Derryale Barnes, O chief of research, and her fiancé, Africa Booty, computer support technician
Africa is confident about what he likes. He settles into the chair, allows himself to be blindfolded, and awaits the first scent strip. "I go for fragrances that make me feel amorous. Light florals do it for me," he says. He sniffs Bulgari Au Thé Rouge: "This is nice; smells a little like...tea. But I'll pass." He sniffs Fantasy Britney Spears: "Halfway between a Christmas tree and cotton candy. Not for me." Amiably sniffing his way through several more fragrances, he stops at one he says smells so strange, it's "almost alien." (It is Alien, an unusual mix of amber, woody, and floral notes by Thierry Mugler, but he didn't know there was such a fragrance.) Shaking his head and moving on, he gets to Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo: "I like the slightly fruity smell. Yes, this one." Clinique Happy to Be: "I love the clean beginning of this scent. Then it gets more floral, but it's still very nice. Yes." And (the ever-popular) Vera Wang Sheer Veil: "Sweet, soft, floral, and it smells really clean and fresh and pretty. Yes!"
Enter Derryale. She's sprayed with Happy to Be, makes a noncommittal face. Africa winces. After a minute, she sniffs again. "Actually, I like it," she says. Africa wipes his brow. Derryale sniffs Blu Mediterraneo. "Not bad. Very subtle. In fact, a bit too subtle for me," she says. Africa squirms in his chair. Derryale is spritzed with Sheer Veil. "Oh, I really like this one," she says. "Soft, lightly floral, not overwhelmingly sweet. I do like this one!"