scents…smells… set the mood: Volcano – Damien Rice

April 21, 2006 at 2:58 am 1 comment

It has bothered me for quite some time, the fact that when you decide you no longer want something, it emits what I have named “smell of the unwanted.”

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this. I actually Googled the term “Garage Sale Smell” but nothing close to what I was looking for materialized. Just cheapskates and smoke detector bulletins.

It’s that smell you inhale when you enter the Salvation Army or other consignment stores. I find this fascinating, the fact that everything ends up with the same smell, and it seems to happen as soon as the object has become discarded mentally.

When I was in highschool, and my mother was gathering articles to have a garage sale, I would walk by the growing pile in the living room, each time experiencing a whiff of this strange garage sale odor of unwanted goods. It confused me, that this smell was manifesting over the two weeks the goods were still in my house.

The same thing happens with old t-shirts. You can put them in a closet or chest freshly washed and if you ignore them for months, and I don’t mean avoid wearing them because they are out of season, you really have to have the fully intention of never ever wearing them again, when you return to them, you’ll have to send them through several wash cycles to get that smell out. And even then, the only way to really get rid of it is to wear it a couple of times, let your own personal scent take over again. Weird.

The other day when I was walking by a lower income area, I noticed that they have their own smell too. The “Low income housing smell.” This smell is similar to the “smell of the unwanted” but tend to have that hint of cigarettes and alcohol. That sounds terrible, I know, and I’m sorry if that was offensive. I don’t mean to imply that all low income earners partake in stinky habits. I just find it odd that some people, people who tend to have higher education (although not necessarily higher income levels – but who do live in higher income locals) who may drink and smoke like the earth is about to collide with the sun, but the smell isn’t quite the same. I’ve actually known people who, unless you were told explicitly that they smoked and drank, you wouldn’t know it. No scent on their clothes, no smell in their apartment. Very weird.

Another thing I find interesting is the fact that the word scent is often used positively, and smell negatively.

Similarly, although very different as in this has nothing to do with detectable scents or smells, but I’ve noticed that when I’m not engaged in some kind of weird ass relationship (I can’t really say dating, because it doesn’t seem like dating is anything close to what I do) where some suitor is pursuing me, regardless of how positive I may feel about my being, I rarely seem to get noticed.

However, once someone does start with the chase (and again, it is a chase indeed since it’s easier to be single and ‘non-committal’ than to actually try to have a relationship with someone), guys all over the place are checking me out. This is a strange phenomenon, and I’m sure it has something to do with pheromones or something, in that I release different, “I’m taken” or “Someone’s after me” pheromones telling all the men out there “she may not be on the market for long, do something while you can.” But then, of course, I look at them like I want to string them up and they keep walking.

No, I never wonder why I’m single. I know why.


Entry filed under: , This That and The Other.

consumerism defines westerners…that’s really embarrassing – set the mood: The Supermarket Strikes Back – Mull Historical Society again with feeling sorry for the animals… set the mood: Vicar in a Tutu – The Smiths

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Shirley  |  April 21, 2006 at 3:04 am

    this is an interesting post. I’ve often thought of smells, how significant they are, and that they can even evince memories…just make certain happenings spring to mind.

    Thank you for sharing this, and blessings to you.



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