Friday, June 15, 2012

Nonscents

The shampoo smells like Jolly Rancher watermelon although it has a picture of an avocado on the label. He's not sure how he would feel about the smell of avocado anyway. One soap smells like almonds, the other like grapefruit. He alternates between the two. His lotion smells like lavender and shea butter. Lavender is supposed to help him relax, rest, and fall asleep. His balm is scented with chamomile and calendula, which too is supposed to calm him. Chamomile will always remind him of hot tea with his friend Jola in a Soviet-era hostel in Warsaw. His toothpaste smells of cool mint although he wonders if mint is ever uncool, and, if so, what would that smell like? The deodorant  he dutifully smears in his pits on the days he's to interact socially with other humans claims to be old spice, though the ingredients cryptically list "fragrance." The official scent is "High Endurance" although these days his endurance is low at best. He reads the back label for the first time: "Contains odor-fighting 'atomic robots' that 'shoot lasers' at your 'stench monsters' and replaces them with fresh, clean, masculine 'scent elves.'" They're trying to be cute and clever. He's perplexed at the marketing acrobatics that would pit "scent" against "odor" and "stench," but they must have a reason. Other people's jobs make him sad. The paste he applies to his hair smells like a mixture of mango meringue and the frosting of expensive wedding cakes. His three favorite smells remain cinnamon, dark chocolate (anything between 70-85% cocoa), and Tahitian vanilla. When he was younger he used to declare that heaven smelled like vanilla. When he was younger he used to joke that Mexican vanilla was his two favorite flavors. He still finds that joke funny. He's laughing right now. So many natural scents to ensure that he never once smells naturally.

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