Non Scents

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!

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16 thoughts on “   Non Scents

  1. Dan Antion

    “scent tolerable” seems like a worthy goal. There’s a woman who works in the building where I work. I can follow her scent like a hound dog. She starts s big earlier than me, but I’m sure I could track her down.

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  2. scifihammy

    I was nodding in agreement all through reading your post 🙂
    Too many things these days have a strong artificial smell and then they all start vying with each other. I don’t need air freshener – I have the door wide open!
    Like you, strong perfumes affect me, setting off my asthma.
    I do use deodorant, (very hot country!) but it has a very mild scent. After all, surely the idea is simply not to smell Bad – not particularly to smell perfumed?
    And I laughed at you turning round in the store to find the ‘man’ wearing the scent was a ‘woman’. I went to an all-girls’ school. Brut was all the rage back then and girls took to wearing it themselves! You’d run down the stairs and suddenly come across this male scent lingering on the air, wondering where the guy was . . .

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  3. Almost Iowa

    Whenever we go on a day trip, my wife insists on visiting those curiosity shops with odd names like The Pickled Parrot. I never get past the door because of the overpowering scents. Not sure how she survives it.

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  4. dweezer19

    You ae so right. It seems to be less trendy to bathe oneself in colognes thesy days but now and then one still crosses my path and it us like a slap in the face. Amd I do love the scemt of Gain but do I really want it to be all I ever smell?

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  5. Mark Lanesbury

    Believe it or not Pam I reacted to every ‘underarm’ deodorant known to man…bar one. And would you believe it was so overpowering you could smell me coming from downwind in a gale. It left me in a quandary, but eventually I decided my ‘me’ smell had to be better than being passed by a perfume shop 😀

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