What Perfume Means To Me


This is the Christmas package I’ve prepared for the Johns Hopkins eating disorder ward at which I was treated two years ago. (It had to be glass-free due to the potential for self-injury, hence the plastic bottles.) I wanted to share what I wrote on the card with you, my incredible readers.

“Dear ED Unit,

I remember that the holidays were a really lonely time for most of the ED patients when I was here, so I wanted to bring you something to remind you that we are thinking of you and rooting for you.

I brought you perfume because before I came to this hospital, I wasted seven years of my life on the belief that starving was the only thing I was good at. It wasn’t true. As I recovered, once I finally had more energy to put into a perfume blog that I had absent-mindedly started a year earlier, I found out that I was good at talking about perfume. Really good. I’m good at identifying a perfume’s notes, and I’m good at conveying to others how a perfume makes me smell and feel. I know I’m good because I have 20,000 amazing readers a month telling me so.

In five months I am going to graduate from Johns Hopkins, and then I am going to become a perfumer. Starving was not the only thing I was good at. It’s not the only thing you’re good at, either. I brought you these perfumes because I hope that soon you’ll find something that means to you what perfume means to me, a passion or a skill or a relationship that brings you more pride and happiness than losing weight ever could.

You are all so brave, even (especially!) those of you who don’t feel ready to be here yet. Wear these perfumes and remember that I got better, and know that you will get better, too.

Happy holidays and all my love,

Arielle Weinberg.”

Every single person who reads this blog has helped me to become healthy and happy. It is an unimaginable gift, and I will never be able to thank you enough. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season.