It’s been a distracting week — New Mexico is on fire, including west and east of Santa Fe. We’re in for a rough ride until the wind dies down, and humidity levels in the single digits is not helping; it’s just so, so dry out there. There’s a vague bonfire smell hanging over Santa Fe. It gets me in the eyes, all that particulate matter. I’m keeping my windows closed. I’m not in any danger downtown, but it’s terrible to see what’s happening out in the rural areas while they try to battle this. Anyway, take this mild-complaint post with a grain of salt, because I’m fine and safe and really not in a position to complain about anything.
The lilacs and the wisteria are in bloom, they’re everywhere here. I can smell them, but it’s the weirdest thing with my wonky nose, they have this scent overlay where they all smell fake, especially the lilacs. Like lilac-scented room spray, or one of those plug-in air fresheners, you know what I mean. This hasn’t stopped me from sniffing lilacs several times a day on my walks, because I’m fascinated by it. It’s lilac with an undertone of plastic, a hint of a “fresh” marine-type note (gag), and the merest whiff of ammonia, like this is all happening in a public restroom. I’m sure that sounds unappetizing, and it is, but I can’t help but find it interesting that my warped perception of the smell is so consistent across multiple days as well as multiple species of lilac.
The other odd, recent smell-experience was when I got my hair cut last week. I generally keep it in a chin-length choppy bob, and my “styling” consists of going to bed with wet hair and then rearranging my bed-head as necessary before leaving the house in the morning. Anyway, the gal who cuts my hair put some effort into actually styling it, adding some cute beachy waves with a curling iron. It was looking fabulous, and then she finished it off with a quick blast of a glossing spray, which …. yikes. It was one of those moments that reminded me of past fragrance nightmares, where the scent you hate the most is the one that’s going to be the most persistent. It was the hair-care equivalent of a scrubber.
I don’t even think it smelled that bad objectively; kinda woodsy, musky, unisex, blah blah. But it crawled up into my nasal passages and just died there and refused to leave. It was laughably terrible. I was going out that night and was all set to rock my cute hair, but nope, I had to come home and take a shower immediately, and throw everything I’d been wearing into the wash, and I still felt like I could smell it as this phantom scent for about 24 hours.
I cannot handle grooming products I hate the scent of, especially hair-care products. I can even conjure them in my imagination, there’s one super-common shampoo (Wella? Alberto VO5?) I absolutely loathe the smell of and I can’t even tell you why. I think I’ve mentioned/admitted to this on here before, but I’m that weird lady you see surreptitiously unscrewing the caps on shampoo bottles and lotions in the store so I can take a whiff. Sorry about that. I promise I’m not sticking my fingers in there, and I screw the caps on back tightly.
Also, I bought some random dishwashing soap (for hand-washing my dishes) recently that I ended up tossing, I found it so repulsive, it was one of those “fresh” smells and I swear I could smell it on the dishes, no matter how carefully I rinsed them after, like every meal came with a garnish of soap. And don’t even get me started on the laundry/detergent aisle at the store, I hold my breath to go in there. I use Mrs. Meyer’s Lemon Verbena, which is apparently the only thing on earth I want my clothes to smell like. When I can’t find it locally I’ve ordered it online.
Have you ever been instantly put off by a body-product or household-cleaner smell that is theoretically benign – not super-strong, or super-weird, or something else you could point to logically for your hatred? Just a basic, innocuous smell that you can’t stand without knowing why?