Saturday, May 3, 2008

Smelling American

Yesterday, before I had a shower, I realized that I had gone without for longer than I probably ever have. I stank. Here's the thing: I liked it. There was nothing wrong with the way I smelled. I will say the obvious: I smelled like a woman and I smelled like sweat. Horrors! In this country, we are not allowed to smell this way outside of the bedroom.

I had my shower, washed my hair with shampoo that smelled like candy, washed my body with a soap that smelled like sweet olive oil, washed my face with something that smelled of mint and topped it off with a scrub on my legs that smelled like nuts and chocolate. After I dried my hair, I used a supposedly "scent-free" hair spray that smelled like hair spray and applied another supposedly scent free deodorant that smelled like deodorant. It seemed absurd to apply perfume. I was already a stew of scents.

I did anyway.

But what to do? One simply cannot find true scentless products these days. We are surrounded by scent. I was enjoying this at first, whenever this trend started, for I grew up on expensive European soaps. (My father took me to the old Caswell Massey store where we would buy one bar of soap per visit. We found exotic soaps in Chinatown. He said soap was cheap enough to be a poor man's luxury and a little bit of heaven in one's day. I'm glad for learning that young.)

Yet, now that I am nearly obsessed with perfume, I am worrying about my scents clashing. Am I going to have to start using Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap? Perhaps. I wish it was a better product, in that case.

Art Note: Ruben's "Leda with Swan"
I doubt her scent, especially after mingling with this creature, would be acceptable in polite company.

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