Friday, June 3, 2016


I have recently been in weekly contact with a woman I had not seen since 1969,  as we are volunteering at the same place. After several times of reminiscing, I said, "Don't you wear Youth Dew any more?"  She said that it used to be her favorite.  I said, "Yes, I know, I bought it for you for your birthday in 1969;  Gerald and I went Lazarus to get it."  She asked, "How on earth do you remember that?"  I told her that I am rather talented about recognizing and remembering scents that people wear.  I continued, "I notice that you're wearing White Shoulders now;  my best friend's mother always wore that."  She invited me to visit at her home and her vanity was lined with bottles of White Shoulders.

In the 1970s I was working with a man who usually wore nice colognes and after-shave lotions.  Colognes for men were not as plentiful then as today.  As I recall, Hai Karate, Brut, and EnglishLeather, 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 that you're wearing."  He said, "Boy, you're good;  my wife just bought it for me."  I told him that my husband wore it most of the time.  My husband had warned me NEVER to ask a man "What do you have on?" because I might 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 good at recognizing fragrances, but you smell 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 replied, "Since it's Chanel, it's entre vous et moi!"  Carl asked, "Hunh?"  I said, "Since Chanel is French, entre vous et moi  means it's just between you and me."  At that time I was "studying" French--by using tapes in my car--and I was forever foisting fractured French pronunciations on innocent victims.  

Before The Bionic Woman was on television, we called my mother "The Human Bloodhound" because we said that 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.

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And thank you for remembering what I like! ML