Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Guides: Eau the T!

*Current Fragrance: Angeliques Sous La Pluie by Frederic Malle
*Currently Listening: Short 1, Op. 58 performed by Kari Kriikku (clarinet and bass clarinet) and Anssi Karttunen (cello) - composed by  Paavo Heininen (I've put my entire iTunes library on shuffle and have vowed not to skip anything, this should be interesting!)

Welcome tho the second installment of No Disassemble Charlie No. 5's Summer Guides! If you missed the first installment, "Choosing Perfume for a Crawfish Boil", please follow the link and read - summertime is such a fleeting time!

MBTA System Map
When I say "the T", I mean the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority), but more specifically what non-Bostonians would think of as "the subway." Granted that's a bit of a misnomer, as much of "the T" isn't subterranean. That's kinda of beside the point though...

I have lived in Boston long enough to have a true love/hate relationship with the T. This will continue for as long as my monthly pass remains under the cost of a monthly pass in NYC. Then I'll just be in a RAGE! I ride the T for pretty much everything, it's my main mode of transportation. Al still has the Honda that he drives to work - his office is actually in the 'burbs. There is no way in HELL that I'm going to pay for daily parking near Newbury St.! Cabs excluded, I ride in an car an average of 2 or 3 times a month.

But, Eau the T!

Smells on the T are an interesting thing. I've decided there are some things you can deal with, some things you can't, and then some things are just common freakin' courtesy! First I want to list my "summer guidelines" (they're really good for any time, just more pertinent in the summer) for when riding the T - fragrance wise.

1) BATHE! This is a non-negotiable. If you're going to ride the T in the summer, where sometimes the AC can be a bit on the shoddy side: BATHE! Either the morning of or night before riding the T. Exceptions: deathly ill or EXTREME emergency, but I would appreciate seeing the distress to let me know.

2) Please wear deodorant! ESPECIALLY if you're riding the T at a time where you're going to be on the T at a time where there's a good chance that your entire ride will be spend holding a hand hold WAY above your head with some other poor sap's mug in your armpit.

3) I'm pretty OK with cigarette and cigar smoke...hell, I'm an outright FAN of the smell of a pipe smoking, but should you choose to use your bong on the way to the T...PLEASE AIR OUT! Your Mary Jane skunky-stank will transfer to my clothes, and I don't want to smell like a the tail end of your roach as I walk into work. (Get a clip, finish smoking it - yes, I can smell it smoldering in your pocked - and change clothes before getting on the T, please!)

4) On the flip side, if you choose to wear <insert name of random Raspberry Hoe Juice here> in EPIC QUANTITIES, I will glare at you disapprovingly, with my sunglasses off - just so we can be clear. The only way I like massive quantities of sugared raspberries is in my mouth, without the sugar. (Hey perfume bloggers: Who coined the term Raspberry Hoe Juice? I want to give credit where credit is due!)

I know you are all TOTALLY asking, "but Kathleen, how do I deal with fragrantly navigating the T in the summer months?" Two simple tips my dears:

1) Light weight summer scarf, slightly spritzed. There's a reason I'm always sporting a lightweight scarf draped over my shoulders in the summer: smelly MBTA customer combatance. (Plus, I just like scarves...A LOT. Plus, it covers my cleavage from unwanted leering.) It's a nice and subtle way to get a whiff of peace.

Proof given by the two different hair styles that I wear the scarf A LOT! I almost feel like it's part of my identity. It also doubles as a great blanket for a work-break picnic. (R.I.P. Filene's Basement; this scarf was the last thing I ever purchased from you.)
 2) SOLID PERFUME IS YOUR FRIEND! Carry them in you bag or on your person at all times! They can effectively be used as smelling salts.

Every now and then, when I'm on the T and there's a fowl smell, I can't help thinking, "could that be Charlie's sandwich?"

or "maybe it's Skinhead's grenade?!"

***In an interesting experiment, I'll be "scent mapping" my day on Wednesday for (potentially) Thursday's blog. I've never done this before, so it should be interesting. I'll be spending plenty of time on the T. Should be interesting.

*Currently Listening: In Freundschaft: I. Zyklus Composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen & performed by Markus Stockhausen
**Photo Credits: 1) & all other photos my own


  1. tee hee, I rarely wear deodorant - I better not be on the T when you are! ;) Love the solid perfume idea - but do solid perfumes melt in the heat? Unfortunately LUSH opened up in our area - fortunately my car is dead!

    1. As long as your armpit stays out of my face, we're cool! I carry solids around w/ me all the time and have never had any issues, honestly. :o)

  2. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I miss the T... Yup, been living in farm country too long!

    1. The the truly fascinates me! I am also fascinated by the fact that it highlights peoples complete lack of common sense. ;-)

    2. I loved living near Boston, but it's been about 20 years now--wow. Now that I'm thinking a bit more about it, I generally rode the T at fairly non-standard hours when it was not at its most crowded (or stinky!) The summer I temped for an architecture firm right in downtown Boston was a *rather* less pleasant T experience. Of course, I expect you get to miss the lovely spring "winter's worth of thawing manure" scent we get up here each year... (I see some of those solids in my future now--great idea!)

      As for common sense, yeah, don't think I can claim to possess much of that! LOL ;)

    3. Yeah, not so much "thawing manure" smell here. I bet that's an interesting smell. From my childhood, I have "summer manure stank" imbedded in my olfactory memory. ;-)

  3. lol! love this post. I wish I could take public transport to work. I want to move north!

    I think it was me who coined Raspberry Hoe Juice! lol

    1. It is rather nice, and always gives me something to talk about!

      Thank you for coining one of the best perfume-snark-terms....EVER! :o)

  4. Too many painful (stinky?) memories! But still, I smiled - thank you! :)

  5. Hahaha, smelly mbta combat… DEFinitely necessary.

    Girl in the Poodle Shoes

    1. Casey - I think it's even MORE necessary given this current heat crunch we're in! :-\

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