In the world according to my flatmate, Saffy, famous people have more fun. “And they also keep getting richer!” she said the other day.
Famous people, she noted — as if she was best friends with many famous people and therefore could speak with authority on the subject — almost never paid for anything. How could you, for example, present Meryl Street with a bill for her meal? And if you were a tailor and Hugh Jackman wore one of your shirts, wouldn’t you want to give him an entire suitcase of the stuff and then tell everyone on Instagram? Or if you were an airline, surely it would make sense to upgrade Kim Kardashian to First Class?
“I don’t think Kim Kardashian has flown commercial since before Northwest was born,” Amanda pointed out with the kind of authority you get from being an Instgram stalker, “but I see your point.”
Saffy’s bosom inflated. “They don’t have to pay for anything! Did you see that YouTube video of Celine Dion getting ready for her concert and Armani and Versace sent a whole bunch of clothes plus a tailor to her home for her to pick out what she wanted? She didn’t even have to leave her house. The shops came to her! I mean,” Saffy drew breath, “how crazy is that?”
As Saffy sees it, if famous people get all these freebies, it’s extra cash they don’t have to spend, the way you and I might have to. “An Armani dress costs, what, a million dollars?” Saffy said by way of example, demonstrating not for the first time, her somewhat loose grasp of retail economics. “You’d have to empty your CPF account to buy a single dress whereas Celine Dion gets it for free! So, her CPF account is still intact whereas the rest of us would be homeless and eating food scraps from bins!”
The fact that this sort of thing has always been going on is neither here nor there, as far as Saffy is concerned, her point being that it’s now even more obvious, thanks to social media.
And now comes news that the actress Chloe Sevigny has just released her debut perfume, Little Flower.
“It’s got top notes of rose, blackcurrant and tea,” Saffy read on her phone. She paused and looked up with a disgruntled look on her face. “Seriously, why would you want to smell like a Paul’s pastry?”
Sharyn rolled her eyes. “Aiyah, you just jealous lah that no one ask you to make your own perfume. And anyway, what would be your top note? Kaya and kopi-o?”
Saffy sniffed. “Of course no one is going to ask me to make my own perfume. I’m not rich and famous! Which is my whole point! Why does Chloe Sevigny need to be more rich and famous? Let someone else have a go! Like me! I could come up with a nice perfume. And I could do worse than kaya and kopi-o!”
The topic of rich people getting richer has occupied the girls in the days since. Amanda says she has absolutely no problem with being given freebies. “Do you think Donatella Versace loses out if she gives Celine Dion a few dresses? Can you imagine how many bazillion images will be taken of Celine while she belts out ‘My Heart Will Go On’ on stage each night? It’s the kind of free publicity that money can’t buy!”
“Yah lor,” Sharyn piped up. “If you get Versace dress for free, how many people will see you wear? You doh-n go out. You in bed by 9pm. And if you wear to Sheng Siong, people think you siow!”
Saffy later said that it just kills her that people like Sharyn think she, Saffy, has such a limited social life. “I do go to places other than Sheng Siong, you know!” she huffed.
“I don’t think Cold Storage counts as a step up, Saff,” Amanda said, a comment that had Saffy, in spite of herself, laughing for days.
The idea, though, of creating her own perfume, continues to obsess the girls. Amanda says hers would have top notes of a garden after a monsoon rain. “I love that ozone-y smell!”
Saffy, meanwhile, thinks Sharyn may have been onto something with her combination of kaya and kopi-o. “I don’t even need to be a global success. I just need to capture the Singaporean and Malaysian markets and I’d be minting a fortune! And I’d call it Saffy’s Scent!”
“Isn’t that how you describe your Number 2’s,” Amanda asked.
“No one needs to know that,” Saffy told her, stiffly.
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos