What's that smell?

When I was a student in the fifth grade at David G. Burnett Elementary School in Dallas, Texas, my P. E. teacher was Mrs. Mallory. She was a mean, wiry little woman who could give Glee’s Sue Sylvester a run for her money. Mrs. Mallory smelled like your laundry when you leave it in the washing machine for days and then put it in the dryer (You know). She also smelled faintly of cigarettes (I’m guessing Pall Mall) and gin (I’m guessing the cheap kind). One day toward the end of a P.E. class, Mrs. Mallory called us all in from the playground to deliver a little sermon about how it made her sick to see little boys running on the field like little girls, that boys should act like boys and girls should act like girls, blah blah blah. Funny that I have such a clear and specific memory about that. What a bitch.

A slightly hazier memory is the vision of my fifth grade homeroom teacher, Ms. Deana Underwood. I say the memory is hazier because Ms. Underwood seemed to live in a kind of Doris Day soft focus glow. She was tall and beautiful. She had that Marlo Thomas That Girl teased flip hairdo. She was the first "Ms." teacher that any of us had experienced. (It was 1968, after all.) I really do remember that she always smelled great.
Fragrances and odors and aromas fascinate me. Great candles, freshly cut Christmas trees, Tuberose. My mom used to get up early in the morning before everyone else and put on the coffee and start breakfast. And even now, if I smell coffee, I start expecting breakfast to follow. And soon. Breakfast, please.

My friend Jenifer Ward used to wear a great fragrance by Estee Lauder called Aliage. I’m not sure exactly when it was, where we were, or what we were doing, but I remember the fragrance. Jenifer smelled great - a cool, fresh, citrus smell. Ah.

Oliver Twist was a swanky little place in Texarkana where I waited tables for a brief time in my twenties. I worked with some really fun and funny women. One was a young woman named Tina. And Tina had a signature fragrance, too. She wore Private Collection, another Estee Lauder fragrance - more flowery, a little spicy. Tina smelled great. Ah.

Through the years I have experimented with many different fragrances for me. I went through that Aramis phase. I wore Polo for a while. Some of the Calvin Klein scents were nice. The fragrances that appeal to me now are those that have a clean smell. I have played with various colognes, essences, splashes, and mists. For a while I had a custom fragrance made at a place called Garden Botanika. Loved it. I would wear my herbal "clean" fragrance, and the comment/question I would get most often was, "What kind of soap do you use?" It smelled that clean.

But Garden Botanika closed. My adventures in aromas have continued. For the past five years I’ve been wearing a scent that I call my signature. It’s clean and crisp and it makes me feel good. It’s my own personal aromatherapy. I almost always get compliments on the smell, and usually people want to know what it is and where they can buy it. So now I’m working on finding a source - a company that might be able to produce the fragrance on a large scale. If things go well, I’m hoping you’ll be able to purchase a bottle of "Mr. Bobo" for your very own olfactory pleasure. We’ll see.


  1. Smells like a winner to me.

    I have a book for you called Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

    Here is a quote from a review on Amazon: "In 18th century France, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with no scent of his own, but with with a supernatural ability to detect the scent of others is driven to murder in order to create the perfect perfume."

    It is fascinating, if not creepy, but really well written book: did I mention creepy?

  2. Was a very creepy and disturbing movie as well


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