Friday, July 13, 2012

Scent Mapping

*Current Fragrance: Actually nothing...yet.
*Currently Listening: Are Years What? (From "Analog") by Philip Glass

Hang in there with me, as this is my first attempt at scent mapping - yet I think it may be more aptly called scent journaling.

I'm using my day from Wednesday, July 11th. I was off this day, and quite honestly it was one of the most perfect days I'd had in awhile. I had no where to be until 3PM, so it meant I would be TOTALLY lazy in the morning. YAY!

(I did voice memos to myself when I was in the house & typed things on my phone when I was in public, so I could keep track.)

I wake up and realize that I'm very used to the way my apartment smells, I don't really smell much of anything. This is actually a good think, as it means that Harley kitty has decided to be a fan of using the litter box for the past oh, say 8 hours.

I have whole wheat bread and butter for breakfast. This is the first thing that really registers in my nose. I smell wheat bread and plastic. (Plastic being from the wrapper.) I tend to smell plastic much more in the summer/warmer months. Does this happen to anyone else?

Time to get ready. *runs shower water* As I am getting my hair cut later on in the day, I see no reason to wash my hair. It's a waste of shampoo, conditioner, and my time and styling energy. This is going on be one short shower.

Being as that I'm not washing my hair, I need to put on my shower cap. I realize that it's actually sitting in the bottom of the tub, with a bit of standing water inside. I am convinced it's going to smell like mildew. After sopping the excess water from the shower cap, I sniff doesn't smell like mildew. I momentarily convince myself my nose has stopped working. CRAP!

Never fear, my nose is fine! I proceed to wash my face. During the summer I wash my face in the morning with Herbalism. Now begins my daily struggle of trying not to eat my facial cleaner. Here's why: to me Herbalism smells like rye bread with a delightful combination of jalapeno jam and UNSWEETENED pickle relish. NOM! I wash my body with Olive Branch Shower gel, a very creamy mandarin. It smells like summer and evokes some kind of memory...but sadly, I just can't put my finger on it. Nonetheless it makes me smile, as does the kick of jalapeno I smell at the very end. I smell this a lot on the end of shower gels (with the exception of the very tutti frutti ones.)

Post shower I spritz and wipe my toner on and off with such swiftness and familiarity that I don't really notice a smell. Time to moisturize. Also, time to indulge in some rather bizarre behavior. I open my moisturizer and breath in the smell of orange blossoms laced with a bit of honey and sunscreen. There is no sunscreen in there, it just evokes the smell in my mind. This is fine, I LOVE the smell of sunscreen. I momentarily have to convince myself that slathering my moisturizer all over my body would be disastrous to my bank account. Common sense prevails. I pat on my powdered deodorant, that I'm OBSESSED with. To me it smells like liquorish, charcoal and rosemary - but there is not liquorish or rosemary in it. My body sucks the sent in. The most I smell it is as I'm tapping it out of the bottle, which I good. I don't want to walk around smelling like charcoal all day.

I realize the towel that I grab for is slightly damp, which means that it's the towel Al used this morning after finishing his shower. I sniff at it hoping that I'll get a whiff of him. As I'm sniffing I can't help but wonder: is this slightly sick or quite sweet? I can't smell anything other than towel. I wrinkle my nose and give up.

Post shower I put on a clean night shirt as I'm don't really tend to traipse around my apartment in a multi-layered chiffon maxi dress (which is what I was planning on wearing that day). I put on pink cat PJs. Yep. I'm that girl! I love the smell of unfolding garments that haven't been moved since they were put up after being laundered. Plus, my night shifts live next to my Fabreeze and Downy Wrinkle Release bottles.

I'm not realizing my "getting ready chronicling" is getting pretty boring. So I'll skip over most of that. Although, I must mention and show that dry shampoo + fan blowing on your face to keep you cool = it looks like you have a drug habit!

BUT WAIT! I need to talk about perfume! Since I was going out to dinner with Dear Friend that evening, I decided upon Histoires desParfums 1889 Moulin Rouge. DF gave it to make as part of my Christmas gift last year. I talk about it in this blog entry (you know, just so I don't have to repeat myself). Every time I wear this perfume, ESPECIALLY if I'm with DF, awesomeness and/or some type of mischief ensues. There's just something very magical about it. (I try to apply it in a scant way, as it is rather warm out.)

Out the door we go! Outside it smells like sawdust and heat. Does heat have a smell? It's really hard for me to explain. It's almost akin to the warm plastic. The sawdust, why the sawdust? As I get to the bottom of the street it is explained.

As I'm waiting for the T, I smell the hot asphalt and hot tracks. It makes me think of riding my bike around the neighborhood as a child. FINALLY I get on the T. The AC is BLASTING. YAY! It smells of freon. I LOVE THE SMELL. It is clean and ozone-y. It's the smell of NOT HAVING TO SWEAT!

Perhaps I should have sprayed my 1889MR on earlier, as I'm still smelling it rather strongly, but I'm not getting any strange looks or fragrance annoyed coughs pointed in my direction. I think I'm OK. Someone gets on the train that smells like cotton candy. She's over the age of 12, so I roll my eyes under the darkened protection of my sunglasses. A man gets on wearing a suit and he smells of mothballs. He looks nervous. Job interview, perhaps?

A few stops up, I'm sturck with Eau de sweaty male. It's not sexy sweat. It's stanky sweat. I then realize that my "bucket seat" by the steps is pretty much putting me at crotch height as they pass by. Perhaps I shouldn't be so judgey. Busy stop at a pretty major intersection it smells like McDonald's food and peppermint.

As the train "inches", yup it's moving that slowly (stupid "Front Door Only" rule), towards Boston University I spot a guy in camouflage shorts who smells like apple pie. That's weird. He's also a dead ringer for someone I went to High School with. Well, everyone has a twin they say. Como Shorts guy moves and I still smell apple pie. I then wonder, "Is there someone on this train wearing Hermes  Ambre Narguile?" I need to find this person; as we WILL be friends!

Finally off the T and I am running late, I don't really notice much of anything fragrance wise until I'm at the salon. Shampoo time...AHHHHHHH! I spend way too much time and energy deciding exactly what the shampoo smells like. I finally decide that it's the smell of pulling apartment plastic pre-formed kiddie pools (the blue kind with Puff the Magic Dragon-esque characters printed on them) apart to buy one from Walmart, mixed with the smell of freshly cut Granny Smith Apples. (Told you I put a lot of thought into that one!)

I get distracted from smells during my hair cut as my hairdresser and I get to chatting. She's fantastic! I've NEVER found anyone that does a better blowout that she does! (SHE = Jessye Lockward at the Newbury location of Salon Marc Harris.) Seriously, if you're looking for someone to do you hair in Boston, give her a try. I'm sure you'll be quite pleased!

Feeling rather Mad Men-esque
As I leave the salon, two things happen: 1) I really forget that I'm supposed to be scent mapping. Why? 2) I notice that I'm starting to strut. Rarely do I strut. Normally that only happens when I am rather intoxicated or mocking someone...usually it's a combination of both; I'm feeling really good about myself though. Awesome hair cut, I'm wearing my favorite dress, red lipstick, the weather is awesome, I don't feel like vomiting for the first time since Sunday....why SHOULDN'T I strut!?!?!? I then make the VERY bold statement to myself. "Today I could give Joan Harris a run for her money! Fetch me Don Draper! Fetch me Roger Sterling!"

I'm snapped back to reality by the smell of cupcakes. I've been wanting to try Georgetown Cupcakes for a while now. (They opened not too long ago on Newbury.) I decide I'll see if my tummy can handle one. Plus I'm STARVING! I have an hour and a half to kill until meeting DF for dinner. The shop smells of sugar and freon. GLORIOUS!
Cupcake Porn
 I purchase a Raspberry Lemon and a Coconut Chocolate cupcake and am off to the Public Garden. I'm still strutting and now on a sugar/freon sniffing high. I'm sure atmospheric fragrances are whizzing past me, but I'm oblivious.

I removed my trusty scarf from my purse to use as a makeshift blanket and settle under my favorite willow tree that has a nice view of the Swan Boat Pond. It's my second favorite spot in the city; the first being the end of the Long Wharf.

I enjoy my Raspberry Lemon cupcake and save the Coconut Chocolate one for later. There's a woman leaning against the next tree over, smoking a cigarette. I find it amazing how nature and the open space diffuse the smell of the cigarette. It just smells clean and fresh out, with the small whiff of dirt that I am absentmindedly digging with my right thumb. You can take the girl out of the Country..... This is the last "scented observation" I make for the day, as I get too wrapped up in the utter perfection of my day thus far. Seams like a good time to end this blog entry. OH! For what it's worth, dinner with DF at Petit Robert Central was FABULOUS!

 *Currently Listening: La Vie Est Belle by MC Sollar
All Photos Are My Own


  1. Aw, the swanboats and cupcakes! You are making me miss Boston so much! (It was a different cupcake store for me back then but man, were they decadent!)

  2. I was absolutely enthralled with this post - thanks for taking me along!!

  3. I enjoyed that litle journel through your day. Thank you for sharing! :)

    1. You are most welcome. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Undina! :o)

  4. There's a very good "knock, knock" joke about Philip Glass, now you mention him! I am partial to a bit of Steve Reich too.

    One of the happiest days of my life was spent in Boston - 8th Sept 2003. Nothing happened, I just walked and walked in the sunshine and also had a boat ride in a swan - I envy you living there all the time! There is a saying: "The man who is tired of London is tired of life", and I would say the same of Boston.

    Your hair looks amazing! Note to self to get roots done...

    1. I have a feeling the "knock, knock" joke is very close to the famous "Minimalism Lecture" is goes like this...

      "Minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is, minimalism is..."

      I feel so fortunate to live it Boston, especially coming from the super small town I grew up in.

      Thanks for the hair compliments. I literally just finishing henna-ing my hair. Happy root touch-up-ing

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