Monday, April 2, 2012

Of Age and Olfactory Awareness

Old people smell like baby powder. It weirds me out. Am I going to smell like baby powder when I'm a geriatric? I don't think it's a natural side effect of aging, I have to believe it's a fragrance that's added willingly, like deodorant or perfume/cologne.

Perhaps it's just a sensibility from a now bygone age. Baby powder is a "clean" smell, like Ivory Spring or Dove. Maybe this is just what "good and clean" smelled like in 1978 and these folks have decided to stick with it. The fact remains, though, that I've come to associate it with the grungy-but-antiseptic lifestyle of my grandparents and, in fact, most people who were over the age of 65 when I was under the age of 12. This has resulted in a Pavlovian response whereby whenever I smell baby powder, I anticipate the elderly, decrepit, senile, and a slow, withering death. Lovely, really.

Of course, if this is the case, that implies that when my generation is in our 80s, we're all going to smell like AXE body spray.

Equally choking, but, hey, as long as it doesn't remind young people of adult diapers, I'm pretty okay with this.

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