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Ain’t No Flies On Me 1 comment

Actually, I was going to title this "How to Smell Good" but I figured that was too much of a set-up for certain readers.

Last week, I changed my Facebook status to reflect that I really was digging how I smelled. I'm sure this may have seemed odd to some. The backstory is this: my massage therapist uses a selection of aromatherapy oils in her practice. Sometimes, a visit with her reminds me of a visit to a top restaurant that has a selection of fine wines. She gestures magnanimously to her impressive collection of bottles and asks me what my pleasure is that day. She often has suggestions based on her own intuition. I just don't know enough about aromatherapy to really do more than nod and say "ok", and to veto anything that smells like oranges. I also, and with a twinge of sadness, veto patchouli. Secretly, I adore patchouli. However, you wanna find the lesbian community in North America? Just follow the patchouli. As much as plaid flannel, birkenstocks and/or Blundstones, short hair and short fingernails are the common stereotypes, so is patchouli. Shame, that. I can do all the rest of the "code" but the patchouli is just pushing it too far.

I've noticed that I lean towards some combination that involves lavender, something in the woody line (pine, spruce, cedar), and some other "x" factor. Often there are more than three oils on the go. Bergamot is often a fav, clary sage also puts in appearances, as does something I've never heard of called vetiver. I go easy on the vetiver because it tends to just put me out flat in a heartbeat, which is terrific on the massage table. Not so good when driving.

Having said all that, I know zero about this. Sort of like art – and wine for that matter. Don't know much about either, but ah know what ah like.

As a final observation, I have, for years, dabbed on a bit of the Body Shop's Ylang Ylang massage oil after showering in the a.m. because I like catching a whiff of it during the day.

OK – so, back to last week. I came away from my massage appointment totally digging whatever combination she used that time. Do I remember it? No. Do I know in what proportions she used x or y oil? Nope. All this past week, I've really wanted to reproduce that scent. I'm up to the challenge!

Yesterday was designated "time for me" day so I took care of a few personal errands. Took my broken ring into the Craft Guild. Had sushi pizza at the best sushi pizza place next door to the Craft Guild. That feels like cheating without  wizzy, but rest assured that yesterday's was definitely sub-par. Sauntered over to Body Shop on Bloor and smelled every single product and every single essential oil. Came away with Olive Oil Hair Conditioner, a bar of White Musk soap (long story there*), and a tiny thingie called an "atomizer". Headed over to the "fweep fweep" section of the Danforth which is essential oil heaven. Came away with cedarwood, ylang ylang, and vetiver.

But what to do about proportions? The vetiver is going to calm me to the point of comatose if I use too much.  The cedarwood is quite bitter on its own.

Flying by the seat of my pants, on my first attempt, I overdid the cedarwood which I think I can balance with the ylang ylang. (Why does it have the same word repeated? Isn't ylang descriptive enough on its own?) I'm happy with just having tried. For those of you who see me – or rather, smell me – in person, please do let me know whether I'm way off base, or if just being around me is making you feel comatose too.

*Long Story, Beginning With White Musk
I can remember almost all my "big" relationships by virtue of the scent that the other person wore. This has both good and bad ramifications. Like being in a crowded place and catching a whiff of something and suddenly being irrationally, momentarily, convinced that the person from the past is somewhere in the immediate vicinity. Like being taken on a nostalgic, often pleasant voyage of memory from catching the slightest inkling of a scent. In case you are wondering, here is a olfactory run-down of past relationships, in chronological order.

1. Body Shop White Musk … and, Happy Birthday, btw!
2. Clinique original scent
3. Some expensive French stuff that I can't remember the name of
4. Body Shop Lime/Coconut – intoxicating, still
5. Patchouli
6. Molton Brown, a British hair product
7. Something clean and fresh smelling, maybe Body Shop Oceana …?
8. Something strong and flowery, kinda over powering. I never did get the name of it.

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