Couples Get Nosey
Lauren and Kai test fragrance
Lauren Iannotti, O senior editor, and her husband, Kai Schrimpf, computer scientist

Kai, a former decathlete, likes a strong, masculine scent—even on a woman. "Something robust," he says. "Vanilla is nice, but nothing too sweet." Blindfolded, he sits a bit hunched forward in his chair, elbows on the arms, as if he might spring up and dash out of the room at any moment. He sniffs Avon Extraordinary. "This one smells like a Swedish sauna. Yes, I like it!" Then, after a good hit of Estée Lauder Youth Dew Amber Nude: "I like this very much; it has a strong, woody smell. My dad is a carpenter, and when he cuts wood this is what you smell. But then again, I don't want my wife to remind me of my father." About Vera Wang Sheer Veil: "This I like. I don't know why exactly, but a Caribbean beach comes to mind." He sniffs Lancôme Hypnôse: "Very soft, faint, subtle. It wouldn't scare me away if I met a woman who was wearing it," he says. "Which I won't," he adds hastily, nixing the fragrance. Alien by Thierry Mugler arouses a warm response: "Beautiful; it reminds me of Lüneburger Heide, an area in Germany known for big flower fields."

Enter Lauren. She's sprayed with Extraordinary. "This is...okay," she says. After a spritz of Sheer Veil, she declares it "too rosy for me." She tries the Alien. "I love this!" she says, "I love it! What is it?" "It's called Alien," says Kai. Lauren kisses him. "How perfect," she says. "Kai loves sci-fi. I'll be his little alien."