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Monday, February 7, 2011

Oo-Ooo That Smell

I work in close proximity to the Minneapolis Macy’s, and the skyway that takes me from one building to the next runs right through their perfume counters. Walk by them some time: there are offers of samples, spritzes from bottles, multiple gift-with-purchase incentives.

I’ll always take the samples sprayed on paper, by the way. I put them in my underwear drawer, where they enjoy a short-lived, smelly-paper life as undie-and-sock-scenters.

Moving on!

More and more, however, even when I’m not at the Macy’s perfume counter, I am surrounded by people not trying to sell me perfume but who instead are surrounding me with clouds of bottled smells.

As a teenager, and when the idea of “scenting myself” first came to mind, I was told that perfume was specifically for the people who would be closest: friends giving me a hug, lovely males nuzzling my neck.

But someone’s forgotten to tell the teenagers and younger folk of today. There are people climbing on the bus, walking in the skyways, leaning in close at work, drenched in smell, veritably swimming in an orgy of sneeze-able stink.

Could I interest you in the layering of scents?

Yes. They’d like you to “layer” your scents. You can wash with it, powder with it, moisturize, clean, bake, and change your car’s oil with it.

I might be exaggerating there, but how hard would it be to convince you that Lancome has come out with a line of new scents for your car’s engine?

Smells like gardenias!

Between the dryer sheets, the perfumes, the hairsprays and the lotions, some people are smelling like anything, but, uh, people. They’ve taken the word of the advertisers that everything they own should smell of something else.

And just for the record? I’m against it.

That is all.

48 comments:

FreeFlying said...

I am with you! I don't understand why certain smells have been determined to be desirable while others, like Doritos (something that represents gloriousness in a bag) are mandatory teeth brushers. What if I, personally, despise the smell of mint? Then I'm screwed. Because, between gum and toothpaste, people everywhere are blowing it all over my face.

Did I get off topic there? Because I really was with you. But I think I might have veered off somewhere.

Pearl said...

FreeFlying, veering is encouraged and admired. I think smelling like food is a dangerous path. :-) I once worked in a sandwich shop and smelled continually of sliced onions. It was a lonely period in my life...

Douglas said...

At one time, I would dread getting into an elevator with certain other employees at work. Or just after they left. My eyes would tear up, my nose would run, and yet I was not allergic to anything. I would still, however, prefer that overwhelming aroma to its polar opposite.

There are worse scents in the air...

Amanda said...

I find it equally offensive to come into the proximity of a smoker who smokes excessively in an enclosed area (car, house that never gets opened, etc.) and the stale smoke smell just permeates everything.

I like the undie drawer scenter idea!

Eva Gallant said...

I use the scent samples that come in magazines in my drawers (bureau drawers, that is; although I guess the other wouldn't be a bad idea, though itchy!)

Oilfield Trash said...

Change your oil with it. Hmm I don't think I got that memo. lol

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! If approached by a random department store sprayer, I scowl and don't break my stride; they melt away. It's one of the few advantages of being 6'5" and with looks that only a mother could love. Indigo

Elizabeth said...

There is an interesting phenomenon in the restroom in my office, there is someone on this floor who, when using the bathroom, leaves behind the scent, not of what one might expect, but of strong perfume. Just how much perfume do I have to apply to make everyone think I emit perfume in the ladies' room and not, you know, the other thing?

Sarah said...

In total agreement here Pearl! Don't the teenagers & others realize that by wearing so much scent you're actually covering up your own natural pheromones which attracts the opposite sex? They're at cross-purposes with themselves.

Susan in the Boonies said...

I'll join your cause!

Have you smelled Axe? Teenaged boys wear it.

Mothers of teenaged boys abhor it.

That's because it's of de debil.

Pearl said...

Douglas, we have one of those here as well...

Amanda, I work on the 48th floor, and of course the smokers have all that way to come back in from their breaks. The elevator car can be a stinky place!

Eva, now I've got the picture of you walking around with a paper sample of some cologine in your undies. :-)

OT, but don't you want your engine's emissions to smell like eau de guava-mango-monkeyshine?!

Indigo, I simply MUST grow this year. Six foot five?! You sound pretty handy to have around!!

Elizabeth, you live in Mpls, don't you? Hmm. We have someone one this floor that does the very same thing. After years of studying her, I've narrowed the smell she leaves behind down to AquaNet hairspray. Where ever that woman's been is easily identifiable...

Pearl said...

Sarah, teenagers are just good fun and must serve as amusements to us older folk. :-) It's the adults who have been around the block a couple times that make me develop frown lines, trying to fiture out what they're up to...

Susan, de debil! :-) I suppose we gotta pull him in every now and then just to take the culpability away from the hoomins! Yeah, IU've smelled Axe and I have to admit I kinda like it. :-) But still, I only want to smell people if I'm right up on 'em. I mean, if we're hugging then, MMMM! You smell good. But if we're having lunch and I smell your Axe body wash, holy hannah what is WRONG with you?!

Symdaddy said...

Many a time, when I have been rifling through your drawers, have I wondered about those strips of paper.

Now I know!

alwaysinthebackrow said...

Here I've been thinking that is me, that I am just getting more sensitive to all of these scents in the world as I get old. But you say that it is the young ones who are putting it on too heavily? Whatever it is, I don't find a trip with the fruit, axe and obsession fans of the world to be particularly pleasant in an elevator, either. The competition leaves my nose and eyes very drippy. Not pretty.

ladyfi said...

I agree! In Sweden, if you're wearing strong perfume you're not supposed to sit at the front of the bus as that's for people with allergies...

Pearl said...

Sym, very funny!

Alwaysinthebackrow, in my world, it's the teenagers, the playas, and the elderly. I don't know what's up but they all want to smell like something else and want you to smell it with them.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Whenever I encounter someone who's gotten, shall we say, IMMUNE to their own perfumed aroma, I start sneezing. I don't mind getting a nice subtle whiff of scent as they pass by but OMG asphyxiation? I used to work with a girl who was practically followed by a cloud wherever she went. She spritzed herself liberally every couple of hours. It was suffocating.

Years ago I stopped wearing perfume apart from very occasionally and started, coincidentally, wearing slightly scented lotions (I'm currently in a mad, crazy sulk that B&BW are discontinuing my beloved "Enchanted Orchid" body cream which sounds boring but smells HEAVENLY) and I find those are even more pleasing. At least not you can breathe around them and they're not overpowering. You just get the occasional hint of a sweet scent.

I'll keep the perfume for MY undies drawer too.:)

Sweet Cheeks said...

You know, I was thinking...perfume is made up of mostly alcohol...right? So, I wonder why more of those 'scenty over-doers' don't spontaneously combust?

haphazardlife said...

I had a boss who you could smell 3 minutes before she showed up. It was one of those spicy, thick ewww scents. Plus she smoked so add the smell of stale smoke into the mix and you got yourself a horrific stench. *shudder*

- Jazz

Leenie said...

Symdaddy--lol! Too bad those perfummy people can capture the true smell of waking up on a misty morning in the mountains. On second thought, good thing they can't. It could be used as a WMD.

You're spot on, as usual, Pearl.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

SMELLS. HATE them. Feel physically assaulted by all of them--why can't we just have real smells?
I think my prejudice against teenagers comes from my issues with smells.

Kyna said...

I love body sprays. Nothing pleases me more than someone telling me I smell nice. But I know that a little goes a long way. Just because you can't smell it on yourself anymore, doesn't mean eevryone else can't.

I find that dudes get this point less than chicks do. Some guys smell like they've bathed in aftershave/cologne. When you find yourself walking away from one of these guys, and you not only have the smell still in your nose, but the TASTE on your tongue...it's a little too effing much guys!

Grant said...

All you really need is to rub some cookie dough on after your shower and you should be good for the day.

WrathofDawn said...

Oh, me too! I'm not allergic, I just don't like most of the stuff and I resent having to inhale gallons of it just because I had the misfortune to sit too close to you in the movie theatre or wherever. If I can taste it, lady, you're wearing too much!

WrathofDawn said...

Taste it just by breathing normally. Not licking her or anything. Ick. ICK!!!

Toomuchtime said...

Yeah, I feel you on this one... I think there is nothing wrong with a decent amount of body-odor.
That is after all what makes us unique.
Especially if you are clean you have nothing to be afraid of.

Pat Tillett said...

There is another part to this story...ELDERLY LADIES! Many of them seem to be in the same boat when it comes to OD'ing on scents. If you see a lady with purple or blue hair in your path, you really need to replot your internal GPS! Cause if you don't, you are going to have to inhale a cloud full of lavender and powder and only god knows what else...

Pearl said...

Ladyfi, that’s a good idea. Over here, the front of the bus is reserved, it seems, for people who can’t be bothered to bend their legs but prefer to leave them in the aisle…

Vegetable Assassin, you and I are on the same wave length: not only is my perfume reserved for evenings out but I also use the Enchanted Orchid lotion. :-)

Sweet Cheeks, no lighters on the airplanes AND no perfumes! Something will blow up!

Jazz, like a bell on a cat…

Leenie, thank you!

Green Girl, well, that and teenagers are just easy to have issues with. :-)

Kyna, absolutely. I have three specific perfumes that I love, and I’ll always take the scented oil for a massage, but I don’t think we should be able to smell the guy in the office across the hall!

Grant, LOL! Cookie dough! You know, they say that men respond positively to the smell of vanilla. :-) But if you feed them, they’ll just keep coming back…

Wrath of Dawn, I think we have a number of people who have been nasally crippled by the abundance of smells available. Even our dish detergent is scented. Me, I still wash dishes by hand (no dishwasher) and couldn’t care less if the dishwater smelled of lemons. I just need it to help clean the plates!

Toomuchtime, and honestly, there are people in my life that I just LOVE the smell of. Even some people’s SWEAT smells good. Must be that pheromone thing I keep hearing about…

Pearl said...

Pat, I hear ya. My own dear mother -- who has not over-sprayed herself just yet -- let me know that because of some medication she took (and only for a short time!)she ended up losing her sense of smell and taste for over a year. Just another thing to add to the list of things to be aware of as I age...

jabblog said...

I worked with someone who seemed to bathe in aftershave. I had his desk later and it too wore aftershave. Too much! But the worst is perfume/aftershave on a sweaty body - yuk! or smelly feet! I once taught a 7-year-old whose feet were rank and he seemed quite proud of the fact. No excuses, either, he wasn't impoverished.

John McElveen said...

Makes perfect Scents to me! In Urgent Scare I wish more had worn any type of scent than the FUNK they came in with, and some had worn LESS trying to cover the funk they came in with.

I guess the closet would be the Gardenia Engine smell! THAT was a good one!

We did put Orange Tree blossoms under our car seats in FL, and they worked extremely well and didn't have to hang from the mirror!

J

Anonymous said...

I worked with a woman who smelled like Glade.

becca said...

well said some people just go overboard on their perfume

Pearl said...

Jabblog, I can see the seven-year-old proud of his stinky feet. :-)

John, ooh, I’ll bet you have stories to tell!!

Anonymous, Glade? That actually kind of makes me sad. Spraying yourself with air freshener…

Becca, perhaps they have had their sense of smell ruined, but there’s no point in them attempting to ruin mine!

mrwriteon said...

And just for the record, I agree with you completely.

injaynesworld said...

Most of the time I smell of "eau d'horse scent" and it suits me (and my horse) just fine. ;)

Gigi said...

This is something that has flummoxed me as well...we have a few that obviously haven't learned the lesson of "subtlety" with their scents.

Trooper Thorn said...

My son likes to coat himself in "Axe" which is the scent you want if your objective is to smell like a douchebag.

Mamma has spoken said...

Wow so agree with everyone about the too much especially when it's mixed with cigeratte smoke! But I have a time where you can't wear enough. One of my students ALWAYS smells like cat piss (we think mom is a meth maker). I'm giving her different sprays from the bath and body works company and telling her more is better. Though unfortunely, you can still smell the cat piss :o(

Flea said...

Oh AMEN! I rarely scent up. Deodorant smells. My bar soap is made from real almonds - a wonderful scent. And that's it. I just figure that everyone around me is more than making up for my lack of scent.

NotaSupermom said...

You and me both, Pearl. I like perfume, but it doesn't always like me.

When I was pregnant work and especially church were an olfactory gantlet.

GTChristie said...

The boss you can smell on her way down the hall is a godsend, be thankful. One day she goes "stealth," leaves the stuff off, and AHA! Caughtcha playin' Halo before the morning meeting. Gawww ...

Jhon Baker said...

my preferred scent is Tide with a splash of Downey - a little old spice for those who get really close - which is only ever my wife and a friend who particularly likes long friendly embraces.

On My Soapbox said...

I agree with you completely. Why must people OP (Over Perfume)? If your scent visually wafts, it's too strong. If I have a scent, you should only be able to smell it if you are close enough to lick me. 'nuff said.

Sandra said...

My nursing faculty forbids the students from wearing perfume or any scented cream. Makes sense, right!

Tempo said...

Oh my pet peeve, women who walk by and even at the distance of 20 or 30 feet overpower you with sickly flower smells..yuk!

Linda O'Connell said...

Alright then boycott man.

When folks use too much perfume, I think they are usually over hooey and under phooey (use too much scent to cover stench)

Brian Miller said...

oh i am so with you...the scent orgies are getting rather disgusting...reminds me of visiting my grammas house as a kid...just gimme enough to linger in the nuzzle...and i am so stealing you undie scenting idea...i never thought of that...