Monday, September 05, 2011

Let's Talk About This: Other People's Scrubbers

The idea for this post was suggested by my dear friend Lawrence from Ohio. We were talking scrubbers and Lawrence raised the issue of unpleasant encounters that leave you want to scrub the other person of their perfume because it is so disgusting you can't stand it.

Most of us have contemplated violence as we stood in an uncomfortable proximity to someone who's bathed in Angel; but I'm not necessarily talking about perfumes that are too strong and take up all the air in the room. I'm talking about people wearing stuff that smells so vile they make you wonder if they even have a nose.

For me it's being around men wearing aquatics. Escape, L'Eau d'Issey and their like. I'm sure there are guys that can make it work, but  have yet to smell them. There's something in these two colognes that turn my stomach instantly. No, you don't smell clean and fresh, you smell chemical.

Another incident happened just the other day. I was at Victoria's Secret (don't even ask) and a girl at the register sprayed herself silly with some kind of a mango thing body spray. She was going on and on and on about how yummy it was while I wanted to bleach her (and everyone else in the vicinity, myself included).

How about you? Who and what has made you reach for your smelling salts? Let's talk about it.

Photo of Tim Gunn from somewhere around the web.


  1. Oh, I LOVE YOU, Gaia!

    That is a wonderful picture of Tim Gunn, and exactly how I feel when I smell Drakkar Noir on most men.

    Lawrence in Ohio (currently wearing Tom Ford's Purple Patchouli)

  2. Nothing brings out anger in me like Polo and Drakkar Noir on men. They just stink and scream I am stuck in 1985. I was stuck in an elevator once with a woman who used at least half a bottle of Black Orchid. I couldn't breathe until the elevator doors opened. Gross.

  3. Raspberry and apple "scents" from Bath and Body Works. It seemed like everyone and their dog smelled like that a number of years ago. Ugh! Why anyone would want to smell like rotten saccharine fruit is beyond me.

    I have to agree about Drakkar as well. Ah, memories!

  4. Kate. Walsh. Boyfriend. It is one of the most noxious scents to come out in the last few years. And unfortunately, it's popular with the younger crowd, who tend to overspray anyway. I want to destroy my own olfactory nerve every time I catch a whiff of it.

    Other than that, anything overdone on any man or woman. It's rude and inconsiderate, not to mention hazardous to people who have allergies or asthma, to douse yourself in any scent and go out in public.

  5. I used to work with someone who considered himself quite a romeo and would show up marinated in the newest whatever and would turn up his music upon arrival since his ability to sell ad space was incumbent upon how much Paco Rabanne he sprayed and music he played. I can only imagine the concentration when he left the house..

  6. Christian Dior Poison and/or White Shoulders make me want to rip the wearer's nipples off. And once my boss doused herself with some hideous perfume before our staff meeting. I had to sit with her in a closed tiny conference room, where the cloying stench wafted off her in near-visible waves. In fact the smell was so bad, it was damned near audible. Or maybe that was just the sound of my inner shrieking.

  7. Don't even get me started on Angel (men or women's versions equally). But my most recent nightmare involves being in a small closed meeting room (sans windows, to make it even more fun) with a sales lady who 1/smelled like cold cigarette and 2/ thought she was hiding the cigarette smell by bathing in YSL Opium which I HATE with a passion. I closed the meeting as quickly as I could and went out of there with a horrible migraine. I never gave her our business, I didn't want to have more meetings with her!!

  8. Not so much other people's fragrances (although anything ozonic will make me feel sick), but the smell of detergent/fabric conditioner on their clothes! It seems you can't go anywhere now without this fug, and I can't believe that so many people want to reek of nauseating chemicals.

  9. Chloe Narcisse, oh sweet lawd!! I worked with a woman who marinated in it, and thankfully it was a very open plan office, but she was on the way to the bathroom and I used to hold my breath on the way there and back. The only way I know what it was was because I asked her one time, just so I didn't accidentally spritz myself with it!

  10. Nothing more noxious than Angel! Smells like BO to me.

  11. Halston for men. BLEAAAAAHHH. Almost anything from B & BW, especially the amber thing.

    I have a big problem with people who spray their perfume onto their clothes. When my mother hugs me, I have to wear her tenacious Big Smoky Oriental, which is lovely on her but doesn't work for me, for the rest of the day or until I can tear off my sweater and change.

  12. Oh, "clean" and "fresh" anything. I couldn't name any offhand other than L'Eau Serge and D&G Light Blue (which my mom and I have dubbed "bug spray"). The other day at the Tom Ford counter, the dear SA mentioned something had a clean dry down. I said, "I'm trying on this Santal because the *last* thing I want to smell is clean! ".

    And it peeves me when the overzealous Angel wearers ruin it for the rest of us. Yes, it's pretty. No, you don't need the parfum, the shower gel, the lotion, the hand cream, the powder and the hair spray. I used to work with someone who wore all these at the same time, and you could tell when she'd been in a room. A full 30 minutes later.

  13. Well again, this is the thing that confuses me about perfume. I bet the people in all these stories above liked what they were wearing. No one is going to go..yay, great, I stink today, ready to go.

    How do you know your own top favorites aren't making someone else want to cry? And sometimes I wonder if things actually smell different to different people. So what can we do besides not wear any fragrance? Just spray very lightly?

  14. The Victoria's secret story made me chuckle - of course it smells yummy, it smells like food! I don't understand why people want to walk around smelling like vanilla, chocolate, berries, mangos, grapefruit etc. I swear some expensive perfumes smell like raspberry bubblegum. On a tangent, I bet these perfumes contribute to overeating - you're constantly surrounded by food scents making you subconsciously want to eat! lol

  15. I cannot even name half of the ones that make me sick. There are too many modern concoctions of vile soup!And where do they get the ideas for these mixtures? There are too many scents and flavours mixed up nowadays; even at a coffee bar---who wants a pumpkin chocolate raspberry eggnog latte? Good grief!

  16. Hi Gaia,

    Polo makes me sick, it's so bad! I can smell it a mile away.

    Thanks for the best blog on the web.


  17. I don't ever really mind other people's perfumes, At least it's not BO, and it gives me something to do in the elevator, tryig to figure out what they're wearing.

    I guess my only pet peeve is younf people who wear really cheap stuff. All the girls smell like marshmallow/vanilla/cotton candy and the boys smell like generic sports colognes. I hope someday they can afford/appreciate better stuff.

  18. My co-worker sometimes wear the old drugstore version of Giorgio! and I want to gag--all day.

  19. Anon 9:30 AM--I put almost every scent I have in a rollerball and apply it to my pulse points only. There are only one or two scents I will spray on, and they are "light." I also wear perfume oils because they wear close to the skin. And, needless to say, I never spray on hair or clothing.

    My rule of thumb is that someone should have to be on top of you to catch a whiff of your fragrance. Scent is a pleasure for me and someone close, not the whole world.

    ITA about Angel! I loved it when it came out. Then my MIL and SIL discovered it. Imagine two women wearing every product in the line in a car in Arizona in midsummer. I can't smell it without gagging now.

  20. I have a friend who wears Obsession and Emporio Armani Elle. She puts on a lot and I find both perfumes absolutely vile.
    But she is a good friend so I suffer.

  21. Cool Water by Davidhoff, men or women's version. Makes me nauseous.
    White Shoulders. Gives me a headache for days afterwards.
    Youth dew but *only* when it's worn heavily, I love it when it's worn judiciously. Burns the hair out of my nose and makes me dizzy if it's sprayed from heat to toe on woman.
    And most of the insipid fruity florals that are all the rage this decade.


  22. Not that long ago one of my co-workers came to a meeting in a small room wearing something... It wasn't too strong, it wasn't too promonent but I felt nauseous: fruity-floral with white musk. I didn't ask her what it was because I didn't want to tell her I hated it but anything else could just give her an idea that I approved it. So I just hoped not to be too often in the same room with her wearing the same perfume.

  23. Fortunately, I don't usually encounter that. What drives me nuts though is those automatic spray things in public restrooms. Gaah! What a diabolical invention!

  24. Nothing makes me want to bolt out of a room or elevator faster than when someone is wearing Givenchy's Amarige. It has a powerfully bad effect on my entire being. Luckily I don't run into it as often as in previous decades.

  25. Like another poster mentioned above, I won't single out any specific perfumes, since it is such a subjective thing and what one person loves, another despises.

    I do however, think it's how you wear the scent. Only people you want close to you should be able to smell any perfume you wear.

    I think it actually might be inconsiderate oversprayers who are partially responsible for IRFA banning so many ingredients and ruining many good fragrances. Allergy sufferers can't avoid someone else's fragrance and it's not like they can have any warning either.

    One type of smell that is awful however, is when a smoker tries using perfumes and breath mints to cover up the smell. It never works! The smell goes much deeper than that, we aren't fooled.

    Another is when scented hair and body products are added into the mix, along with laundry detergent, body sparays and who know what else. Makes you want to throw up!

    Overall, the combination of too many contradictory scents and TOO. MUCH. PERFUME.

  26. I don't usually have a problem with anyone's perfume, and I tend to agree with Anonymous 9:30 on this. Tastes differ. My perfume might be annoying somebody right now, even though I've only sprayed it once, this morning. But if a person hates it, I guess one spray is enough. Eh, I'm going to keep wearing it, regardless. Life's too short to attempt to never ever offend anybody, ever. We can't all like the same things. I hate Gucci Rush, but if I'm near someone wearing it, I'll just move away.

    That's not to say I'm fond of people who practically bathe in their scent, though. Too much of even a good thing is, well, too much. Spraying in double figures is OTT. Remember you're going out in public, people!

    I do have an issue though with automated sprays in bathrooms, as mentioned by Anonymous 10:42. My office bathroom has one of those and it seems to change daily. Often it's like a cheap copy of something popular - today it smells a bit like Kenzo Flower. But whatever it is, it's too much in a small space, and it makes me cough. Plus it gets on me and clashes with MY perfume!

  27. JOOP for men.....makes me want to KILL!!!!!


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget