What’s That I’m Smellin?


     When our little boy was about three, he’d sometimes stop, squint his eyes, wrinkle his nose, look around with a furrowed brow, and inquire matter of factly, “What’s that I’m smellin?”  I had a similar experience last night while sitting in the Nerd Cave. I was going over my now seven year old son’s reading assignment with him when my lovely wife came in and sat down.  Totally apropos of nothing, she hits me with this:

Wife:  “I wonder what would be a good air freshener scent for in here?”
Me:  “Uhhh…what are you trying to say?”
Wife: “Oh nothing…it just smells a bit like…old moldy paper in here.”

    Heck, I don’t know.  I spend a lot of time in here.  Maybe it IS starting to kick and I’m just used to it.  But in my defense, many of my hobbies (books, comics & old Avalon Hill war games, for example) revolve around the amassing of large quantities of old (let’s call it “musty”) paper.  It’s not like I can soak my comics and games with Febreze like I can the dog. Besides, if the Cave does start to smell like a used bookstore, I’m not sure I’d view that as a bad thing.  The first thing I usually do when I walk in one of those places is breath in deeply.  In fact, if they actually made one of those pine tree air fresheners in “Old Comic Book Store,” I’d probably be the first to buy the econo-pack.

     They say scent is one of the most powerful triggers of memories.  Back when I was about 12, I remember spending one rainy Saturday in my room with stacks of comics and my trusty 1st Edition AD&D rulebooks.  My dad was on a business trip or something so I didn’t have that drama to deal with.  Just me, my stack o’ stuff, a 13″ black & white TV, and the smell of potpourri wafting in from the kitchen where my mom had a pot of it steaming away. For some reason, a seemingly dull day such as that, has always stuck with me as one of those perfect moments from my youth.

     To this day, the smell of potpourri reminds me of that day.  In fact, about 12 years ago, at my office, I came across a can of Glade “Institutional” Country Garden scented Potpourri Spray.  It smells exactly the same as whatever my mom was cooking up in the kitchen.  So I liberated it from the storage cabinet and have kept it in my office ever since.  I really like that it’s labeled “institutional.”  It adds a kinda creepy twist to it that I dig.

Aroma of the Gawds

Aroma of the Gawds

     However, I’m apparently the only one who appreciates the aroma because every time I give it a spray, somebody comes by and asks “What the Hell is that smell?” I just shrug.   “Beats me,” I say.  Sadly, I’m down to about 10% on the can and I don’t know if they even make it anymore.  Maybe I need to see if I can find an “instututional” Country Garden scented potpourri Glade Plug-In for the Nerd Cave.

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