Olfactory Nightmares

While strolling through the music department of Barnes and Noble, I approached the headsets to preview a CD.  As I scanned the disk and made my selection, I inhaled, ready to take in the hipster vibrations of Arcade Fire.  To my horror, the head set REEKED of men’s cologne.

In disgust, I threw the headset down and stepped to the next listening station.  Before I placed the headset on, I gave a little sniff.  AGAIN!  The same smell penetrated my nostrils and I could feel myself starting to gag.

This post is all about applying (and over applying) aromas to the body.   I am bound to offend, but for those with sensitive olfactory epithelium, you will understand and back me up. I didn’t used to have high maintenance olfactory receptors.  My love affair with things that smell started at an early age. 

Smells I used to love:
-Fabric softener
-The layering of multiple scents like soap, body wash, body spray, perfume…
-A department store fragrance department
-Strong candles that filled my house with their essence
-Scented deodorant

Enter pregnancy.  The change in my body chemistry has been profound in many ways. Specifically, I now have an extreme sensitivity to the odors I used to love.  My nose has simply vetoed certain aromas and chemicals that infiltrate my schnoz.

I can’t stand these smells now; in fact, some make me downright sick.

Today, my nose believes there is something to be said for a natural smell.  I’m not talking about hairy armpits and body odor.  I am referring to the smell of a person’s body after they have properly washed with an unscented bar of soap and put on unscented deodorant.

My favorite barely odor-emitting scents now include:
-Unscented products. I love to encourage the natural scent of the individual to surface, which makes for a more intimate moment, don’t you think?

-One drop of Aveda’s Energizing Composition will stimulate your nose with lavender, sage and jasmine.  (I buy mine at Ginger Root in St. Charles.)

-“Romance” Candle by Aroma Naturals is naturally blended with Ylang Ylang and Jasmine. 
(Aroma Naturals is carried by Tranquility Spa and Wellness in St. Charles.)

When you get right down to it, “to each his own”, right?  I try to be respectful of people’s interests and loves, but when it is smacking me in the face, I can’t help but hold my breath and run.

What are your opinions about fragrance?

Should your personal odor be reserved for intimate moments?


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  • My sensitivity to scents came from riding the "L" to work on hot summer days (no air conditioning!). People felt the need to use the whole bottle of their favorite cologne and I would have to get off at various stops and call my boss from a pay phone to let her know I would be late! If I do use a scent, I spray it from afar and walk through it! It's all I can handle!

  • In reply to siblingless:

    Enclosed spaces, yes!

  • In reply to siblingless:

    I am with you on this one! I really can't stand powdery scented perfumes usually found on members of an older generation (trying to be sensitive here!). I have moved tables at restaurants because of offensive perfumes. I think we need to form a some sort of smell society!

  • In reply to AmandaJ:

    I do like fragrances, but prefer them in small doses...

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