Sunday, April 28, 2013
THE BIONIC NOSE
Before The Bionic Woman was on television, we called my mother "The Human Bloodhound" because she could detect smells which nobody else could, and the scents were usually of an unpleasant nature. After seeing Lindsay Wagner, Mother was then known as "The Bionic Nose".
Mother also had the world's best memory. Oftentimes, she would say that aromas or odors were reminiscent of ones from her childhood. After I read Remembrance Of Things Past, I told her that she was as good as Proust at remembering every detail! I would mutter, "Where's the madeleines, Mama?", whenever she would start going into excruciating detail!
I'm rather talented about recognizing perfumes and colognes people wear. In the 1970s, I was working with a man who usually wore nice colognes and after-shaves. Men's colognes were not as plentiful as today (Hai Karate, Brut, and English Leather, along with the old standards Old Spice, Aqua Velva, and Canoe were the most frequently worn). One day I said, "Carl, that smells like Aramis you're wearing." He said, "Boy, you're good; my wife just bought it for me." I told him that was what my husband wore most of the time. [My husband warned me NEVER to ask "What do you have on?" because I would be the recipient of an unwanted, risque response.]
As I had complimented Carl on several occasions, I didn't feel awkward when I said "Carl, I'm usually very good at recognizing fragrances, but you smell just like Chanel No. 5 today." He looked very sheepish and said, "I was out of any of mine, so I splashed on some of my wife's." I answered, "That's a very expensive substitute." He said, "Don't tell anybody." I said, "Since it's Chanel, it's entre vous et moi." He asked, "Huh?" I said, "Since Chanel is French, that means it's between you and me: entre vous et moi!" I was studying French--using tapes in my car--and I was forever foisting fractured French pronunciations on innocent victims!
A friend of mine says that she has such amazing olfactory prowess that she can distinguish her family members' flatulence.
Now, I'm not THAT good--or bad--depending on one's perspective!