Just like the ‘powers that be’ want us to live in a “paperless society” they also seem to want us to do that scent free. As I look around my cluttered, paper strewn desk, I chuckle. Scent free? Impossible!
”Fragrance Free Space!” “Scent Free Zone!” ”We Share the Air!” I can understand asking people to refrain from wearing perfume and cologne. (The way some people marinate in their choice of scent is quite nauseating. But I digress.) The Purveyors of Scents is a multi billion dollar business. They will not go quietly into that good night.
It used to be quite common for women and indeed men to adorn themselves with particular scents. People became known by the way they smelled. Some were flowery, some were exotic and others were, well, to each their own. I once was attracted to a man who always wore the same cologne which I found quite heady. So much so that when I smelled it in a grocery store my heart started to flutter. Imagine my chagrin when I turned around and it was being worn by a woman. Man, I can still smell that cologne!
But over the years I became sensitive. If you are wearing too perfume I might actually have a coughing fit. It’s not an attractive look for me. And I am not alone in this. Hence the signs asking people to refrain. And this is where it gets interesting.
A friend came over and I started to cough. Like I said it’s not a good look for me. I explained that it was probably her perfume that had set me off. She said she wasn’t wearing any. When she was seated across the room we started to take stock. Shampoo, body lotion, face cream, deodorant, lipstick, makeup, laundry detergent, dryer sheets . . . are you starting to get the picture? There are scents in everything!
I buy non-scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets. They still have perfume in them but it is much milder than the scented ones. Mild but not completely absent. Buying deodorant or anti-perspirant is not a case of what works best, it’s a case of what smell I can handle. It’s the same with shampoos. There are chemically added smells to just about everything!
I love the smell of the earth in the spring with just a hint of rain in the air. I love the smell of grass growing in the dirt or wind straight off the lake. I love the smell of snow and pinecones. I love the smell of the mountain breezes. I love natural smells. But the ones that are created by chemical means are offensive. With all the technology that exists in this world and we can’t figure out how to make natural scents using natural products in a natural way? No. People do love their chemicals!
When I was younger we used to go camping and one of the things you learn early on is to leave your perfumes at home. They just attract the bugs. After a week without perfume and deodorant and body lotion stinking up nature we all smelled a little ripe. It was an honest smell and since we all smelled the same way it became less offensive. Actually you don’t even notice it after awhile. I get that wouldn’t work in the offices of today but surely we can figure something out.
Maybe instead of trying to go scent free, we should more accurately try to be scent tolerable. Fewer chemicals and more naturals. What I’m I thinking? That will never happen. We are talking about a multibillion-dollar business. And as we all know: money speaks loudly!