Still Single? Keep 'Em Dangling

TIMES STAFF WRITERS

REALLY PERSONAL JEWELRY: We love poring over personal ads to see just how pathetically desperate single people are these days . . . and to see if there's anybody we might want to check out. So we flipped when we recently saw one of our co-workers waltz in gloating over the jewelry her husband just bought her: personal ads hand-fashioned into earrings.

On this pair ($45; pictured) she's 35, pretty, honest, open and still believes in happy endings. He's a guy with a Harley who's seeking a sexy, slender lover with fantastic legs and a passion for short, tight skirts. So '90s, so L.A.

The earrings are from a company called Body Part and are sold at Tantau Smith, 1353 Abbot Kinney in Venice, (213) 392-9878. There are other earring styles available with other personal ads, plus pins. Prices range from about $40 to about $60.

IF YOU THINK THE SCENTED AIR AT VICTORIA'S SECRET IS A BIT MUCH, WAIT TILL ALL THOSE OTHER SHOPS GET IN ON THE ACT: The July issue of Glamour reports that shoppers are likely to stay longer and pay higher prices in floral-scented environments. "We tested 35 people and 84% were more likely to buy a pair of Nikes and pay $10.33 more for them in a floral-scented room," Dr. Alan Hirsch said in the magazine's "Fashion Fax" report.

Hirsch, who is the neurological director at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, says that even undetectable scents have been shown to produce similar effects on consumers. He adds that retailers have contacted him for advice on using undetectable scents, but he has turned them down because "subliminal uses are unethical."

We called Hirsch to see if many stores are joining the retailing odorama. He told us that the scenting of stores occurs on a widespread basis through the casual, non-scientific use of such things as room sprays, potpourri and carpet cleaners.

"Right now, a lot of stores are using odors to cover up bad smells but some are starting to use odors more consciously and more positively," he said, noting, for example, that a new shopping center in Minneapolis consulted with him on what type of fragrances to use, and where to place them.

"We've received hundreds of phone calls, some from some very big chains--airplanes, motels, stores. I think this is going to be a major trend. It would be a guess, but I would say that five years from now, it will be the rare business that's not using scents."

TELLING IT LIKE IT IS AWARD: Driving down Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica the other day we noticed this great marquee outside the chock-full-of-stuff Lincoln Appliance: "The store that looks like Sears blew up."

DEAR HOT: I'm 66, still have great legs and want to buy some hot pants. My kids say I'm nuts. I told them I'd see how my hot pants notion went over with Hot.

DEAR HOT SHOPPER: We think you should forget about what your kids say--or what we say, for that matter. Go with your own heart, or legs, as the case may be. But be aware, some people will probably laugh. If their chuckles are kind, they'll find you and your hot pants as insanely appealing as Bert Parks in a scene we loved in the film "The Freshman." At a black-tie banquet, the man known for piously crooning "There she goes, Miss America . . . " suddenly rocks out with Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm."

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