I’ve never sniffed an Evyan perfume, but I do have an appreciation for the perfume house’s campy names, many of which evoke film melodramas, romance novel titles, and in a few cases, sex toys and paraphernalia.
Among Evyan's offerings? Menace (along with Enchanting Menace and Moonlight Menace); Stolen Heaven; Tiny Waist (!); White Shadows; The Baron; Satin Glide; Treasure Trove; and My Pet.
And then there’s…Gay Diversion. 1945 seems a tad late for the adjective “gay” not to connote homosexuality to mainstream readers. A quick look at the word’s etymology, however, suggests that “[s]lang meaning 'homosexual' (adj.) begins to appear in psychological writing late 1940s, evidently picked up from gay slang” and still carried the word’s centuries-old meanings: “full of joy, merry; lighthearted, carefree” and “wanton, lewd, and lascivious.” (From Etymonline.)
In any case, I hope this post provides its own kind of gay diversion for you, and if you’re interested in reading more about the etymology of the word “gay” (and who wouldn’t be?) check out this link. I was particularly taken with the 19th century epithet “gay cat," which also meant a “young hobo,” or someone who is new to the road and only occasionally works.
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