Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

November 10, 2012

There's no sense in these scents

By Rebecca Todd

— During this month of thankfulness, I have decided to count my blessings each and every week in this column. This week: I am thankful that my house does not smell like dirty sushi in a funeral home. I guess I should explain this one.

Every morning as my daughters get ready for school I notice a shift in the atmosphere. First there are the shampoos, the conditioners, and the shower gels. Each has been carefully chosen based on its scent. There are mangos, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, coconuts, cinnamon, and vanilla scents wafting through the air at shower time. I'm really not sure if they are showering or making fruit salad in there.

Next come the deodorants and perfumes, also chosen based on scent. Now they are planting a flower garden. Roses, lavender, and jasmine begin to mix with the fruit salad making me think that Martha Stewart must have broken into the house and started prepping for a luncheon. A pink cloud begins to form in the house. Any moment I'm sure it will begin raining lilies and melon balls. Either that or my chest will seize and I will mercifully pass out right before my sinuses explode.

Still, it could be worse. I recently discovered there is a new array of scents taking the market by storm that are a little more unique than the usual floral and fruity scents you find in the usual bath and body aisles.

Imagine if a Japanese chef, an undertaker, and a farmer developed a line of bath and body products. If they did, they would no doubt sell it to the Demeter Fragrance Library who has cornered the market on "unique" scents. Included in their fragrance library are such charming scents as sushi, crayon, funeral home, clean windows, mildew, turpentine ,and dirt. Yes, I said dirt.

I can't imagine the thought process behind creating these scents. What would possess someone to name a fragrance "sushi"? Even if the nasty thing smelled like sushi, why would you advertise it? More importantly, why on earth would anyone buy it?

And dirt? Why dirt? According to the description, "Demeter's Dirt was made to smell exactly like the dirt from the fields around the Pennsylvania family farm belonging to our founding perfumer." That's their selling technique? That's supposed to inspire someone to spend $39.50 for their product?

That's right, 4 ounces of this smelly stuff costs $39.50. Sound like a bargain? If so, I am concerned about you. Please consult with your therapist.

I have to admit I'm a bargain shopper. I would not pay $39.50 for any perfume, let alone something that purports to smell like a Pennsylvania farm. I've been to Pennsylvania. It's not pretty. And I grew up on a farm. It doesn't smell good.

As for the funeral home scent, all I can say is holy crap. That's it; just holy crap, because I imagine that is what it smells like. The description on that one says, "When a friend first smelled this one and exclaimed: 'it smells like my grandfather's funeral ... call it Funeral Home!' so we did." Not only is that bad grammar, it's just a bad idea.

I would ask which part of the funeral it smelled like, but I really don't want to know.

The point is, even though my girls' morning ritual makes me light-headed and will quite possibly kill me in the end, it could be so much worse.

My house smells like fruity flowers and not dirty sushi in a funeral home. And for that I am thankful.

- Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book "What's the Point?" available at booklocker.com. Contact her at btodd@tds.net.