The teacher, dripping scorn, was regaling us with stories about dreadful gifts she’d received over the years from children at Christmas. One child, she laughed, had actually presented her with a half-full bottle of perfume.
I tried to visualize this; in my head the little girl had a long plait of brown hair running down her back. I pictured her little hand reaching for the glass bottle; was it from her mother’s dressing table, an aunt’s bathroom cabinet; perhaps it was from the tester counter at the chemist?
And I imagined her taking it home to wrap for her teacher.
“What was it; the fragrance?” I asked the teacher.
“Oh, I don’t remember,” she said “a tacky thing. Coty or something …”
It would appear that this woman had taken up an urban legend and applied it as her own experience, perhaps she thought she was being wildly amusing. Many people have commented on the story, saying they have heard different versions of it.