Misadventures Of An Itchy Nose

3 years ago - 07.12.2019

Vaguely scented memories

My father lost his sense of smell at a relatively young age. I cannot tell exactly when this happened since I always remember him this way, completely unable to tell if something smelled fragrant or rancid.

He showered religiously and kept high standards of hygiene since I guess he couldn't estimate his own level of body odor. He was a smoker but couldn't say if his clothes reeked of nicotine. He couldn't use perfumes since he didn't know what they smelled like and only splashed around his trusty Old Spice aftershave, a scent he could vaguely remember from the days before becoming chronically anosmic.

One day I went in the bathroom as he was shaving and started shoving my mother's flacons of Anaïs Anaïs and Loulou under his nose.

"What does this one smell of?" I would ask.
"And this one?" I'd try with a different bottle, highly amused.

Approaching my own midlife crisis a few decades later I found myself one day looking at the reflection in a foggy after-shower mirror: the ageing skin, the receding hairline... every physical feature in my genetic makeup passed on from the previous generation to the next.

As I splashed some cologne it dawned on me: would I wake up one day unable to smell anymore? Would every bottle in my perfume collection turn to alcohol overnight? Paraphrasing the late and great Mr. Hauer, would every scented moment be lost in time, like tears in rain?

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