The white glove test would reveal no difference between a superficial cleaning and a perfunctory one. Neither cleaning has been thorough, and both have dealt only with the surface—in these respects, the two adjectives overlap in meaning. Superficial can be a purely descriptive, neutral term (superficial wound), but when used of a person or a person’s actions, superficial often suggests fakeness or shallowness (superficial writer, superficial values). Perfunctory can also be used of people, but it is more often used of actions and behaviors that are done in haste, with the minimum of attention and enthusiasm, as if merely going through the motions (a perfunctory greeting, a perfunctory investigation)—the way you might do something when you have to do it rather than want to do it.
To excuse something, such as slight offense or an error, is to regard or judge it with forgiveness or indulgence: please excuse Cookie Monster’s bad manners. More commonly, however, excuse is paired with me and used as a polite expression when addressing a stranger, interrupting or disagreeing with someone, or requesting repetition of what has just been said: Excuse me, did you say there are no cookies left? The synonym pardon overlaps with excuse in both of these senses, but with slight variations. Like excuse, pardon implies being lenient on a matter, though it usually applies to a specific act of lenience or mercy by an official or superior: the governor was asked to pardon the condemned. Informally, pardon is used to ask for courteous allowance for something: Pardon me, madam, I did not mean to make you drop your cookie!
Happiness—and we’ll try not to get too philosophical here—is the quality or state of being delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: seeing her family reunited brought her great happiness. It often results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good. Bliss is happiness on overdrive. The good feelings implied by the noun bliss surpass those associated with regular, run-of-the-mill contentment. If someone describes an experience as pure bliss, for instance, it means that the experience transported them to a state of complete and utter joy. In some uses, the term has spiritual associations, denoting the joy of heaven or heaven itself: the road to eternal bliss.