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I smell different.

I should be on holiday the week after next. Instead all the talk of the credit crunch has made me reconsider. Is it a good time to be splashing out on a trip, short though it would be, abroad? Serves me right for watching Newsnight, BBC News over and over and over. Strangely for me, I don't seem bothered that I'm staying here to watch the leaves fall, days shorten, goosebump clusters grow and chapped lips to threaten.. I hadn't even made my mind up about where to go- not a problem I had ever suffered from.  Add to that the loss of Shopping mojo I had been experiencing all year.

I now spend on accupuncture, massage, good food and training.

I smell different, I've changed.

I'm sensitive to smells. The only good smell from childhood was mother's cooking and her hands- henna, chopped garlic, heat. Hooyo. I would snuggle my face into her hands and sniff. Ahh.

Perfumes gave me headaches. Headaches and I were already regular companions perfume or no perfume.  I learned to avoid strong smells and grew up hating perfumes.  Later, older, I would dodge pesky department store what-do-you-call-ems- who spray on sight. No, no, thanks, perfumes give me headaches. If I had someone with me, I'd get them to spray a perfume on and sniff their wrists from a distance(I really wanted to get over the perfume-hating). Something would reveberate in my brain.  A neural pathway would flare up and scream, No. Uff, I'd say and find clean air to breathe.

 A cousin once offered to spray a perfume on me. Why do people get offended when you say No to that? I spent quite a bit of time explaining the headaches to her. We were in somebody else's house in another city and on that artificial good behaviour you adopt in in laws' homes. When the room choked with this new smell that everyone else seemed to enjoy, I walked to the kitchen and stood at the back door for air. It was revolting, how could they bear it?

As I stood there, my cousin walks in behind me, I turn around and she sprays the smelly concoction into my face.  It was one of those forced interventions that family members think you could do with it, as you were behaving in a manner unacceptable to the norm.

Cue, whisperd, mini argument whilst on fake best behaviour mode(very difficult to sustain). Who wants to have an inauthentic argument, you just want to let rip!

Ten minutes later, I was squinting through one eye and a throbbing head and ready to throw up in her lap should I vomit.  I didn't want to vomit on their sofa, the shame of it, and I couldn't hold it in so I poured my guts out into your skirt, I'm sorry, you know I love you. Second wave. I'm so sorry; you didn't believe me, I should have been more convincing. Oh, look, it's seeped through into your googarad, I'm soo..get away from me, the smell makes me want to...wave troi. 

If only.

At some point some people started to smell bearable. I asked what they were wearing. I discovered Green Tea; light, fresh, head friendly and started to relax about perfumes. Someone suggested Allure. I rubbed its body cream into my left hand. Within 15 minutes, I had a migraine and a desire to chop off my left hand. Uff.

 I continued to experiment. I stayed away from Gaultier, Allure and some other nasties but my tolernace grew and grew. Soon I was on Boss Woman, Miracle, Chance. Strong smells. Victory. I don't know how many I own now- a lot- to suit every mood, to change every mood, to create mood when it's all a bit blah. I smell schizophrenic.

Current favourite which makes me swoon- Rock n Rose.

I've changed, I smell different.

Credit crunch be damned, I needed a winter coat. The weather forecast which I seem to now watch with as much regularity as the news predicts cold weather this week. I am not prepared. I hit the shops. Why did the CUTEST coat make me look like an orangatan? Things weren't looking good. No coats to suit my shape, budget or time spent looking(very little).  There was only one thing for it.

Lush. The smelliest place in town.

I don't know how the sales people there bear the intense smell all day; they must stop smelling it. Still, I'm an addict. I had run out of their products- I only use theirs now, when did that happen?- and was desperate for a visit. The usuals for hair and body and something new for wherever.

The sales girls smell me as soon as I walk in. Must have a look in my eye. In no time, I have the usuals in a basket and am asking a colurful girl what THAT is? She proceeds to wash my hand with this thing(soap would you believe, looked nothing like it). She rubs my hand for quite a while. I comment how nice a simple thing like a hand massage can be. She smiles and starts to massage my hand and fingers.

*Must use that line again.*

 My smell-whore basket:

  Shampoo

 

 Massage bar 

 

 

 

 

Scrub

fragrance 

deodrant

etc. :) 

 

 

 

Posted on Sun, October 26, 2008 at 08:42PM by Registered Commenterparadise in | Comments11 Comments | References43 References

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Reader Comments (11)

Lol @ smell-whore basket. I've never understood why people in family gatherings have this need to spray you with their perfume. I'm a sissy scenter, strong perfume clogs my nasal passages and constricts my airways. I'm into the lightest scent possible nowadays.

Did you find a coat?
November 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAya
Dude, I'm exactly the same way. I can't stand perfume, even if it depends on my life. I remember getting headaches just standing next to woman wearing perfume/catar. I think I have the most sensitive nose God ever gave men.
November 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOm
Aya, I didn't, I went shopping again and looked for anything but a coat. Mojo back and unpredictable(feel like me again). :)

Imposed smells should carry a heavy sentence. Banished out of the community for forcing scent upon others. Be gone, you smelly rascal!

Om, my smell sense has become more resilient; doesn't mean to say I like everything; am still a I like/hate person when it comes to smells. No grey areas with me on that. I'm glad to be rid of my extreme sensitivity; it was socially debilitating. Made shopping a drag too- and that's no way to live! :)
November 4, 2008 | Registered Commenterparadise
I really like to know how you got rid of that extreme sensitivity because I'm afraid this problem will perhaps get in the way, as it has in the past - especially during salat. Until 2007, I only used deodorant because even the most soft cologne was too strong for me. Now I use a Hugo Boss (the black glass one) cologne that is pretty soft, maybe you can tell me other colognes that are usable for people like us since I will be studying abroad for six months and taking an extra cologne will be a must.
November 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOm
^I can't recommend men's colognes or anything males change their smells with. I find them quite strong and overpowering.

I got better about smells simply because I didn't give up and exposed myself to more and more. Keep hunting, you will find something else that suits; spray new smells onto those paper sticks they dish out or tissue and carry around with you in your bag.If you open your bag later and grimace, get rid of. If not, it might be something worth considering.

You'll need something strong for India if it's going to be warm. Light smells don't linger. India will knock all your senses sideways so you might lose this sensitivity and others!
November 5, 2008 | Registered Commenterparadise
Ok, I dig that. Thanks for the tips; I'll definitely try them, although I'm sure many days of headaches will ensue.
November 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOm
Dhiigeeygu waa udug walaal... anigu ma shiiro ...marka anigu nin rag ah sideen catar isu marshaa? :D

My blood, oh my blood ;)
November 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIsseh
^hm. You keep telling yourself that. :) Om is doing the manly thing.
November 10, 2008 | Registered Commenterparadise
Smelly cat comes to mind(dont ask me why)
December 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNorthernkenya
Whatever happened to this blog? I used to read this everyday while I worked!
January 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDaughter of the Horn
Great blog!!!
If you like, come back and visit mine: http://albumdeestampillas.blogspot.com
Thanks,
Pablo from Argentina
January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPablo (yo)

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