You don’t smell swell, and you’re giving me a headache

Southern Hospitality

The other night a good friend and I were discussing how much we enjoy fruit-scented lotions and soaps, oils and candles, perfumes and body sprays. Thanks to all the new bath and beauty shops everywhere, there is something for everyone.

Only problem though, is when I run out of, say, the kiwi lotion, I still have three bars of kiwi soap left. I can never even it up. Do I return to the specialty store and buy more kiwi lotion? Survey says, “No!” So now I have strawberry soap, peach lotion, apple body spray and blueberry perfume. It’s enough to make me feel like a walking fruit basket. (Russell prefers to call me a “fruitcake” though.) In fact, if you’d just add a little whipped cream and pound cake to my medicine cabinet, you’d have enough dessert to last for three years.

If fruit-scented products aren’t your thing, there are always cosmetics created with essential oils and fragrant herbs, including musk, eucalyptus, almond, camphor, cinnamon, lavender and mint. No wonder so many people have sinus problems. It’s not the pollen or the rye grass. It’s all of the fumes swirling around.

Go to any show or performance, and at least one woman (yes, nine times out of 10 it’s a woman, I admit it) will be enveloped in perfume fumes. And guess what, she always sits in front of me — or worse yet, right beside me. Gag me! I want to say, “Listen here, dear. You don’t smell swell, and you’re giving me a headache.”

Several months back, I picked up some body spray for Katie. She’s been sick, and when I went to get her prescription, I stopped by the good-smelling rack and found her a surcie. You know what, she’s been using this stuff as body spray for a year. Then one night I was getting ready to spray some on me and realized the label said “linen spray.” Oops!

Now I’ve heard it all. Not only do we spray our bodies, use air fresheners, apply carpet sanitizers and rub on clothes enhancers, we also mist our darn pillows. I don’t think that’s what they had in mind when the song, “Sweet Dreams, Baby” was written.

I wonder what’s next for our aroma-obsessed nation. I have to tell you, I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Here’s an example: I recently noticed a bizarre novelty item — a fruit-scented pen. I’m sorry, but when I’m writing out my bills, I don’t care a flip about smelling strawberries. Perhaps the next new item the stationery supply stores will stock is money-scented pens. Now, that might make sense, no pun intended.

Recently I was at my parents’ house and I noticed that my mother had a can of no-smell neutralizing spray. I think the people who created it might be onto something. Since we are all so anxious to eliminate obnoxious odors like smoke, pollution and mold and mildew, I suppose neutralizing is the way to go.

Actually, I believe I’ll buy a trial-sized container of the no-smell stuff to keep in my purse. Then the next time I sit down beside a heavily perfumed woman, I can reach in my bag and neutralize her pesky aroma. What a great pollution solution!

- Ann Ipock
Author of Life is Short, But It’s Wide; Life is Short, So Read This Fast; and Life is Short, I wish I Was Taller