There are these two girls who I dread seeing out. Because I know they’ll hug me hello and then I’ll be drenched in whatever variation of Patchouli it is that they wear. And that stuff lingers. To the point that I’ve ducked out of dinners early because I had to shower and change clothes and then ventured back out again. On a few occasions, I’ve stopped the incoming hug by blurting out that I had a cold, but you can only have a cold so many times before people start talking. “I think Jill has an immunity disorder or is covering up a cocaine problem.” I’m weighing my options. I might be willing to risk either rumor.
There’s another girl who wears the same family of scent and I run into her quite a bit, too. She, however, is pretty standoffish. And I’m grateful for her attitude. It’d be incredibly helpful if everyone who worshiped at the Patchouli Family alter was a bitch. Sadly, they’re often very kind. Actually, it’s not even always a Patchouli-specific thing for me. Although, that’s certainly the most difficult scent for me to stomach. Does this make me a horrible person? I’m also allergic to cats. I know. All signs pointing to me being a terrible lesbian. They’re going to take away my membership. I do wish I was less sensitive to O.P.P. But, Other People’s Perfume can be unbelievably excessive and poorly timed.
I’m hardly the first person to complain about sitting next to someone on a plane or train who doused themselves pre-travel in preparation for wooing a stranger in a confined space. Even though what they usually end up doing is just making that confined space smell like someone has ripped open one hundred magazine perfume samplers and rubbed them all over the walls of the plane or train. Same goes for people who workout and hike wearing so much perfume that they must think it helps combat dehydration.
There are, by the way, certainly occasional occasions when I think someone smells really really good. And that makes me so happy. Because I spend most of my time feeling like a judge-y scent witch. Ironically, I probably smell terrible and no one is telling me. What if my body naturally secretes a smell that is the perfect combination of Patchouli and cats? It’d serve me right. The scents that I like are really clean and not heavy or sweet or oily. This is the worst online dating profile ever. Perhaps this column is a cry for help because I feel like “The Others” from the show Lost, but there’s just one of me which is so much worse because at least “The Others” from Lost had each other. At least I don’t kill people and live in the woods. Yet.
Maybe I wish that I could enthusiastically soak up all smells all the time. Maybe my end goal is to open a perfumery called ‘All Smells All The Time.’ Maybe I could attend some sort of 12 step program? It would likely just be 1 step and that step would be a bunch of people rolling their eyes and saying “Get over it, idiot.” to me If I do get cured, I hope it covers incense, too.
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