Sunday, July 15, 2007


Lovely Perfume, Did You Marinate In It?

One of the things I have learned during my time as one of The Bus People is that not all persons have the same sort of ... um ... sensibility with regard to smell.

I have a very good friend who has been battling The Stink Wars at work but I won't link to her seeing she's not given permission to do so. She is working with someone who doesn't realize that his need to stink of perfume for about 500 yards around him intrudes on his coworkers' need to breathe. It's very special. And may well send someone to the hospital at some point in the near future.

I, too, am battling The War of the Stink, but I have less control over it than does she. The offender in her workplace will either eventually stop wearing stink or be fired, however I'm dealing with Public Stink here, people.

Some folks need to use deodorant. Some folks don't.

I used it religiously for years -- remember, I'm the daughter of people who Live in Fear of Smell. I stopped wearing it when my armpits became a horrible allergic mess, and haven't worn it on a regular basis for years now, however when it's hot outside or I'm going to be doing something that will make me sweat I wear an organic deodorant and all is well.

But that isn't the issue. The issue is smell as an accessory. I sometimes wear a tiny bit of scented body cream. It's nice, it's subtle, and unless you have your nose right down my cleavage you likely won't notice it.

And if you do, and you don't like it, I won't wear it next time.

Some folks, however, seem to feel that it's all right to share their stink with the universe. They are wrong. Their right to stink stops where my right to breathe starts.

I was on the bus the other day and someone sat down in front of me and he was wearing some sort of scent. I sure hope it was applied because if he smells like that there's something horribly wrong.

It had a zingy citrus overtone, perhaps lime, with a nasty dark undertone. I mean really the closest thing I could think of was mentholated meat. And that's just not right. I had to ride on the bus for an hour sniffing up mentholated meat. I'm pretty sure I'm going to need counseling at some point for this.

When I rule the world, people will not be allowed to wear stink on buses. And likely not in offices either.

I mean ... eww.

Yes! I once had to stop taking the girl (then a baby) to daycare because the provider used so much perfume that I got a splitting headache from holding the baby close enough to nurse. She swore she didn't wear it on the days we were there, but it was in the couch, her sweater, her hair, unavoidable. It was some incarnation of CK. Somedays I could still smell it even after bathing the baby. Uggh.

Two words: Paris Metro.
Note to men who were riding it with me back in the go-go 80s: Cheap cologne does not cover up the smell of B.O. Zut alors!
Honestly, WHY do people do that?? Oy, I'm getting a headache just thinking about it....
They're suffering from "Stink Entitlement" unfortunately we're suffering way more than they are.
My MIL has the delusion that wearing perfume will cover up the smell of cigarettes. Her whole house reeks of it.

After her husband (not my FIL) passed away, she gave hubbo his leather jacket. It hung in the garage for nearly a year to air out. Even now, if you sniff the leather it has the unmistakable smell of her pefume and cigarettes. UGH!
At my last job there was a consultant who came in once a week. We could tell all the way in the back cubicles when that man was in the lobby. I rearranged my work schedule so I would not be in the office the days he came in. But then he would use my desk because it was unoccupied and leave his smell all over my computer. Aaaaaargh, the was no escape!

PS Happy blogiversary.
Someone mentioned smoking. Since the smoking ban in public places in my area came into force people have started to stink. I've not noticed it but apparently the smell of the cigarette smoke covered the BO smell - you just can't win.
Meeting your girlfriend "after work" is not a reason to subject me to *that* for the 8 hours prior.

Just sayin'

(I might still blog it)
We don't generally do scent, as David's even more sensitive to it than I am. And no more deodorant for me, as there's little less attractive than walking around scratching at the horrendous rash in one's armpits. I just endeavour not to stink.

As for scents that really make me ill, Giorgio has always smelled rather sepulchral to me. It has a particular undertone of must and decay that I find vomitous.
Occasionally I would have to go to another building in our office, the floor below an aromatherapy office. I would tell the secretary, "Wow, I can't believe you can handle all that incense all the time, it would give me a headache!" She said she didn't notice it. Then we moved to a different facility and she is on my floor. It was HER PERFUME. You can smell it for ten feet in any direction, and her desk is right by the door... SOB. I can tell she's coming before she gets there, because the "scent" gets to me first.
And I still think Abercrombie stores should be subject to the smoking ban. That shit they spray in the air to make everyone smell like an unshowered frat boy is at least as toxic as cigarette smoke.
I have to air the house out for several hours after my piano tuner comes. I did call the piano store and explain to him that I really like his work but that he gives my family allergies. He has toned it down some, but you can still smell him coming a day away.

The worst natural body odor I have smelled was from someone who was repairing air ducts (!) at the place where I worked. You could actually smell where he had been after he had moved on to the next location. Because of him I think I understand how bloodhounds operate, only they do it on a much more subtle level.
I used to take the bus and BART in the Bay Area, and people just did not seem to understand that their cologne/perfume was not something that an entire bus/train car needed to share. It was even worse when I was pregnant and smells just made me totally sick all the time. Grr...
Happy anniversary!
I work in a pharmacy and one of the things I DON'T do is wear perfume to work. Wouldn't want to have to call 911 because the asthmatic in front of me had a bad reaction to my perfume! As a result, I wear a light spritz twice a week. And I DO mean LIGHT. As for the BO, I have had to talk to an employee about that. He didn't think he had to shower every day. THEN it didn't occur to him to wear a clean shirt every day. I swear, it was like trying to educate a particularly slow 10 year old. And embarrassing as all hell too...
Oh, I feel your nasal pain! It's bad in offices, on public transportation, in movie theaters. Perhaps mosts of all I hate encountering the Perfume Perverts in elevators, where there is no escape for many floors. I used to work in a hospital, and patients sometimes actually had severe reactions in elevators because of someone's perfume/cologne.

Argh! People, use some restraint!
On the limed meat, it sounds like you were an olfactorial victim of the age-old practice of POF. Perfume Over Funk.

No amount of A1 sauce can make bad meat go good.
Oh, my Stink-o-Meter goes off the charts on Public Transit! Usually it's the smell of crotch that is invading my delicate olfactory senses, but occasionally it can be the "I've had this perfume for 19 years and it just CAN'T be rancid" odeur. Feel for ya dahlin'!

Thanks Marcia for POF - I'm gonna laugh over that for days!

P.S. Bloggity Blogiversary!
I went to do my work out today, but had to leave, because a woman had so much perfume on she made me cough. It would have made me cough even without the workout, you can imagine how it was to endure that during the workout!

I can't understand how some people think they must spray the whole bottle on!
My husband had this friend who'd come over occasionally for a visit. He wore so much colgne that we could smell him for DAYS afterward. It was so bad that one day, after a few beers no less, we had a "heart to heart" with him. He had no idea his scent (Ralph Lauren's Polo) was offensive. As for public stink, I would rather that sometimes than the public "fall asleep on my shoulder while riding the bus". iiiiccckkk!
When my younger son, now 18, discovered cologne he liked to surround himself with a cloud of it until I discussed with him the possible effects he was having on others -- respiratory problems, headaches, allergic reactions, annoyance. I'm happy to say he got the message.

A couple years later one of his best friends discovered cologne, to much the same effect as my son. I had my boy pass on the message. I'm happy to say friend got it, too.
i remember a guy in h/school who would put his cologne on while wearing his winter coat.
the coat was funky.
we used to tell him that we could smell him five minutes before he arrived in class--i think he got the message.

my BIL actually had to stop dating a girl because she and all her sisters smelled like soup....
My best friend in high school (a guy) used to pour on Drakkar. I had to practically hang my head out the car window to get fresh air when in his tiny little car. I get physically ill to smell the stuff now because it seems to have soaked itself into the recesses of my memory.
Three words... Opium in elevator. GAH!
I'm dating myself here, but who else recalls Christian Dior Poison? Smelled like week-old peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to me -- and not in a good way. There was just no way anyone could we any amount of it and not make me need to leave the room.
Poison! Super sweet and grape-y!

One of my coworkers wears something (TommyGirl?) that may or may not be very nice on others, but on her it morphs into Eau du Raid. Seriously, I doubt she has a bug problem at home.
One time at my last job I almost vomited because of someone's smell. Cross high hormone levels with bad body odor, and it was not good. I had to run around the store when the person left and spray something. Anything. And yes, bus people have some issues. Sincerely, I'm far more okay with a bit of regular body essence than what hits me on the bus. I have been known to throw my hair over my nose as a stick shield.
in my daughter's defense, she has fucked up sinuses, and can't really tell how much she's put on. however, i've walked into her house HOURS After she's left for work, (it's my house, and i still get mail there, so i'm entitled!), and it still makes me sneeze! for a while, i thought i was allergic to the scent, until i realized i was smelling different ones at different times. she just used that much.

need to get that child to a sinus specialist!
You are a horrible woman. You put mind worms out there like "mentholated meat" and then we're supposed to do things like sleep, eat and go to work as though we'd never heard the words "mentholated meat". But the cold, hard fact is that I have not only heard the words "mentholated meat", I've pondered them. Worse, still, I've attempted to CONJURE the olfactory image. Thanks. Thanks one hell of a lot, you horrid bunny, you.

And perfume should be outlawed like public smoking. I have asthma and the stank of high priced parfumerie is equally debilitating to my respiration as cigarettes or pollution, but quicker and with a special little sucker punch that comes with the fact that they intentionally wanted me to inhale their toxic fumes.
Worst one I've had on the bus so far: guy behind me, with a cough, and really, really, really bad breath. So not only getting the cough germs, but the reek that accompanied them nearly made me gag.

Worst experience on the train so far hasn't actually been smell related. It was the couple sitting opposite me who spent the entire trip snogging. At 8.30 in the morning.
Bunny made me spit coffee on my computer screen ("Mentholated meat") This is frowned on where I work. Bad Bunny.

Also, Poison---it's funny how different people perceive it differently. Our receptionist used to wear it, (and she "renews" her scent a couple times a day). I always thought it spelled exactly like the stuff my grandmother used to pump around the kitchen door to kill the flies associated with living near a barn and a pasture full of horses and cows. In other, words, DUH, "poison".
Yeah, that's "smelled" not "spelled". I'll be ok with a little more coffee.
I'll never forget the time I got on the bus not having eaten any breakfast. I was the first person on, and at the next stop, a man with a bad comb-over got on and sat right in front of me. A whole vast empty bus and he sits right in front of me. Now, I've got nothing against guys with comb-overs, per se. Pity, maybe, but no animosity. However, the hairspray this guy had used to keep his in place started wafting up my nose and seemed to go straight down into my empty stomach. I didn't last more than 2 stops before I had to get off the bus and vomit in someone's garden. Long story short: been there, done that, feel your pain.
Just today I picked up DS from day camp, and whoa who is wearin all that stink? I thought one of the other parents had overdone it. But then I got the story. A counselor likes to spray the kids after lunch. DS said no he didn't want any he doesn't like it. And the counselor sprayed him anyhow. You can believe that the rec dept jefe is gonna hear from me bright and early tomorrow, for multiple reasons....
Right down your cleavage, huh? Well, if I have to...
I'm just throwing in a hearty "Yup!".

And for those spinners who swear you can get the doggy smell out of "chiengora", it depends on your sense of smell, binky. Wet dog will always be wet dog.
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