A Walk Down Memory Lane But Hold Your Nose

They say that a certain song will take you back to an exact moment in your life that the only way you would recall it, is because of that tune.  It happens all the time.  I am 54 and if I hear Flock of Seagulls’ “I Ran,” I am 15 years old again playing pool baseball at Burning Tree Apartments and it is 1983.

There is something else though, that takes me back, but not in so much a good way.   Once I say what it is, you will know exactly what I am talking about.

Cologne. Yes, if you grew up in the 80’s, you are guilty of wearing some of the most egregious smells that have ever existed.  I am public enemy number one and I had forgotten all about this until I was recently in a department store and all of my old friends were there.  They were half-price but still, there they were.

Polo.  Drakkar.  Obsession.  Jazz by YSL.  Stetson.  Fahrenheit.  Joop.  Eternity. I had a memory behind every single one of those bottles.

Let’s take a look at a certain few.  First up, Drakkar.  Upon taking a whiff of that awful cologne, I was back in some nightclub in Birmingham, or maybe the Underground on 2nd Ave, or Ace of Clubs.  Just looking at the bottle and you got sick.

No one ever just did a splash of spray wearing that.  When someone wore Drakkar, smog laughed.  And yes, we can all pinpoint that certain dude that always wore this.

 So, let’s not stop there with awful cologne.  There are others that literally make me ill when I think about them and I am guilty of wearing them all.

Next up, in the green bottle, the world famous Polo cologne.  Hello junior year of high school, now where is the nearest trash can so I can go puke.  How in the world can something that smells so bad to me now, smelled so good to me back in high school?  I often think of giving this as a gag gift to friends.

Let’s now say hello to Obsession.  100% guilty.  I wore this all the time.  One Christmas, my sweet mother bought me Obsession for Women.  I wore that for months before I discovered it was for women.  Smelling that now has the same effect of the previous ones but dear God, putting that on and I can recall me strutting into class at Samford University and no one talking to me.  The whole time I thought it was something I might have said.  Instead, it was something I was wearing.  ALL THE TIME!!

Confession time.  I used to be obsessed with the makeup ladies at Dillards at Hickory Hollow.  Obsessed!  They were gorgeous and always smelled incredible.  One day as I strolled by, I stopped to smell some of the cologne.  Out of nowhere was one of the most stunning women I have ever seen and she was walking to me.  She had a bottle of Eternity in her hand.  I would have bought a hang grenade from her at this point.  “Have you tried this?”  “No, but I have an important job interview coming up and I need a strong powerful cologne.” (Such a lie.)  “This is called Eternity and you know why?  No one will forget you, for eternity.”  Signed, sealed and absolute delivered.  I was sick from the moment I smelled it when I got in my car.   Every other time I would go through Dillard’s and see her, I would hide.  Pathetic.

One more, “bless her heart,” to my sweet mother.   She bought me Stetson one time for my birthday. She might as well have given me sour milk in a nice designed bottle.  How bad was Stetson? I used to keep that bottle my mom gave me and would spray on spiders around the house, just so they would suffer as bad as I did.

Again, that song can take you back but that smell, oh that sweet smell of awful cologne, will take you just as far.

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