What Decade — Or Century — Do You Smell Like?

A Horse With No Name

A woman ran down the subway stairs past me, leaving a trail of Anais, Anais, the first fragrance created by French fashion house Cacharel.

Boom. It’s 1982. and I’m living in Paris and that’s the scent my then-beau gave me, an intense floral.

If a man trails Kouros, my knees weaken. The guy who gave me the Anais, Anais wore it. Sigh.

The night I met Jose, aka the sweetie, he wore a red silk Buddhist prayer shawl as a muffler. It was scented with his fragrance, 1881, a wonderful cologne created in 1955, “recommended for evening wear.” At the end of our first date, he took off this warm, scented silk and wrapped me up in in. Double sigh.

Eleven years later, here we are.

The cologne I love for summer was invented in 1902, Blenheim Bouquet, by English house Penhaligon. And O de Lancome, from 1969, with all the zingy bright-green optimism I recall from those years.

I often wonder what the world smelled like in 1933 or 1868 or 1743. Or 1572, as I’m currently reading a biography of Queen Elizabeth I.

Gunpowder. Leather. Sweaty horse. (Horse dung.) Coal. Fresh-cut hay. Unwashed skin. Cold, dry stone. Wool. Woodsmoke. Ordure. Blood. Freshly-cut lumber. Mud. Peat. Tallow. Tar. The ocean.

When Jose took me to Santa Fe, New Mexico, his home town, I learned several new smells: hinoki (cedar), used by the amazing local spa, Ten Thousand Waves. Sagebrush. Pinon. Chile powder.

One of my favorite smells in the world is that of sun-dried pine needles, a scent I associate with my happiest times, up north in Ontario at summer camp.

What will 2020 smell like? Or 2086?

What Billie Jean King And I Have In Common

The Tin Man. Poster for Fred R. Hamlin's music...
He's a cutie. But you don't want to feel this stiff, ever! Image via Wikipedia

Not what you think, smarties. Not tennis. Not sexual orientation.

OA. That’s osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that grinds away your cartilage and bone and makes it really painful to walk, dance, lift, carry and just get on with life.

So the Arthritis Foundation is running a new campaign to get the arthritic among us — all 50 million of us! — to keep moving.

It’s a little bizarre, but true, that the more you hurt (and you do!), the more you need to get moving, as often and vigorously as possible, to lessen your pain. After only three or four days of inactivity, I feel like the Tin Man, the pain in my left hip so excruciating I wake up at 3:00 a.m. to gulp down a painkiller.

I recently wrote an essay about my addiction to exercise to stay flexible, fight weight gain and avoid depression from my constant arthritis pain for Arthritis Today. It has not yet appeared; I’ll link to it when it does.

Do you have a physical disability or chronic issue that makes your life tougher?

How do you deal with it?