In a man’s world, there are five senses. Sight is first, and all the others are tied for second.
The male of the species does not associate memories with smells like women do. Therefore I took it as a tremendous challenge to design, create and promote my own male cologne.
How the thing is actually going to end up smelling is far down the list of importance. Firstly, it needs a name. The name of the cologne is way more important than it’s scent. It needs to sound masculine …slightly macho …fun but slightly dim …and definitely not girlie.
After minutes of careful study and with “you better get this done today because otherwise, I have nothing to post” Colombina deadline pressure looming, I have the name … the name of the newest men’s fragrance that will have the men’s counter at Macy’s looking like a Soviet bread queue.
The House of Mr. Colombina proudly announces the release of …. (drum roll)
…The new smell that is …. masculine …very macho …fun but slightly dim …
Well that’s half the battle won. Now I suppose I should … I don’t know … figure out what this stuff will smell like.
Now keep in mind, I have no clue as to how essences are actually gathered, manufactured, obtained, or otherwise how they actually get in the bottle. So putting the technical stuff aside, I am just going to gather all the stuff that emits the smells I want, throw them all in a big hopper and shake it up a few times.
Naturally, we need some diesel smells. So I need a locomotive, a late 1980’s model of a Volkswagen Rabbit and for the sake of it …one of Vin’s t-shirts.
But I … (as instructed by Colombina … who’s battling a wicked cold with the patience of a medieval pillager) … am supposed to include some smells that have some sort of subconscious value or treasured memory to me. Hmmmm …
I know for example that leather scents are popular. But what leather scent stirs fond memories for me? At least one I can tell Colombina about. I mean after five years of marriage, I still have some secrets and we’re not quite ready to go down the path of my former German girlfriends.
Actually, the leather scent that does stir some fond memories … and only the American and Latin American males will relate …is the smell of a brand new baseball glove. A new baseball glove is perhaps the only thing in a male’s life that starts out all stiff and hard, that he wants to make softer and supple. This is done by purchasing the glove in late autumn … soaking it in baseball glove oil – yes there is actually such a product and I would wear it by itself as a cologne – and then inserting a ball … (a BASEBALL, for those of you putting in your own jokes) … and tying it up with string. You then let the glove sit all winter (usually under your bed) and then by springtime, your new glove is broken in and ready to use.
I know from Colombina telling me about some specialty fragrance company, that there is at least one company selling bizarre sort of every-day scents like brewing coffee and baking bread. I don’t want one of those smells specifically. However, I would like one specific domestic smell as one (of many) ingredients in “Diesel.”
I have always been fond of the smell of Bacon! From our days in England, Colombina will recall that I was a master of the weekend morning “British Fry-Up.” This is a gluttonous concoction of so-called breakfast foods that really amounts to about a week’s worth of food for anyone who is not in England. For breakfast, they fry up some eggs, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, french fries (chips), and baked beans and then serve it up with about a loaf and half of toast and a pot of fresh tea.
Another perhaps strange smell that invokes some fond memories for me is the smell of vinyl. This has nothing to do with former German girlfriends. (Perhaps a few Norwegian ones though). Actually, it takes me back to my youth, when my family had an above-ground swimming pool. Unlike cement-based in ground pools, the above-ground variety had a vinyl lining. At the beginning of every summer we would have to scrub the winter’s dirt from the vinyl with soapy water, before refilling the pool for the summer. It’s a similar scent I suppose to “new car smell” if you buy a new car with vinyl seats, but it becomes distinctive with the elements of soap and water.
And then for good measure, throw in the smells of my grandma’s house (a mix of moth balls and litter box), a hint of chlorine (from the swimming pool), a dash of Cuban cigars (contraband in the USA but readily available in the UK) and a smattering of stinky cheese.
One manly ingredient …that is as much a must to a real man … as a pair of Jimmy Choos was to Carrie, Miranda, Samantha & Charlotte …is the smell of lighter fluid. Not cigarette lighter fluid, mind you; but the smell of barbecue lighter fluid. Remember, there is only one rule when it comes to lighting a barbecue … you can never put too much lighter fluid on the fire. Ideally you’d like the flames to be visible from the space station!
Also getting lobbed into my hopper will be miniscule amounts of motor oil, airplane model glue, freshly mown grass clippings and some pine tar (another baseball smell – it’s rubbed on the baseball bat so you don’t lose your grip).
And finally, I need to include some sweat. Firstly, I am not talking about, “I just finished a ‘fun-run’ for some inane charity" kind of sweat. I am talking about two kinds of sweat: the sweat of a beautiful woman (a goddess like Colombina, for example) in the throes of passion...
...And secondly the type of sweat that only comes from youthful exuberance and the rush of adrenaline one can only attain while doing something a little bit naughty, like buying your first girlie mag when you’re underage from a drug store on the other side of town.
One childhood memory smell that I have no idea how to capture but is a real smell … I swear it … is when I was younger and perhaps even today …there was a smell in the early winter, when you could tell the first snow storm of the season was looming.
And my piece de resistance, in making “Diesel” THE man’s fragrance to have is that it will not be sold at department stores or boutiques or even on-line but available ONLY at hardware stores!
Picture in the pool is of The Colombinas. Picture of the barbeque shows Mr Colombina attempting to get flames whilst English weather reduces them to smoke.