Poor Tom!




I Got Nothin’


I had one of those annoying injuries (back, from changing the Sparkletts bottle; why won’t Californians drink tap?) and the only thing I can smell on myself is the scented Aspercreme capiscum gel that is allowing me to walk upright.  So no perfume review for this week.  I will review the gel: very effective in delivering heat with a “nice clean” smell that’s an eye-watering eucalyptus.  But as I mentioned, I can stand upright and use the clutch on the car without whimpering.  I hope by the weekend to be back in the saddle.


So remember to lift from your knees and if you have a really nice smelling medicine tip, let me know in the comments.




  • Winifrieda says:

    Oh its dreadful; mine’s gone too from trying to fix my creek fences after the floods…I just take some sort of anti-arthritis med – Australian brand names would probably be no great help – the anti inflammatory thing to get the muscle spasm to unlock – then I just lie down flat. I think from my days as an ameteur masseuse that the main benefit of liniments is in the actual pressure on knotted muscles as its rubbed in relaxes the knots and allows realignment…but a slipped disc or torn ligament is a medical issue…and a real bummer.
    Hope for a speedy recovery!

  • HemlockSillage says:

    Oh, so sorry to hear about your injury. Hope you feel better soon. I don’t have any recommendations for linaments. I did love the smell of Tiger Balm so much, that I bought a FB of Heeley’s Esprit du Tigre. It’s my go to scent when I feel tired, but have to go on, regardless. Comforting and invigorating at the same time.

    Silly water story–neighbor’s child was visiting, and asked my brother for some water. He grabbed a glass, some ice, and tap water. The child looked at him aghast, and said, “why do I get sink water?” He couldn’t imagine drinking from the tap. My brother explained we only use bottled water for trips, lunches, etc. Now we all laugh about drinking sink water! Be well, soon!

  • pyramus says:

    Though it will not be of any use to your back, since it is an antiseptic and styptic, Friar’s Balsam is a medication that smells sublime; it is a tincture of benzoin and styrax, both of which are used in the base notes of oriental perfumes, and so it smells dark and molasses-sweet and gorgeous.

    Good luck with your back. They can be hell.

  • Teri says:

    Huge fan of Mobigesic. It’s a pill, not a salve. I travel a lot for work and all the strange beds in strange places and blasting AC lead to occasional lower back issues and this always helps. I also use Icy Hot on the affected area and alternate hot and cold packs 20 mins on, 20 mins off. The combination of all of those things eventually relaxs my beleagered muscles.

    And yes, come to think of it, I WOULD wear a Demeter Icy Hot scent. lol

  • Marle says:

    Sort of pushing the concept, but as a salve, I adore the smell of Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream. It is also a miracle ointment. Just adore the stuff.

  • AnnieA says:

    A hot toddy smells nice — it counts as medicine if you believe in “booze a cold, starve a fever”…

  • maggiecat says:

    I’m “Ow-ing” in sympathy. I’ve had more than my share of back issues, culminating in spinal fusion surgery two years ago. Take care of yourself.

  • dleep says:

    I love the smell of Tiger Balm. Also, I have used Traumeel with great results.

  • Tamara*J says:

    Feel better Tom. Lavender Epsom salt baths and poppin’ a few Vicodin should help. ;)

  • Rappleyea says:

    As a practicing aromatherapist, if it’s muscular (and I’m assuming it is), I’d recommend a simple blend of essential oils of chamomile and marjoram – analgesic and antispasmodic. Put a few drops of each in the palm of your hand and slap it on your back. Normally e.o.’s wouldn’t be used straight up, but neither of these is too strong for the skin to do so. I’ve used this on myself with almost instantaneous relief. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Ann says:

    Oh, poor baby! Hope you’re feeling much, much better. I have a wonky back (muscle spasms in lumbar region) that acts up from time to time when I do something I shouldn’t, so I have to baby it all the time. Haven’t tried any of the salves/ointments/liniments you all have listed, but I need to. I also love the idea of Tubereuse Criminelle as a “layering” agent. Hang in there!

  • Nava says:


    I’d offer to send you some over-the-counter muscle relaxant, but there’s a postal strike going on right now. Figures…

    Feel better!

  • mals86 says:

    I don’t have a back-pain medication rec, but a standby all-purpose salve with a distinctive smell, which I LOVE. It’s Porter’s Liniment Salve, which I can say with complete confidence does a great job, even better (dare I say it?) than Neosporin. I spent my childhood with scraped knees and elbows, and my kids get banged up pretty often too. Porter’s is greasy and yellow, but it never stings.

    Here’s what’s in the thing: Chlorobutanol, cresylic acid, zinc oxide, camphor, ammonia and oils of cajeput, clove, sassafras and myrrh in a base of petrolatum, beeswax and lanolin. It smells great to me – medicinal, but oddly comforting.

    Link to Porter’s at Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/3vnjgar

    Hope you’re back to health soon, Tom.

  • Musette says:


    Everybody has such great advice – I got nothin’, except to second the alcohol (intake) and analgesics (outside app).

    I LIKE the idea of TubeCrim as a layering agent! 😕 And Olfacta’s right – this is the one time you can just let ‘er rip! Blame it on the topical analgesic! 😉

    Glad you’re feeling a bit better!

    xo >-)

  • Sharon C. says:

    THERA-GESIC is my favorite pain cream when my lower back starts playing me (herniated disc several years ago…). Haven’t needed it in a while, but as I recall, it’s either unscented or not terribly heavily scented. [Works great on arthritic knees as well, based on the success a friend of mine had with it.]

    Of course, the best pain tonic I know is mixed with vodka (a screwdriver is also good, with an added bonus of Vitamin C)!

    Feel better, Tom!

  • Dilana says:

    chlorine, as in a therapy pool, where I can tread water for thirty minutes.

  • snowcrocus says:

    Love the smell of St. Joe’s baby aspirin. Tocca’s Stella comes close.

  • rosarita says:

    My husband has the same injury but his balm of choice is Biofreeze. I’m nursing a broken rib which I reinjured last week. My job is to apply the Biofreeze for him (hey, he’s old) so my left hand stays frozen & chemical smelling. That stuff clings like the worst scrubber. Between the two of us we manage to get things done provided nothing heavy enters our lives. And we both work for schools so we’re home together; thank goodness for Netflix. Hope your back continues to improve, watch out for those little chairs, they’re the worst!

    • Musette says:

      Biofreeze is GREAT! I used that when the 55gal drum full of rainwater fell on me. Between than and some gentle yoga (and lots of bourbon – whoever invented bourbon is a GOD! A GOD, I say! ^:)^

      A, I’m so sorry to hear about your reinjury! ow!

      xoxo >-)

    • Tom says:

      I’m taking notes. Gotta find that biofreeze. Thanks!

    • Aparatchick says:

      Oh, Rosarita, I’ve done the broken rib thing – very unpleasant. I hope you’re feeling better. And Tom, listen up about the Biofreeze. That stuff is sheer bliss. The other thing I’d recommed is Badger Balm (although you really do need to patch test it first to ensure that the essential oils won’t bother your skin): http://www.badgerbalm.com/p-443-sore-muscle-rub-cooling-blend.aspx

  • Aubrey says:

    Oh no! Sorry about your back.

    I’m thinking that Ormonde Man (or woman) would go great with Aspercreme and some whiskey!

  • Olfacta says:

    Voltaran Gel (Rx). Smells awful, works great. Once it dries there’s no smell. Lots of Advil, too. And feel-good perfume — if co-workers get upset you can always blame the medicine (“I just don’t understand why this is so heavily scented!!

    I never understoond the Sparkletts thing, either — but L.A. (city) tap water tastes pretty foul. Which leads one to wonder about what’s in it. Isn’t Sparkletts just reconditioned tap water, though? I’ve heard that from lots of places.

    Many backs have been thown out by those Sparkletts bottles. Mine included.

  • dDub says:

    Salonpas will help you appreciate your Aspercreme. Gutte Besserung.

  • tmp00 says:

    I remember that one! Leave it to a perfumista to look at an injury as a layering opportunity!

    I thought of masking the balm with Tuberuese Criminelle, but I don’t think that would fly at work…

  • matildaben says:

    Heeley’s Esprit du Tigre smells a lot like Tiger Balm – could be good for layering. Feel better soon.

  • Kristin says:

    Peacock balm is even stronger :P

    Still there myself, though I opted for movement and ibuprofen to my everlovin’ chagrin.

    Feel better soon dude.

    • tmp00 says:

      Movement wasn’t the issue. I went to a community meeting that was held at a place chock full of low, dainty chairs that just killed me. Erg.

      • Musette says:

        El O gets that from the office chair. It’s weird. The chair is one of those ergonomically correct designs….maybe it’s his back and butt that are not ergonomically designed? 😕

        xoxo >-)

  • Divalano says:

    Ow, honey. I’m suffering the same, acquired by overindulging in good samaritaning. Serious, I was doing nothing more stressful than sitting on a couch, assembling & taping boxes for a friend who’s moving. And, ow.

    I got nothing for good smelling medicine but you do bring to mind the label on the white Tiger’s Balm, I think it is. They advertise it as “with invisible smell”, which to me always made me think “hey, buy this stuff, it smells just like invisible!” As it turns out, Invisible smells a lot like regular old red Tiger’s Balm.

    Feel better.

    • tmp00 says:

      Thanks. Actually I already do feel much better, but not in time to get a review into here or PST.

      • Musette says:

        I love Tiger Balm! I prefer the white stuff because the red stuff stains everything. But the smell (which is the whole POINT of Tiger Balm, imo 😉 is exactly the same.

        But I would love to know what ‘invisible smell’ smells like! 😕

        xo >-)