October 13, 2000
I have no interest in smelling good.
Let me finish - I have no interest in
smelling at all.
Sure, I have a shelf filled with bottles
of after shave, but I can't remember the last time I slapped
any on. They were mostly bought for me as gifts by ex-girlfriends
and distant relatives. Some of them date back to high school
or that time in a young man's life when he's sure he has a future
career as a suave international spy.
In reality, most of them surround you
in a green noxious cloud that would choke a horse. And that's
the expensive stuff.
Although it's not my habit, I once asked
a total stranger what kind of after shave he was wearing. It
smelled pretty good, and I tried to make it clear by a series
of grunts that I really was only interested in knowing the name
of his cologne and not in a meaningful relationship that included
settling down with a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
After telling me his secret, I bought
a bottle of the stuff and slapped it on. I enjoyed the smell
for about as long as it took to get to work. After half an hour
in the car I couldn't stand myself any longer and scrubbed off
as much as I could in the washroom. Not only that, but like most
aftershaves, it made my eyes red and nose run.
Great if the effect you want to have
on women is: "Boy, that guy smells good - too bad he has
the plague and only a week to live."
So if I have been a dismal failure in
my attempt to smell good, I'm also a poor candidate to be won
over by a woman's perfume. Not only do they affect me like tear
gas affected the troops in World War One, I don't find their
smell particularly alluring.
Maybe I'm immune to flowers and such,
but I think the perfume manufacturers have really missed the
boat when it comes to smells that attract men.
What man can resist the smell of hot
roofing tar? Maybe it stirs in us something genetic that goes
back millions of years to when we hunted bison (without needing
a national spear registry) near the tar sands. Maybe it's just
happy memories of a bunch of guys standing on the lawn with a
beer in hand watching roofers on a hot sunny day. Make a perfume
that smells like roofing tar, and I guarantee men will flock
Then there's the smell of hamburgers
on the barbeque. Not the lean ground beef my wife buys when she
thinks I'm not looking - I mean the stuff with extra fat. When
those drippings hit the flames - oh boy. What woman wouldn't
want a perfume that literally makes men drool?
You can actually buy "new car smell"
in a spray can, but as far as I know, no one has ever tried to
wear it as a cologne. Forget Chanel No. 5, if you walk into a
bar smelling like the upholstery of a brand new Mustang, you're
going to turn heads.
Although if women are looking for men
who are more ready to settle down, they may have to try wearing
"new minivan smell".
I see that a company is actually selling
a perfume that smells like cinnamon buns.
Now you're talking.