Smell This

March 31, 2006

With hair care products increasing exponentially I should be able to find a shampoo that I like, but it seems like the more stuff there is out there the harder it is to find something plain, simple, and unscented. That’s the main thing I want: unscented. If I want to smell like lilacs, lavender, and lupins I’ll go to the perfume aisle. There was a time when I got a real kick out of pouring orange juice in my hair, but it passed sometime around my third birthday. I don’t want to smell like watermelon, cucumbers, or kumquats. I like papayas, but if I wanted to smell like one I’d rub my body down with a real papaya. That’s not something I’m going to do, at least not before I leave for work in the morning. And if I want to smell like a kiwi I’ll move to New Zealand. Just because I might have vanilla and honey in my breakfast cereal doesn’t mean I want it in my hair. Capisce, shampoo makers?

If the fruity, flowery scents weren’t bad enough there are also the weird scents like Summer Meadow. From the smell of the shampoo there have been cows walking through that meadow. And then there’s Ocean Mist. I’m not sure that this is supposed to smell like, and I’m afraid to try it. Ocean mist smells great when you’re at the beach, but if you’ve ever tried bottling it you know after about three days it smells like rotten, salty fish. Maybe you’d like to smell like that if you’re impersonating a Norwegian cod fisherman, but I’d rather smell like the kind of person who rubs himself with a papaya. And as I move down the aisle trying desperately to get away from the smell of tulips, tubers, and Tijuana it only gets worse because the other thing I can’t find is underarm deodorant. The whole idea of deodorant used to be that it prevented smell. It was supposed to be unscented. Now, at least for men, it has to come in bizarre, unnatural scents like Glacial Ice or Lava Flow. Show me someone who wears Lava Flow deodorant and I’ll show you someone who smells like a Norwegian cod fisherman.

But I digress. Then there’s body spray for men. Some chemist got kicked in the head by an ostrich and decided this would be a good idea: a scented spray for men that, according to the commercials, will make strange women tackle you while shopping. I’m sure there are men who enjoy having their dates include a fractured collar bone, but I don’t think they find partners while shopping. Mostly they probably look in classified ads, in the same section where you find people who rub themselves with papayas.

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