Luscious Scents

I’m sometimes annoyed by scents. There’s this little gnome of a man who works for us. He smells as though he hasn’t taken a bath in weeks. It’s a rather unpleasant mixture of body odor, smelly clothes that haven’t been laundered, rotten vitamins and the cheap cologne he uses to unsuccessfully mask the odor. Personally, I don’t know how he doesn’t know he smells the way he does.

There are often noxious scents. I remember the first time I caught a whiff of chitterlings. (These are guts of animals that some people find delectable.) I found the smell to be largely nauseating. Opening up the lid to a septic tank leads to the unleashing of odors no one wants to smell. I’m amazed at people who empty these things in a course of their job. Doesn’t it bother them?

Mr. Demonic is a big purveyor of garlic. He’ll even put extra cloves into his own mashed potatoes just for the hell of it. I like garlic too, but not that much. I don’t like the way it smells on one’s skin after a meal that is heavy in garlic.

Luscious scents, however, are heavenly. I am allergic to newly mown grass and lilac blooms, but I like the smell anyway. I love the spicy scent of sandalwood and patchouli, and I keep plenty of candles around with those scents as a backdrop. Drinking in the rapturous bouquet of a perfect tea rose or a glass of Napa Valley’s best merlot is as close to the gods as I’m going to get. Roses are can be delicate, or they can exude a hearty blast of preciousness. Likewise, a good glass of wine can be savored by nose for a long time before the first sip is ever taken. I like to identify the various flavors. Is it raspberry, cherry, pineapple? Is it tannin? Or earth?

I’ll squeeze plant leaves just to invoke their sweet scents. Mint, pine, sage, rosemary. I have rosemary plants in my house, just so I can stick my arm into them and bring it out smelling piney and fresh. My nose also perks up with aroma of fine chocolate. The luscious scent is a prelude to the yumminess to come. Likewise, I will use scent just to experience the food, but won’t partake. I will smell a co-worker’s donut or plate of Chinese take out but I won’t eat it.

There is the scent of a freshly powdered baby’s behind. Baby skin is not only soft, it has a wonderful odor all to its own. It doesn’t matter how the parents smell, a baby will smell beautiful. If it’s your own baby, even the not-so-wonderful aromas emanating from it occasionally will smell lusty and fruity all at once.

There’s also that wonderful scent of the person you love. In my case, it’s a mixture of Lagerfeld Classic and Mr. Demonic’s personal odor, which yes, has a smidgen of garlic. One of the things that I was really attracted to when I met the young Mr. Demonic was his choice of Lagerfeld as a cologne. There’s something manly, yet not too strong about the scent. There’s a little spice in it, too. Lagerfeld doesn’t make the Classic scent widely available anymore. It must be too old fashioned. When Mr. Demonic goes out of town, I can always conjure up his presence by simply smelling his pillow.

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14 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed reading this. I have a very sensitive nose…someone’s perfume in a store last week almost made me ill. I can’t walk past the Body Shop in a mall or one of those nail salons without holding my nose. But, the smell of brownies baking, the air right after a spring rain, fresh basil or puppy breath…who could ask for more?

  2. Oh, and I forgot about the smell of worms coming up after a really hard rain.

  3. I really like that worm after rain smell.

    Olfactory sensitivity seems to vary hugely from person to person. I’ve always had a hypersensitive sense of smell, which is both useful and annoying, as it doesn’t take much to turn my stomach. However, I can detect mold, mildew, or water penetration in a house immediately, which is useful to clients.

    I realized fairly recently that I make certain judgments about people based on whether they “smell” right to me. Interestingly, my mother has never smelled quite right … I think it might be because she is unhappy. However, if that’s my theory, it doesn’t make sense that people often tell me I smell delicious, though I don’t wear any kind of scent at all. Maybe it’s the lavender soap in my … well, my underwear drawer, if you must know.

  4. Woo-eee! Lavender in the underwear drawer! That’s so impressive! I was wondering what to do with my now bumper crop of lavender, and now you’ve given me an idea.

  5. Yes. I mean. Yes to all of it. I’m allergic to grass too. I mean all of it. Astounding!

  6. Oh, Pan — if you have lavender, you own the world. The other thing you can do is sew dried blossoms into a fine-gauge mesh bag, and throw it in your dryer. It’s heavenly.

  7. I own much of the world then. It took two years of tending, but they’re quite the hedge now. That’s exactly what I was thinking!

  8. By the way, I forgot to say thanks for what you did to your sonorific thingy. Thanks. I’m happy with it the way it is now.

    My sweetie killed our lilac bush. I do not understand why. She also dug up all our mint. Again, I don’t understand why. Oh well. Some things are mysterious. She’s still sweet.

  9. That’s surely mysterious. Can she come down and dig up our lilac? It’s as old as the house, 81 years, and ready to fall down.

  10. I loved this, as my nose is super-sensitive. I smoke, and when I quit for nine years, it became hyper-super-sensitive. Someone mentioned puppy breath. That’s one of the very best smells, as are the herbs you mentioned. I had an herb garden for the first time last spring and I was pleasantly surprised by the wonders of the smells. I also love to sniff spices, and if they made a perfume called Cumin, I’d be first in line. Each time I smell lilacs I am transported back to childhood. The window at the head of my bed faced south and was about 10 feet from some huge lilac bushes. I went to sleep for a month with lilacs surrounding me like a lavender fog. One of our dogs, Piglet, is a Pomeranian, and he smells like our first dog, a Keeshond named Bubba. I stick my nose down in his fur and smell Bubba all over again.

  11. Hubby has his own smell too. When we first moved in together I love waking up and smelling him on my hands and in my hair.
    You brought back a great memory! Think I’ll go snuggle my husband now.

  12. I can honestly say I don’t have a sharp sense of smell. I can smell the obvious, bread baking in the oven, mint in my teacup, and jasmine growing next to the front door. The rest gets by me. I just don’t have a good nose. EXCEPT when I am about to get a migraine. Then of my senses are heightened. My taste and my smell, and even my hearing, are really good right before the onset of a migraine.

    Lagerfeld does smell good. At Disneyland, there used to be a shop in New Orleans Square where you could tell them two different fragrances and they would make a custom one for you. Once I had them combine my favorite men’s fragrance and my favorite women’s fragrance. They came up with a custom perfume for me that smelled of Lagerfeld and Halston. It was very special. I wish I could find a store that would do that.

  13. Perfume! Did you see that movie? It’s kind of gross if you’re not into blood and guts, but I thought it was very thought provoking.

  14. Yep, men do smell good, damn them.

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