But don’t let that stop you reading.
It has a happy ending.
When The Prude was in college, something delightful was happening in the perfume industry. Instead of churning out only mature scents like ‘White Shoulders’ or ‘Chanel No. 5’ (were Nos. 1-4 duds? Does anyone know?) manufacturers were putting their fragrant heads together and deciding to create cheap, playful scents for impoverished youth.
The Prude was delighted one day to find a huge bottle of her favorite-strawberry body splash on the clearance rack at Osco. This, she thought, must be what rich people feel like–able to buy perfume by the gallon!
She splashed it on generously one morning and left the dorm for her 9 a.m. class.
As she hurried down the hall, gently wafting the tantalizing aroma of strawberry in her wake, she was gratified to notice a young man sniff the air appreciatively and hold up his hand to halt his friends.
“Mmmm– I smell jello! Hey, I’m hungry! Is the dining hall still open?”
The Prude skipped class to dump the rest of her body splash down the toilet. Any scent that would drive a young man to look more adoringly at a refrigerator than at her could not be tolerated.
For years after this painful incident The Prude refused to wear any scent whose ingredients could be included in a salad.
But as she has gotten older, she is realizing that what was painful at nineteen can be beneficial, sensible, and even slightly romantic in middle age.
Today, her shower shelves hold apricot facial scrub, orange sapphire body wash and pomegranate shampoo.
Following the shower she slathers on cherry almond lotion, adds a spritz of black raspberry vanilla cologne, and tops it all off, in the interests of scent-reiteration, with a cherry vanilla lip-gloss.
She comes downstairs and her husband sniffs the air appreciatively.
“Mmmmm- you smell great. Hey, I’m hungry! Let’s go out for breakfast!”