parent’s bedroom, where she can hear them talking. As she pads softly down the hallway, she realizes she was on the trail of the irresistible scent again. It was like she was a few steps behind a fragrant stranger, trying to catch up. She pauses at the entryway of the bathroom and sniffs, trying to figure out if that’s where the smell was coming from. No, the bathroom smelled like clean laundry. Confused, she continues walking to her parent’s room, and then raised a trembling hand to knock.
As Noor knocks on the door to her parent’s bedroom, she realizes she isn’t entirely sure what she wants to happen next. The scholarship from MIT and that future are clearly the path that her parents want for her. And she knows that the scholarship alone makes that decision a lot easier to take. In a split second, Noor pictures her future if she goes to MIT. Her path is lit by success, accolades, and a promising career in science or mathematics. She knows it like she knows the sky is blue.
Next, she pictures her future at Boston Conservatory: the long hours of training, the studies she will have to balance in between classes, the constant striving for utter perfection. But, she also knows that this is where she belongs. She has wanted to be Prima ballerina assoluta (the highest title awarded in the ballet world) for her entire life. One of her earliest memories at the age of four is of seeing The Nutcracker and being so transported by the movements of the ballerina’s bodies that she couldn’t sleep that night because she was so excited. She started ballet classes the following week, and had been training at the craft ever since.
As she walks into her parent’s room, her anxiety is in her throat. Her mom and dad are standing close to each other. They turn to look at her, but they don’t look upset.
“Mom? Dad? I wanted to ask—” Noor stops, realizing she isn’t sure what she wants to say.
“My love, it’s okay,” her father interjects swiftly. “We know that you have an impossible decision to make.”
Her mother stiffens, “It’s not so impossible! One is clearly better than the other!”
Noor nods, “I know, mom, the scholarship from MIT has got me second-guessing my heart.”
Her mother softens, “That’s not what I want, Noor, I don’t want you to second-guess your heart. It’s just that financially it’s a better decision for the family and for your future. I’m not trying to hurt you, I’m trying to help you.”
Her parents gather her in their arms for a hug. Noor tries to stop tears from rolling down her face. The room, once again, swirls with the heady fragrance she has been smelling all day.
In a moment she knows what she has to say. Noor unlocks the floodgates of her heart and lets her feelings pour forth, “I know you want what’s best for me. You have given me the best life imaginable. But it’s time for me to make this decision on my own. It’s my life. I will not always make the right decision, but you have to trust me. The truth is, I am going to Boston Conservatory, no matter what. Even if I have to pay for it myself. I know it’s not the easiest path, but the easiest path is not always the right one. If I don’t dance, I don’t live,” Noor says. As she speaks, the room floods with the fragrance again, it is ferocious, free-spirited, joyful, echoing the refrains of her heart.
Her parents look at her, surprised. She had never spoken like that to them before.
“My daughter, my love, my heart,” her father says, “If that is how you truly feel. We will not stand in your way.”
Her mother looks down, and tightens her mouth. Then she looks up at Noor, with eyes filled with love and compassion.
“We trust you sweetheart. But how will we pay for this?”
Noor’s eyes twinkle, “I have some ideas!”
All summer, Noor works. She works harder than she has ever worked before. She gets up at 5 a.m. every day and puts her body through rigorous dance training. Then, she heads to her first job as a barista at a nearby cafe, and then in the evening as a nanny for two rambunctious boys. None of her friends are working during the summer, much less two jobs, and they complain that they never see her.
But Noor isn’t upset, she is glowing from within. She is making her dream come true on her own terms. Her plan is to save up every fils until she has enough to pay for her first semester of college, and then to work part-time while she is in school to keep putting herself through classes. Her parents are amazed by her work ethic, and are so proud of her that they go out of their way to drive her to jobs, make sure she is eating healthy meals, and give her space on the weekends so she can recuperate and rest. She feels freedom for the first time in her life, and it’s exhilarating.
In August, as the days for her impending departure to Boston come closer, Noor’s parents ask to speak to her. The family sits down together in the living room. Yasmine sits next to Noor, holding her hand and beams an encouraging smile.
“Noor, we were already so proud of you and the young woman you are becoming, but now we are even prouder. You have worked so hard this summer, and even though we’re old people,” Noor’s dad laughs, “we have learned something from you. When we were young, we didn’t question the decisions laid out for us by our parents. We did exactly what they told us to do, but it didn’t always make us happy.”
Noor’s mother cuts in, “You have inspired us Noor, in ways you can’t fully understand. To show you how proud of you we are, we are matching the funds you saved up for college. In fact, the whole family pitched in! Auntie Maya and Uncle Hussain contributed, and so did Grandma Maryam! This should more than carry you through your first year.”
Noor’s mouth drops open in shock. Yasmine squeezes her hand even tighter.
“This is incredible! I can’t thank you enough,” Noor gushes, feeling gratitude fill every fiber of her being.
As Noor is getting ready to leave for Boston, she gets another call from the Boston Conservatory. Due to her superlative academic grades, and the letters of recommendation she received from her teachers, they have decided to award her the Thrive Scholarship, which will cover her cost of tuition. She and her family are stunned, never expecting this good fortune to come. Relief takes over, and they dance around the kitchen upon hearing the news.
When the day comes, Noor’s parents and sister drive her to the airport, and say a tearful goodbye. They promise to come visit her during Fall Break. She boards the plane, and sinks into her seat, amazed that the moment to embark on her own has finally arrived. She is so filled with anticipation that she doesn’t sleep during the long flight. As she rummages around in her carry-on bag for a book to read to pass the time, her hand bumps into a hard, weighty object. She pulls it out. It’s a gift box, with a note attached to it.
“Dear sister, I knew all along that you would make the right decision, but I also intervened in my own way. Yeah, I know little sisters can be annoying like that. When I was shopping one day, I found this fragrance, and as soon as I smelled it, I thought, ‘It smells like Noor!’ It smelled like freedom, audacity, energy, and magnetism. This is you in a bottle. While you were trying to make the hardest decision of your life, I kept spritzing it in your room and around the house so that you would associate this moment with this scent. I know it sounds silly, but it really worked. Now, if you ever doubt yourself again, just put this fragrance on, and remember everything you’ve accomplished. Love, Yazz”
Tears rolled down Noor’s face as she realized her sister’s game had helped influence her to make the right decision. She tore open the gift wrapping, and saw it packaged elegantly: Givenchy ‘Irresistible” Eau De Parfum, the box read. She applied some to her wrist, and brought it to her nose to inhale deeply. Suddenly, she is right back in the room when she smelled it for the first time, as the phone rang from Boston Conservatory. Noor starts laughing, joyfully remembering the hardships she has overcome. For the rest of her life, whenever she faces a difficult decision, she puts on the perfume and does the only thing she knows how to do: she follows her heart.