We tend to talk a lot about people’s scents, particularly on Twitter. It is understandable, because a bad odor can be made so much more worse when in an enclosed space… say like on a bus or a train. And maybe we do talk only about the bad smelling people, but when was the last time you commented on someone’s great smell?
Exclude the guy/girl you were trying to sleep with at the time.
It’s probably not often. Myself, well I was just saying that I smelled damn good today to one of my co-workers, and I do. I also get to sleep with myself, but it’s not just because of lines like that.
Bad smells are all over the transit system, from the canner’s bag of stale beer cans to the smoker’s hair/clothes/breath that reeks of nicotine. Don’t even start with the different flavors of B.O. But to be honest, most of these smells aren’t necessarily intended. No one wants to smell, the smelly B.O guy may have had to run a couple blocks to the bus, or they don’t have a home and thereby access to showers. The smokers have a disgusting habit. The canners just gotta make a living.
Sometimes, a bad smell is intentional. I don’t mean like some dude has a vendetta and decides to forgo showering after the gym when he knows he’s getting on the Skytrain. Some men and women will wake up in the morning, shower, put on their deodorant and dress themselves quite nicely (i.e. laundered clothes). Then they will douse themselves in their perfume or scent of choice. Sometimes this isn’t horrible, but often this can be so much more offensive than body odor.
On women I call it the Old Lady Smell, because it seems like it’s the elderly women tend to enjoy smelling like this. On men I tend to think of it as Cheesy European Man Smell because when you get a whiff of these dudes it’s often coming from a guy with gelled back hair, a shirt unbuttoned a little too low, with a tuff of chest hair creeping out.
I’m not sure if these people have so accustomed to the smell that they’re like drug addicts and need more and more to feel it’s benefits, but it doesn’t smell like they’ve sprayed it on and walked out the door, it smells like they’ve been marinating in it. Then again it could be that the cologne/perfume is so strong that even the tiniest bit is domineering.
With the Christmas season is upon us, and I’m here to issue a plea to all you gift givers to do all of us sharing a Transit system with these people a favor and stay away from buying your loved one a stinky perfume. You’re in luck, as a former beauty department lacky (I worked for the Clinique counter in Sears) I’ve had plenty of experience with people who think that these abominations against anyone with a sense of smell are actually pleasant. I’ve made a list of the five worst scents for each gender (in no particular order) that will leave many transit riders around them holding their nose.
Clinique Aromatics– this scent is so powerful that even touching the bottle makes your hands smell all day, no matter how much you wash. I had a coworker who loved it, would spray it on 5 times in her 8 hour shift, it smells like patchouli and mothballs
Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds– the ultimate old lady perfume. It’s strong and vile, smells like it’s gone bad
Estee Lauder Youth Dew– I gag when I smell this. Another women I worked with in the beauty department wore this daily, we’d all stay away from her (even the aromatics lover). We’d been working together 6 months when she told me that she had lost her sense of smell many years before and she continued to buy the scent because she knew that was the only one that smelled good on her. No one ever told her otherwise.
Estee Lauder White Linen– To be honest, stay away from Estee Lauder when buying fragrances, most of them reek. Same goes for a lot of the older Dior fragrances (in particular, Poison)
Anything heavily featuring Vanilla– this could purely be personal, I had received a little too much vanilla scented things as a teen when everyone was giving Body Shop gift baskets as birthday gifts. Generally it’s too overpowering and you smell like a bakery.
Axe Body Spray– Don’t. As a woman who is attracted to the male gender, I beg of all men not to buy this shit. I guarantee that wearing this will be result in the exact opposite of what the commercials promise.
Brut– I don’t know if guys are still buying this or if it’s available, but you catch a whiff every now and then, it’s the male equivalent to White Diamonds, an old man smell.
Drakkar Noir– The 80’s called, it wants it’s cologne back. The stereotypical greasy, cheesy European smell.
Old Spice– They’ve tried to give themselves a new image lately with the hilarious commercials, but sales numbers haven’t risen all that much. Which goes to show, you can try to re-brand it for younger guys, but you got to change the smell from what we associate with dads.
CK One– This one is actually unisex. Again, it could be a personal preference but it reminds me of the 90’s… remember the Calvin Klein ads with Kate Moss looking “heroin-chic?” It’s just outdated and too strong. Time to move on, I mean even Kate has moved on from heroin to cocaine (note: I do not know if Kate Moss ever did heroin, but her dalliances with cocaine have been well reported).
What do you think? Have I missed out on some horrendous smelling perfumes/colognes or do you disagree and think some of my choices are nice smells?