ethel’s words

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THE STENCH OF PERFUME

The first question about perfume is, why is it used?

Napoleon’s ardor was so heightened by the scent of male musk deer musk that fame came to those ruminants, once Napoleon’s sex-mate learned that. The excellent perfumes still have a base from the musk deer.

The idea that perfume excites and attracts human males lingers. Men, are you so under-stimulated you need a whiff of foreign male perfume? Women, are you so lacking in allure you need to stink up a whole room to get the attention of you-hope the nearby studs?

Men wear perfumes also. I remember, with a wave of nausea, the perfume named Elsha. It apparently died an appropriate death as its noxious odor dissipated permanently.

For what purpose, do you think, girls, boys, men, women, you wear perfume? If you like the odor for yourself, you’d wear it on your upper lip. No, NO. You wear it to inflict it on others. Do you expect it to summon amorous approaches? How about rape?

Fragrance should be a part of our lives. I raise a Fragrant Garden and visitors often walk right up to a bloom and put their nose on it--even lilacs and passiflora and honeysuckle, stuff I smell a hundred and fifty feet away. I have wondered if perfume has killed their olfactory nerves.

We should enjoy the aroma of our beverages (except chorine-laden water) and various foods. Socially sensitive persons would never wear perfume to a fine restaurant--or even a poor one. In Yankee America that seems to be unnoticed, as we stumble our way through the metropolitan atmosphere laced with the smell of stale frying oil.

Even that cannot drown out the perfume. But both are pollutants. Do you really need that stuff?

Ethel C. Hale