Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Word Association at the Perfume Counter

Smelling good was so much easier a gajillion years ago, when I was a child.

First of all, everyone used bar soap in the shower. You had Dial or Irish Spring, both of which stripped off every molecule of oil and left your skin feeling like the hull of a thousand-year-old Viking war ship. If you had hard water, you experienced dry AND shrunken skin. Kind of like a whole-body skin lift, where a plastic surgeon had pulled all the extra flesh up to the top of your head, put it in a ponytail, and whacked it off. Maybe you couldn't lower your arms for a few hours, but at least you smelled clean.

Now, we have shower gels that make you smell like anything from fruit cocktail to a brand new basketball to a greenhouse. It's confusing. I mean, I like having choices, but I don't have time to stand in the "cleansing products" aisle at StuffMart, trying to decide if I want to smell like whatever produce is currently in season. (Which, for your information, is avocados. "Mmm, honey, I love it when you smell like guacamole. Do we have any Tostitos?")

Colognes and perfumes are even worse. When I was a kid, there were unwritten rules about cologne, and you didn't deviate. Grandmas wore Jean Nate. Moms wore some benign Avon fragrance, and teenage girls wore Sweet Honesty, which was a blend of lilacs and baby powder. Not exactly the stuff to drive teen boys wild, which is precisely why our moms bought it for us. If you were a guy, you wore Old Spice. Period. 

Today, you go to buy someone some cologne, you'd better take along a sleeping bag and a camp stove, because you're gonna be there a while. And I totally don't understand how the manufacturers choose the names of these scents. It makes me wonder if the marketing department is a bunch of chimps using sign language. Is it just me, or do these names conjure up some weird associations?
  • Chrome - motor oil and transmission fluid
  • Drakkar - camel spit
  • Insolence - makes me want to put the wearer in time out
  • Reaction - sparks and singed eyebrows
  • L.A.M.B. - for women named Heidi
  • Usher - movie theater popcorn
  • Be Delicious - applesauce
  • Cool Water - What the ? Water isn't supposed to smell like anything, and if it does, it's usually unpleasant, like dead, bloated mackerel or chemical waste.
  • Opium - At $60 an ounce, I'll have to look for the $10/ounce knock-off, Pot.
  • Man - "Man?!" My husband already smells like a man. That's why I'm buying him cologne! Sheesh.
And I'm not even going to mention what I think of when I see Britney Spears' name on a bottle of perfume. This is, after all, a family-friendly blog.

Well, I have to go pack my bags. Not only do I need to pick up some cologne, but we're also out of laundry detergent (Island Fresh or Clean Cotton?) and dishwashing soap (Pear Medley or Gardenia Blossom?). I'm going to be gone a while. If you happen to be near StuffMart, please bring me a cooler of beverages. And some Tostitos.


~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

Be Delicious

Actually -- my dear husband bought this for me for my anniversary -- I don't care what you call it... it smells N.I.C.E.!! Ü A little bit goes a long way -- so eventually it may end up smelling like Apple Cider Vinegar, but the change will be so gradual... that I won't notice until people's eyes start watering when ever I enter the room. Or they start talking about their favorite recipe for potato salad...

FUNNY post today -- Thanks for the laugh!

Kelley said...

I think the opium one is my favorite. My husband loves this stuff called's like they ran out of creative names and just started numbering them.

lillinda said...

I was standing in "Stuffmart" trying to decide if I wanted r to smell like a melon or a vanilla bean. If I smell good enough, someone might try to eat me!
I'm not sure if I wanna get out the shower and smell like I've been canning strawberry jelly all day!
Loved it. You always make me laugh. You should write a book. I'd buy one.

Fisher said...

I just use Old Spice.... =P

Mostly Sunny said...

I love the "Friends" episode where Chandler freaks out when he discovers that Joey is using the same bar of soap that he does. He enlightens Joey to the "disgustedness of it all" by saying, "Think of the last thing I wash and the first thing you wash." You and I shared that Irish Spring as kids and I never gave it another thought. Now that's sisterly love!

Kim - said...

What? You didn't use toilet water? I was a Sweet Honesty girl, but it smells like cat urine to me now. My mom wore Tabu and I think my grandma wore VO-5.

Kim -

Chris said...

wait...soap in the shower?

carrie said...

Well, I finally decided to buy some fragrance after work the other night at The Giant Retailer and opted for body spray instead of cologne.

I sprayed so many of those things in the aisle that by the time I got home with what I thought was an acceptable smell, I realized it only smelled good in combination with the other 10 sprays I tested in the aisle.

This is why I don't buy cologne. You're right... too many choices and weird options.

But I will pass on the Sweet Honesty. My mother was ga ga over that for herself and I gag a little when I think about it.

Anonymous said...

If you're having issues with Stuffmart's stuff, you need to avoid Bath and Body Works altogether. That place is evil! I went in last month during an antibacterial sale and armed with a coupon. I came out with 10 bottles of variously scented germ killing but skin soothing concoctions.

I have no idea which one to use first.

BTW, eating trail mix while reading your blog can be dangerous. I'm OK, but I'm just sayin.


Michelle W. said...

Once again I am ROFL!

The worst is that I am trying to lose weight....It's really hard to do when I shower in the morning with "Cinnamon Bun Heaven" body wash, and then I have to go eat my bowl of oat bran. :-(
Oh well, It could be worse...I could be eating cinnamon buns and smell like oat bran instead!


ML said...

My grandmother wore Jean Nate!!!

bubbebobbie said...

Boy did you just give your age away! 10.00 and ounce POT HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Because of Jesus, Bobbie

Pearl said...

How can one live without colognes especially I can't. Recently bought a new collection from Perfumes America.