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As a university student, every so often I have to sit with strangers on all sides in a vast lecture hall. And sometimes in a large classroom that’s basically also a lecture hall of sorts. And fairly often, I have to sit next to a strange guy, or even sandwiched between two of ’em. And I’m cool with that.

There’s just one thing.

Why do guys wear cologne? I think almost every guy I’ve ever sat next to had the smell. Trendy guys, nerdy guys, athletic guys, slobs. I’ll just sit there and take my notes and then I’ll catch a whiff. I’ll sniff a little and then I’ll think, “You don’t… don perfume, do you?”

By this point, though, there isn’t much room for doubt and the inevitable mental image comes. I’ve imagined not just the guys who look like they super care about their appearance but also all the others, spritzing themselves in a bathroom.

He sits down before the mirror.  Depending on how insecure I think he looks, he either examines himself before putting it on like a girl, thinking positive thoughts: “You handsome sonuvagun.” Or he talks to himself: “You hopeless slob who doesn’t have a girlfriend.  ACT OF DESPERATION.  COMMIT!” and sprays quickly and shamefully before running away, the deed done and irrevocable.

I have no idea if this is how it actually plays out but as someone who just uses “Bath & Body Works fragrance mist” because she got it for her birthday, this is how I picture it.

And then it becomes that awkward moment when you realize that someone has enough of a desire to be attractive that he would do a daily ritual to smell ‘better.’

It’s not as easy for me to be comfortable around guys wearing cologne. Think about it. They’re using smell and pheromones to try to screw with your hormones. It’s a little creepy especially for me because I have a sensitive nose (when it’s not stuffy). And then it ruins the whole point because if girls smell it and go like, “Ah!  He wears perfume!  He’s just another guy who wants to get some!” they’ll be on their guard. And then he loses. HA

Moral of the story is: Leave the hormone-y perfume-y stuff alone. Stick to pleasant smells. Like food. They should totally make a perfume that smells like food. Not just any food but really good food. There’d be a Home Cooking smell, a Grandma’s Italian Kitchen smell, a Fresh Rice smell, an Egg smell, a My Favorite American Chinese Restaurant Smell…


In lecture, my guy friend was chewing one of those fruity-minty gums. I tried to not drool all over him, I really did. O.K., so it wasn’t that drastic, but I had to struggle to keep from inhaling him. “Ahhh~ it’s fruity! But minty! Inhaaale~” During one of my discreet (?) glances at him, I noticed his eyes closing and kicked him. Then he insisted he hadn’t been asleep. Geez. I was just helping him out like I wanted him to help me out. He doesn’t even deserve it, he never takes notes. And right after he woke up, he spat his gum back into its wrapper and that was the end of the pleasantness.  😦

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