Ooh, That Smell

I based this pink flying unicorn on myself.

Something you probably don’t know about me, being that we are conversing in the odorless digital realm; I have olfactory senses on par with or equal to a woman’s. I can smell everything. All the time.

If you’re ever around me and I don’t smell good, it’s either because I’m drunk, recently stoned, or because I can’t do anything about it at the time. I know you don’t care. I don’t care that you don’t care. By gum, this is important shit I’m shoveling here. This will improve your life.

As a man, I feel a personal duty to be palatable by default; not just in appearance (despite how I typically draw myself), but in speaking tone and scent. I drink moderately not out of any health concern, but because alcohol abuse and overstaying in bars cause me to stink. If you imbibe excess amounts of beer over any length of time, it begins to precipitate through your pores, and people like me can smell the fact that you enjoy beers. Nothing wrong with that (in fact it often qualifies as a “fond memories of dad” scent), it’s just not my thing. I prefer Bombay Sapphire gin or Barbados rum, either of which you can practically splash on as cologne, so fine is their fragrance.

I’ll put it this way; if, at the end of the day, I take off my shirt, seal it in a Zip-Loc bag, and mail it to a woman, that woman falls in love with me. Guaranteed. Try me. I fucking dare you. I never do it because it’s uncool to fiddle with girls’ hearts like they were Tinkertoys, and I only have so many shirts.

Another thing- I only shower before I go to bed. I don’t shower first thing in the morning; it’s torture, plain and simple. I’m extremely picky about soap, because the popular brands all desiccate your skin to some degree. Irish Spring, Dial, Lifebuoy; you might as well rub hot Brillo on your nethers. In my opinion, it’s almost impossible to go wrong with Dr. Bronner’s. Their castile soaps are all great, and you can definitely find one that matches your personal scent signature (I use Hemp Almond). Plus their shampoo bottles give you a ton to read while you’re on the john at your lady friend’s house.

As far as cleanliness and smelling good, I look to India. I believe that I can safely surmise that you have never encountered an Indian person who smelled badly. Maybe they smelt of curry, but that’s a diet thing (or they just ate/are eating it), and it pretty much never happens to Indian women. Indian folks bring millenia of making things smell nice to the table, culminating in Chandrika soap, which not only looks handsome, it makes your washroom smell like a million dollars. Or, a clean Indian person.

Chandrika soap is ayurvedic, meaning (according to WebMD):

Ayurvedic medicine (“Ayurveda” for short) is one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems. It was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India.

It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems.

In the United States, it’s considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

I’ve caught a cold twice in the past nine years, even though I’m a year-round user of public transit. Maybe I know what I’m talking about, non?

For me to function properly and efficiently in a working environment, it must smell good. I grew up in a suburb of New Jersey near the Nabisco plant, ergo, my entire childhood smelled like cookies baking. Do you understand this? Do you have any idea how bad shit smells to me? Or B.O.? It’s like rape. It’s like my sinus is being raped.

I used to actually frequent the Whole Foods on Ponce, and spend too much on scented candles or Demeter sprays. Demeter doesn’t last long enough once spritzed onto skin, but the fragrance spectrum they offer is peerless. You owe it to yourself to track down a bottle of Demeter Holy Water. Spray the sample on your wrist and see how your spouse reacts.

Some of these, you might get bit.

Scented candles are alright, but they’re bulky, messy, and the fragrance is either too subtle or overwhelming, depending on the candler. Don’t ever use those plug-in air fresheners; they’re toxic and cause nerve damage. What you want to do is get into incense.

I know what you’re thinking, incense is messy too, and it either smells like hippies or a convenience store. I state this emphatically; you haven’t burned the right incense. You should never, ever burn incense you buy at the grocery store or Kwik-E-Mart. I made this mistake and drove people away. You need to find a place where they actually give a shit about the incense. And only burn one type: masala. It’s masala or nothing.

Agarbatti [incense sticks] are an integral part of any Hindu ritual. During rituals, an incense stick is lighted to remove unpleasant odors in the air. It creates the perfect setting for an auspicious ritual by filling the air with a pleasant smell. As they release smoke, they also act as organic disinfectants that drive away insects.

It has some psychological benefits. The aroma of the incense stick has healing power that has a soothing effect on the mind. The calming effect relaxes the mind and helps in performing rituals with better concentration. Prayer offered with a calm mind acts like a meditation process.


For many years I have gone to Crystal Blue in Little Five Points for incense. They have the best selection that I am aware of anywhere. Spend a few minutes there, and sniff the different incense packages, and I guarantee you will find a fragrance you love. If you really want to knock your chakra’s socks off, look for Nitiraj. My particular favorite is “Nirvana”, but their whole line is sublime. Currently my workspace smells like “Nirvana”. It has surpassed Anubhuti as what I believe is the finest incense I have ever smelled.

Oh my gods the White Sage.

Some of you will recall the late great Divine as Francine Fishpaw at the climax of John Waters’s Polyester, finally reunited with her children, spraying Glade into the night air to alleviate their trauma. The effects of aromatherapy cannot be disputed. As well, it’s a fine line; how many times have you found yourself revulsed by an elderly person’s perfume or cologne? When the air smells good, we take in huge nasal breaths to capture it, flooding the brain with healthy oxygen and creating euphoria. All your favorite memories are attached to good smells. This is the key to creating more good memories.

Trust me; I know.

Just like I know that the Lynyrd Skynyrd song “That Smell” is about death, but I used it for the title anyway. I know.

P.S.: The story that the band members with fire behind them are the ones that perished in a plane crash is a myth. This cover was changed out of respect for the deceased at the request of the widow of Steve Gaines, the dude in the middle, one of three band members killed in the crash (the others being Ronnie Van Zant and Gaines’s older sister Cassie, who sang backup and is not pictured above).

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