Or I should say, we all have a scent, it's just some people’s odours talk to us more than others. Whether it's piss off or come closer, it’s the strong messages that we notice.
The smell of a lover is a particularly interesting one. Scientific research has shown we are attracted more to someone who’s immune system is different to our own, supposedly it is our primitive programming to reproduce and create strong offspring. But science has come up with another pearler, women on the pill’s pheromones change. All of a sudden she attracts men who are the same, rather than different to her own immune coding. What odd things happen in relationships when there is pharmaceutical roulette going on?
Odd things, ex lovers. I caught up with an ex (middling distance, not recent, not ancient). The first thing that hit me was his smell. It was like the heat that comes off clothes when you iron them (as if I know what that is like). It came in waves. It smelt hot. Hot body heat. Not sweat. But not attractive either. It was on the edge of being repulsive. My mind vaguely recognised it. It was distracting. Periodically the pheromones would hit me and the closest response it evoked was mild nausea. All I could think was, did I find this smell sexy once? No pharmaceuticals involved in this process. Just the passing of time. Am sure our immune systems haven’t mutated, but the psyche has altered. Friend has become foe. There was a primitive message to definitely not mate with this one. Danger Will Robinson!
I remember another boyfriend. We had swapped favourite tshirts before we parted, his unwashed, worn for a few days. I remember taking it to bed and cuddling up with it on my pillow when he was no longer with me. I never washed it. I don’t remember ever wearing it. I don’t know what became of it. Probably assigned to the rubbish bin when the next one came along.
I dated a guy, or more accurately went out on a date with someone a couple of years ago who had the worst halitosis I have ever encountered. It was vile. We were at a club, which by its very nature was noisy. If I was less than a metre away the smell was enough to make me wretch when he talked to me. If I sat further away I couldn’t hear him. But speaking with him involved images of some dead animal rotting in his intestines, belching its carrion message with every word.
I feigned a tummy ache. Went home early. No kiss good night. No further dates.