Feel­ing a lit­tle ‘scent’-imen­tal

The Covington News - - OPINION -

We find pow­er­ful scents all around us, don’t we? Go to the mall, and you can al­most see the pink clouds ris­ing from the perfume counter. Visit the gro­cery store, and you’ll be bom­barded with scented de­ter­gents and sham­poos and soaps. Sit in any meet­ing, and you’ll whiff dozens of per­fumes and af­ter­shaves, if you’re lucky. Toi­let wa­ter, colognes, de­odor­ants, de­ter­gents — it’s a trea­sure trove for the nose, every­where we go.

Back in my teen years, I dis­cov­ered English Leather cologne and af­ter­shave. I had the reg­u­lar kind, and the lime one, and one called Tim­ber­line. I wore those scents every­where, es­pe­cially Tim­ber­line.

If you’d known me back in the day, you’d have been able to find me — say at the disco — just by us­ing your nose. “OK, I smell Tim­ber­line! Yep! There’s David!”

All the guys drenched them­selves with cologne back then. Whether it was Brut, or Hai Karate, or Ca­noe, or Bri­tish Ster­ling, we men went for the big smell.

By the way, if you smelled Old Spice in the ‘70s, you were smelling some­one’s dad, and you weren’t at the disco. You were prob­a­bly at the auto parts store.

As I grew up, my cologne habit grew, too, even though my spare cash didn’t. I splurged for Polo in 1981 only be­cause they were giv­ing way lug­gage with the pur­chase. I needed lug­gage. And then in 1982, I made friends with a girl who worked the cos­met­ics counter at South DeKalb Mall, and she gave me free sam­ples of ev­ery­thing mas­cu­line and smelly.

Those tiny sam­ples taught me to con­serve my colognes; gone were the days of splashing on in­ex­pen­sive Tim­ber­line. The new rule was “get the best, but make it last.” And now, even though I’m no longer a poor col­lege kid, I still love free cologne sam­ples.

You know some­thing? Writ­ing this col­umn has made me rather sen­ti­men­tal. All my Tim­ber­line dried up with disco, but it was my orig­i­nal cologne, my first smelly love. I should buy an­other bot­tle. I could pour it on, just like I did in 1978. And I could boo­gie down, just like I did at the disco in ‘78. Wouldn’t that be a sight?

Yes. It would be a hor­ri­ble sight! I’ll just have to do my danc­ing down at the auto part store. I might even teach those Old Spice guys a few moves!

David McCoy, a no­to­ri­ous sto­ry­teller and proud Yel­low Jacket, lives in Cov­ing­ton. He can be reached at davm­c­coy@bell­south. net.

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