Olive Oil Hair Creme by Nelly Irwin

In my process of existence, as a Black queer womxn (?) somedays, no gender other days, always identifying myself, always identifying myself, I am reminded of what scent means to me.

Perfume is made of combined fragrance notes, each unfolding hours apart, leaving behind a musky scent.

Hair lotion/skin lotion, reacting in a similar manner.

Have you ever had someone walk past you, a smell lingering which freezes you in place or reminds you of a space in time? I was adopted at a young age and raised by white folks, they covered our home in media with faces like mine and yet I was always looking for more Black, always trying to become more. Have you ever been in a Black hair salon?

I was seven when my father dropped me off at the salon in Culver City, Black women cooing at me, mixing my hair with soaps, oils, lotions. The clicking of intricately painted nails on plastic containers opening, filling my head space with smell.

As an adult, I still use those soaps, oils, lotions, To smell so deliciously and unapologetically Black.


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