Monday, March 29, 2010

SOTD: None. And breaking the code. And, eew.

You know how sometimes a series of random inputs comes together to produce an idea?

I've been puzzled over my weird scent preferences this spring.

I was just over at All I am - a redhead, reading Ines' post about spring scents, in which she was also puzzling over the same thing. Ines had a picture of daisies, and she mentioned Bal d'Afrique. My thoughts played with these things, without my actually noticing. Bal d'Afrique contains an African Marigold note. Marigolds are rumored to kill bugs. Pyrethrum daisies do kill bugs. Oh, and earlier, Left Coast Nose used the phrase "spring cleaning".


I'm craving spring scents that kill bugs.


But, yep, there it is.

Now, I don't mean modern bug spray. I mean scents that smell like the various plant-based oils that you would do spring cleaning with, and repel bugs with, 'way back when. Smelly vegetation that you'd strew on the castle floor to kill the winter's unwanted visitors, and then sweep right out the door, leaving the inside well-aired and smelling faintly of the remaining traces of the harsh oils. That's what I want. Minus, you know, the bugs themselves. Let's not go overboard with authenticity.

touched on this with Fou d'Absinthe, but I failed to see the larger pattern. I'm also enjoying Brin de Reglisse, with its strong, un-ladylike lavender note. And Vetiver Tonka, smelling of a stinky oily grass. And mint, in White Jasmine & Mint and a natural mint oil that I tried on a recent sniffathon. And cedar everywhere I find it. And I'm thinking back to the bitter orange-peel scent of Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba, and thinking that I might like it now.

And if I had any, I'd be wearing Comme des Garcons Tea, which smells of any number of similarly aggressive things. And Tubereuse Criminelle, with that gasoline note. Almost everything that I enjoy right now has a volatile note that would drop a beetle in its tracks.

Spring, the season of bug-killing perfume. Eew?

Now, I suppose this makes a certain amount of sense. As discussed in the vole theory, in winter it would make sense for me to want the smell of warm unwashed nearby humans. In spring, it makes sense for me to want to bathe myself and my home in things that smell of critter-killing oils. Both scent preferences would have survival value. That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it. Because I'm not weird, or anything.

Image: By Louise. Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Hm, I just realized I didn't read your vole theory before. :) Interesting.
    Btw, I got really surprised the first time I smelled a perfume that to me contained a note of bug spray (really nice smelling bug spray but still) - it was DSH Cardamom and Khyphi. I still love it - I could try that now. :)

  2. Well, I just laughed out loud at this posting. You know, scent has a powerful effect on both imagination and memory, so your working theory on why you crave what you crave this time of the year is as good as any!! ;)

    Not a bug spray fan myself (although I know from here ever after I will always have that term in the back of my mind...), but I did think that "A Quiet Morning" smelled like the very best WD-40 I ever smelled.

  3. Ines! It's a totally unsupported theory, but there it is. :) The DSH sounds like something for me to try. Cardamom is one of those odd scents that I dislike in food but like to smell in a non-food context. Very strange.

    Hey, LCN! Hee. :) It's freakish, but it really does seem to be what I'm craving.

    WD-40? Cool!

  4. CF, I think your theory is as sound as any I've read! And I like it. Like you I'm craving mint and more pungent oils these days. We're overrun with those little yellow Asian ladybug effers and they stink up a storm when you squish 'em (ask the puppy about how they taste! LOL! betcha he won't do that again!)

    For true 'bug spray', though, nothing beats the old Pierre Cardin (men), with it's Raid-ish notes.


  5. Howdy, Anita! The theory seems to be working for me still, anyway. :) Are they at least the useful aphid-eating ladybugs?

  6. No. I would never kill those. These are those awful caramel-colored 'laydbug-wannabes' that are destructive (I think the eat things Not Bugs, like leaves and trees) and they bite! And they stink when you kill them.

    Thoroughly awful creatures. Come autumn, when the fields are being harvested, we are driven indoors, as they descend upon us in the billions.

    I hate 'em.

    Other than that they're okay, I guess :-D

    xo >-)

  7. Howdy, Anita! Well, those sound useless, yes. Well, worse than useless. I suspect we don't have them here.