Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pepé Le Pew Smells Better Than You

Let’s talk about smells.  Or rather, I’m going to talk about smells and you can listen……I mean I’m going to write about smells and you can read about them.  I’m thinking specifically of the variety and potency of smells we are surrounded with in our daily lives.   I’m not concerned with smells that accompany sounds, although God knows I smell plenty of those on a regular basis.  No, I’m going to write about free-range smells.  

There are loads of smells and lots of synonyms for the word smell and each synonym can evoke a different emotion or memory.   Fragrance.  That’s a synonym for smell.  I hardly ever wear a fragrance anymore but I used to – way back in college.  So when I hear the word fragrance I remember the time Dean didn’t believe me when I told him I could identify my seven different cheap “perfumes” until I proved it to him by closing my eyes, taking seven different whiffs and correctly naming each and every one.

One day at work a girl about three cubicles down from me caught a whiff of burning rubber.  I was so busy earning your tax dollars I didn’t catch that whiff myself, or know it was coming from the strip my desk heater was plugged into, until I saw her with her nose down under my counter, sniffing. 

Some smells are so faint you have to purposely put your nose close and sniff.  A sniff can bring out the subtle perfume of a bunch of flowers or the rich bouquet of a great big glass of red wine at the end of a long day.  Or a short day.   Or any day.  Or all days actually. 

But some smells are just stinks.  Here’s the thing.  Today, as I was working, I began to catch a whiff of something unpleasant but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.   Pretty soon my head began to hurt.  And then I began to feel a little queasy.   I really wanted to open a window but none of the windows in our office open so I was forced to continue to inhale this smell which got sweeter and stronger by the moment.  It smelled like somebody had taken a hunk of warm, pink cotton candy, a bag of Brach’s butterscotch candies and just a touch of coconut flakes, thrown them in a saucepan, melted them together, stirred until it was nice and warm and sticky, formed the gooey mess into a wad, stuck it into their mouth, stood right in front of me and chewed with their mouth open, breathing right into my face.     

I suppose whoever let loose the stench from what I can only assume was a flameless candle or fragrance sphere, felt it soothed them and made it easier to survive eight hours sitting in an ugly windowless cubicle.  It did not soothe me.   I wonder if they felt as pleasantly lulled after they caught a whiff of the scent wafting out of my cubicle after I vomited in my wastebasket. 

Don't worry.  I refrained.  Barely.


1 comment:

Abby said...

That made me feel nauseous just by reading it...