Ruined Aromas


I’m hoping this will be a comment-heavy post. I think we’ve all experienced what I want to talk about, but I can’t remember anyone discussing it before. So off we go!

‘Ruined aromas.’ By that, I mean when a favourite (or at least pleasant) scent has been destroyed in your heart/mind/nose forever by an association that you just can’t break.

My examples that made me write this:

Back in my mid-twenties, I used to really like a certain spray air freshener. Forget what it was, something totally artificial and weird. Cranberry-mulberry or some shit like that. Thankfully, nothing that is found in nature after what happened to ruin it forever for me. In any case, I liked it, and bought it for light use at home – to cover smoking stink, dirty cat litter wafts, and various and numerable dog-smells.

Until…. someone bought it for use in the bathrooms at work. Now, while our own poo doesn’t smell of roses (if it does, you should see your doctor or change your diet), the smell of a stranger’s shit is just plain disgusting. The smell of a stranger’s shit with half a can of air freshener sprayed on top is worse. Oh so very much worse when that spray is familiar and a scent you used to) like. I tried to enjoy it again at home, and the smell-memory just wouldn’t leave me. Tossed in the bin – and you all know I hate wasting anything.

More recently, we got some lemon-scented antibacterial cleaning spray. It smelled nice; a light lemon scent.

Then the dog shit all over the spare room for two days and our only cleaner had a nice, light lemon scent. Let me say that the two odours didn’t combine well, and now I can’t use the stuff at all anymore without imagining that I also smell dog diarrhoea. You can also thank me for not describing in detail the visuals I also recall on smelling this particular cleaning product.

My disgust seems to center around poo. Hmmm.

While I probably border on being a super-taster, and super-smeller, I am sure that this has happened to you, too. Let’s hear it, and remember you can tell me all the really gross stuff and it will be fabulous!

24 responses »

  1. What an odorous post! I know exactly what you mean though…’s a terrible thing when someone ruins our associations like that. I look forward to your post on favourite scents too!

  2. I have never had quite the kind of experience you’re describing. But it makes me think of a saying that didn’t originate with my late and ex but which he reported to me in the context of people who spray a whole load of pine air freshener in the bathroom after a wicked dump: “Who just shit a Christmas tree?”

  3. I sure don’t make strong associations like that. Smell is obviously not my strongest sense. But flower smells go in the bathroom, citrus in the kitchen, and every other rooms are expected to carry the smell from my pets.

      • Ex-bedmates not good enough to be ex-boyfriends, a slew of ex-boyfriends, and one very unpleasant ex-husband. The other ex-husband almost certainly wore cologne, and you’d think after being with him for 10 years I’d remember what it was, but for the life of me think of what it was.

        • Sounds like you have at least had some fun! Until it wasn’t fun anymore. For some reason I never hung with guys who wore cologne. Current hubby does and I complain it is too strong all the time!

          It’s interesting that your associations are the smell itself, not combined with something else.

          • Me and smells have a really weird relationship. I can’t tolerate the smell that seems universal in hospitals here because of what happened with my grandmother and my dad. Psych wards smell different but still not good. And I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t stand the smell of my favorite perfume, no matter how little I wear. I’ve worn it for better than 15 years and now it just about makes me gag.

            • Anyone can understand the hospital smell thing. Or nursing homes, which have their own horrible smell of pea soup, reconstituted mashed potatoes, and pee.

              Disliking your own perfume is an interesting one. Has your body chemistry changed? Do you hate it just on you, or on everyone?

            • Hate is probably too strong, though that’s definitely the impression I gave. 🙂 I just seem to be getting really sensitive to smells the older I get. It could be a body chemistry change or all the damn meds. I love the way it smells in the bottle but when I put it on, even one little spritz, it’s like I’m walking around in a cloud of it. My mom has a lotion that’s scented that damn near kills me.

            • It really could be the meds. I already smell everything so I would be a nightmare if something did that to me. Actually, Zoloft did! I could only eat fried chicken for a few months.
              Does your scent bother you on anyone else? Or is it rare that you smell it on someone else? I like Opium, and rarely smell it on anyone else. One of the MEN at work smells of Opium sometimes, it weirds me out.

            • I don’t know of anyone else who wears it, which is kind of odd because it’s not really expensive or unusual – just CK One. The women I work with don’t tend to wear a lot of scent though. It’s kind of funny, Josh wears cologne every damn day even though most of his time is spent with guys. And I still love the smell of that.

  4. Nasty! One day Delaney rolled in something dead when we were out on our walk… Her normal dog shampoo just wasn’t cutting it so I threw half a bottle of Molton Brown shower gel (the bloody expensive stuff) over her and then she smelt of death with a hint of Molton Brown Pink Pepperpot… I can’t use that shower gel any more…

  5. Garlic does it for me. I used to think I was a budding chef and in an effort to make my stir frys taste a little more authentic I bought some garlic infused cooking oil. I didn’t know I was only supposed to use a teaspoon ful and when it started to heat up oit was all I could smell. I carried the wok outside and promptly threw up in it. Stir fry’s tasted amazing after that lol Just kidding!

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