Saturday, February 19, 2011

SOTDays: Lots of none. And scent and creativity.

It's been a stressful week, and only now, as I bask in the weekend break, did I really notice that, oops, I've been falling down on the SOTD.

However, the perfume log is: None (Wednesday), and none (Thursday), and also none (Friday) and for a change, none (Saturday). I might have worn something today, to go along with the basking, but it's Scentless Saturday.

So, back to my burbling about writing dry spots, it appears that the grumpy moods that go contrary to creative expression also go contrary to the wearing of perfume. I find this puzzling--the perfume aspect, I mean. The fact that I don't write when I'm grumpy isn't puzzling. Writing involves being open to my thoughts and feelings, and when my thoughts and feelings are cranky and worried, I prefer to hide from them and drink milk.

I would like to break this habit, because for all I know, maybe I'd do my best stuff while cranky. Certainly some of my favorite fiction scraps from The Other Blog (like this one or this one or this one) tend to be on the bitter side. And, yes, I do see the other rather obvious theme between those three scraps, but, well, that's a subject for another post.

But why don't I wear perfume when I'm grumpy? Perfume should bring pleasure. I certainly gulp milk and eat junk and watch television and read easy-to-chew and amusing books at those times, so shouldn't I also pursue perfumey pleasure? But aside from scented baths, I don't.

I find myself remembering that somebody (Who? I forget.) said that scent is a direct path to memory.  Does scent make a person open to their thoughts and feelings, whether they like it or not? My bubble bath scents are old friends with well-established associations, but my perfumes always have an aspect of the unpredictable in them--placidly pleasant perfumes don't do anything for me. Maybe when I'm in those bad moods, I don't want to risk whatever a good perfume might dredge up out of my mind.

It's a thought.

Image: By Matt Reingold. Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Are those real conversations you had?
    Because in that case, I am astounded by the equanimity of your responses and the wish to participate in the conversations. :)I don't think I'll ever achieve that state.

  2. My response to wearing perfume is a lot like yours actually. When I'm stressed or busy I am far more likely not to wear perfume. In fact, the calmer and happier I feel, the easier it is for me to contemplate all things fragrant. Seems slightly weird, but I bet there is some perfectly good reason for it!

  3. Ines said precisely (and eloquently) what I was thinking. Are those real conversations that you linked to from your other blog? Because if they are, you should be sainted, CF. Really, truly, I could not deal with that, no matter the blood ties.

    I can understand why you don't want to wear perfume just now -- and you don't have to. The rest of us will be sending you lots of fragrant hugs!

  4. Hey, Ines! No, they're fiction with a moderate-to-medium "inspired by reality" element. Reality sometimes pushes me to write _a_ conversation, but it's rare that the real and the fictional conversations resemble each other in any specific detail. And in reality, I'm not all that calm. :)

  5. Hey, Michael! It's weird, isn't it? Going back to food, I'm fine with challenging food while grumpy - I might seek out something simple and comforting, but if someone offered me a food in the sharp or bitter or freaky family that I normally like, I'd eat it even while cranky. There must indeed be something quite different about perfume.

  6. Yo, Suzanne! Nah, they're fiction. Whether the reality is better or worse, and whether I am highly tolerant or, un-perceived by myself, an equal offender, I can't say without a third party assessment. :)

  7. I also have to be "in a good place" to wear perfume. I was quite stressed on Saturday and only felt able to apply some late on in the day. So for me whether I can or can't wear scent is about mood rather than its memory-stirring potential.

    Mr B drinks an awful lot of milk now I think of it - about a litre a day. I wonder what is behind his particular dairy habit?

  8. And he loves Coca Cola and lizards. But definitely not bacon...(vegetarian!)

  9. CF I'm with you - and I think that you're right w/the memory thing - not wanting to associate a perfume with being down in the dumps or stressed. I'm also a big bubble bath person, though I don't drink much milk - now cheese and yogurt on the other hand!!

  10. I don't write at all when I'm in a bad mood. People say that writing is supposed to help you sort out your feelings, but I've never had the inclination to remember them when they weren't what I was proud of. Glad to see someone else feels the same way I do. The idea of art as therapy is a touch overrated.

    As for the perfume thing, I don't wear perfume when I'm crabby either, because I only wear it when I leave the house.

  11. Hey, Vanessa! I'm such a slacker; you commented days and days ago! On the milk, I've learned that (1) tryptophan and (2) calcium and (3) Vitamin D are _all_ supposed to do good things for one's mood. So self-medicating with milk works three different ways.

    Coca Cola, on the other hand, makes me twitchy.

    And I'm assuming that he doesn't eat the lizards? I was imagining an odd snack there; a nice cold fizzy Coke, and a packet of crunchy critters...

  12. Yo, Frida!

    Oh, cheese... you've just reminded me that there's a block of Havarti in the fridge. Not an exciting cheese, but it does a fine fine job of calming me down.

    And, yes, associations is an important thing for a perfume. I fear that I'm endangering Iris Taizo, these past few days.

  13. Howdy do, Joan! Yes, why explore the grumpy? Except, of course, that the results might be interesting. But then I'd have to wash the grumpy out of my brain later, and that's no fun.