Living, working, and playing in Mazatlan, Mexico

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Smelling Like a Rose

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It's finally gone and done it. It's gotten hot. Thankfully, our beautiful weather lasted until mid June, but the honeymoon is over. Old man summer is finally here. Anyone who has the temerity to go out in the middle of the day is going to get sweaty, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Most of us deal with the effusive perspiration in the normal ways: sweat rags, fresh clothes, frequent showers, and dependable deodorant. But a portion of the population – a distressingly significant portion – relies on perfumes. Ack.

Perfumerias proliferate in Mazatlan, and I am not sure there is anywhere in the city you can go to be further than a block and a half from the nearest aroma emporium. Perfumerias are great places. You can get your favorite scent mixed to order in an array of sizes ranging from petit to economy, making it undeniably economical for people to enshroud themselves in effluvium, much to my olfactory misfortune.

My mother always taught me that your personal scent should be just that: personal. Someone should have to be within 18 inches of you to detect your perfume. It should be a tantalizing hint when someone enters your personal space, not a hanging fog to people sitting upwind of you in a stiff ocean breeze. Few people seem to understand that the hotter it is, the less perfume you need, not more. Surprisingly, at least to me, hailing from a corner of the world where Real Men Don't Wear Cologne, the aroma afflicted seem to be divided pretty evenly across the sexes.

I have allergies, and I don't think that makes me unique. But I have to believe that at least some those who are not afflicted also find the eye-watering, sinus-swelling, nauseating miasma of conflicting aromas I am hit with when I enter an enclosed restaurant intolerable. The more upscale the place is, the more profound the stench. The foul fumes are enough to drive me quickly back into the street in search of more amicable – and outdoor - surroundings.

But the problem is not only noticeable indoors. Walking along the Malecón, I am frequently passed by joggers whose perfume lingers in their wake for several minutes. Call me crazy, but I thought the purpose of jogging was exercise, and, consequently, to sweat. Are these people not going to go home and shower after anyway? Do they really need to smell like an entire field of gladiolus while working out?

Sitting at an outdoor restaurant that straddles a foot-traffic path can also be a problem. Perched peacefully in one of these locations, I am still exposed to an unending buffet of redolence as pedestrians pass by, leaving a lasting trail of flowering sweetness along their path.

I know its hot. I know people do not want to offend others with the inevitable body odor that goes hand-in-hand with sweating. But I would rather smell the odor of hot bodies than artificial aromas. At least its honest.

Comments (5)
  • santiago
    So what are the prices, from y to?
  • jennifer
    Yes, Chuck does occasionally wear a little cologne right in the hollow of his throat. I catch a whiff when I lay my head on his shoulder, and it's oh so sexy. And, it's only for me - the way it should be!
  • April

    I think you used every synonym for nose, smell, and stench in the english language in one post!

    This post is yet another addition to the endless list of reasons to love Jennifer. This comes in as #349.

    Good luck dealing with the heat and the accompanying olfactory assault!
  • jennifer
    You would think there would be a lot more words for smell, right? When I finally ran out, I consulted a thesaurus, and there just aren't any more. I had to reuse a couple of them. ;)

  • Paul  - Smells
    When I was working up north, I always knew if my boss was in yet in the morning because I could smell his cologne in the stairway if he had passed in the last half hour.
  • jennifer
    Oh, sorry. I hate that. The other day I was walking around Plaza Republica and ended up in the trail of someone who was wearing a good bit of cologne. There was no one around, but I probably could had followed the trail and tracked them down if I wanted to.
  • g ssmith  - looking for perfume
    I am looking for the perfume First by vanCleef and Appel, it was my favorite. I cannot seem to find it anywhere
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