Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Odor of Age

I grew up with a grandmother, two aunts, a sister and; I don't know for sure how many, female cousins. There were all kinds of fascinating and exotic smells wafting through the air on a regular basis. As the son of an avid outdoorsman and a world traveler I also experienced smells of all kinds. Some foreigners have a completely different take on personal hygiene in comparison to most Americans habit of bathing daily. My grandmother passed Campho Phenique on to my mother and I use it today. Talk about a distinct smell. The era I grew up in saw hair styling literally taken to new heights as the "beehive" was de riguer. My mother and her sisters must have destroyed a great percentage of the ozone layer with the aerosol hair spray that it took to build those things. Yet another distinct smell. And then there was my mother soaking her hair in mayonnaise. I don't eat mayonnaise today because of that and BLT's; but that's another story (and distinct smell). But, I digress. As I prepared for yet another shift, I took note of all the liniments and lotions it takes to get me through the day or, in my case, night. I am now figuring out what some of the smells were that emanated from my elders as a kid. My mother has always noted my extraordinary sense of smell. So perhaps I am cursed with that ability. I have lotions for my cracked feet and hands, Aspercrème for my sore joints and Campho Phenique for my minor wounds. Thank goodness some manufacturers have worked diligently to moderate the unique odor of some of these products. Still, it's sobering to think I might smell like a senior citizen.


  1. I really enjoyed this post.

  2. Thank you for your compliment, Bob. I am receptive of any and all criticism!