Thursday, January 26, 2006

SCENTED MEMORY #2: Fish Farm

In 7th grade summer camp, I went to visit a trout farm near Ashville, North Carolina. Needless to say, it's hard to keep such a place smelling shower-fresh. But they tried.

I'm not sure which was worse - the smell of the fish food, pond scum, millions of trout, or the industrial cleaners used for cleaning and sanitation - but the sum of the smells was truly revolting and hard to forget. Thank goodness I'd never have to smell that again...

...until 9th grade Spanish class. Dear Mrs. S, probably in her late 30's/early 40's, was a very affable instructor. But I'll never forget when she leaned over my desk one day to check my homework and Holy Crap! Fish Farm! I'm not sure if she had just had a perm, was trying a strange new hairspray, or had smoked salmon for breakfast, but yikes!

My friend Jennifer, best friends with Mrs. S's daughter, later mentioned that Mrs. S wore Dune by Dior. Well, you can imagine how many years passed until I could actually summon the courage to test out Dune. When I finally did imagine my surprise when it turned out to be entirely NOT Fish Farm but an incredible airy scent of lily, lichen and amber.

I now believe that Dune was not the culprit behind the mystery scent of my 9th grade Spanish teacher, but every time I wear it or think of it, there's always an echo of the Fish Farm and Mrs. S and a shudder of fear.

Ever had a teacher nearly ruin a scent for you?

9 comments:

Christina H. said...

I've never had a teacher ruin a scent for me but I can still distintly remember my kindergarten teacher wearing Chanel #5 and I loved that perfume ever since!

marchlion said...

White Shoulders. Ugh. My third grade teacher. I'd probably hate it anyway, though. Actually, it's been so long I should find some and re-sniff! Maybe I just THINK I hate it.

Marcello said...

My French teacher in grammar school had a cupboard filled with perfume bottles. Her sillage was so heavy (think YSL Opium, Shalimar) that as soon as you entered the hallway, you knew if she was in the classroom or not. Back then it was terrifying. Her room smelled so powdery, you could cut the air with a knife.

I grew to appreciate orientals much, much later. French class was an inspiring experience, though.

Anonymous said...

No, though I'm a teacher and I might ruin some for others!

Marlen, it's great you now have you're own blog - fantastic to read both this, and your other stuff on gay partnerships etc. I now think you're even more impressive than when I first read your contributions to Basenotes. It's great to have you around. I might eventually get there and emulate you with my own blog, but I'm so slipshod I'll probably never get round to it.

Thanks for your time, effort, and intellectual and sensory acumen!

Leopoldo

marlen said...

Ya know - I'm a teacher too, and I often wonder if I'm overwhelming my students with my SOTD...but I was surprised when one of my most lauded scents was Amouage Gold Cologne for Men...it's a heavy one, but definitely reminsicent of Japanese incense...a few students thought I smelled like a temple. I guess that's a good thing?

Mark said...

My fifth grade teacher bathed herself every day in Tresor by Lancome. It's not that I dislike the scent, it's just that smelling it for more than a few seconds leaves me with a slight headache and very bad memories b/c she was horrible. My french teacher likes Samsara by Guerlain and she wears others too, but I'm not sure what they are. Because she's also a dear friend of my family's - I gave her a bottle of 24 Faubourg for Christmas of my senior year and she wore it a lot. So there we have good memories and bad memories :)

zsm said...

One of my female high school Math teachers literally BATHED in Calvin Klein's Obsession. That stuff left the whole classroom filled with a noxious odor.

Even worse was when I was with another math teacher at the same high school. She wore the drugstore scent Sand and Sable (by Coty). That liberally applied mixture of tuberose and gardenia made me rush through my Geometry test just so I could get back to my normal classroom...and not surprisingly, the normal classroom had the teacher who bathed in Obsession.

Oh well, it could have been worse. At least I'm glad that they weren't male math teachers that wore Givenchy's Pi. Now that would have been a nightmare.

marlen said...

mffan - oh no! I love Obsession, so sorry it was ruined for you! LOL Pi for a math teacher...Thanks for reading and posting!

marlen said...

Mark - I actually enjoy 24 Faubourg myself! I know...scary, huh? It's such a beautiful version of orange blossom! I actually have the eau delicate which though not as long-lasting, smells a little, ahem, more butch one me, though let's face it...who am I kidding? Thanks for reading and posting!