Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When Did I Start Smelling Like Starbucks?

by Gina Ardito

The other day, as I stepped into the shower for my morning ablutions, I looked at the shelf where all my personal products sat lined up, waiting for their very important role. Something I never noticed before struck me this particular morning.

My shampoo and conditioner are made with green tea extracts. Body wash is "Chai Latte Scent." Face scrub? Orange and grapefruit with honey. Shave cream, vanilla almond.

I'm a walking cornucopia of smells that can be found in your local coffee shop! Even the cream I use to reduce the dark circles under my eyes contains...wait for it...caffeine.

How did this happen? Is it just me? Or are we all walking around in an aromatic cloud of "Essence of Barista"? 

I think back to when my mother was my age and try to recall the items on her bathroom shelf. Now, admittedly, I'm a lot more vain than my mother ever was. I insist that when I die, regardless of my age at the time, my hair will *still* be this color. I generally don't go to the end of my driveway to get the mail unless my hair is styled and my makeup is done. (The hair and makeup mandate does get lifted for writing deadlines, but the mail gets stopped then, too!) Still, I picture that shelf in my mind and I see:

Cream deodorant (Secret, I think. I remember the jar because when I was about ten, I was goofing around with her stuff and dropped it. The glass shattered and I wound up with a nice-sized shard in my foot.)

Hair spray (Aqua Net--the lacquer of hair sprays. The stuff that single-handedly shredded the ozone layer.)

Shampoo (Breck. Or sometimes, Prell. No scent.)

Conditioner? No one used conditioner in those days. Detangler, maybe. And that had no discernible scent. Except maybe...chemical. Like science lab in junior high school.

In fact, when I think about how my mother smelled, you know what comes to mind? Bleach. Seriously. To this day, many decades after my childhood ended, I still remember my mother whenever I smell bleach, particularly on skin. It's a unique scent.  

Of course, to trigger that memory, these days, I have to visit a laundromat. Not exactly the ideal spot to honor those we loved and lost. 

Does this mean that one day, many years hence I hope, whenever my kids want to remember me, they'll have to head to Starbucks? I guess I can live with that. 

"Hoist those cups up high and slug one back for your old ma. And while you're at it, order me a cinnamon dolce latte, will ya?"


  1. OMG we must have lived in the same house!! Now we are all green, gluten-free, animal friendly and organic. Why then and I still as fat as ever - LOL?

    Great post Gina. Brought me back to the old days.

  2. Hahaha! You folks are makin' me spew... what else?... coffee! Little speckles of Maxwell House regular blend all over my monitor. (I'm a purist.) But I smell like a blend of cafe and Japanese cherry blossom - and I wouldn't dream of drinkin' that in my coffee. :)

  3. Ah, the bells and smells that taint our olfactory nerves and prevent us from detecting our perfect mate. I'm particularly fond of shea butter and argan oil. But it's my aloe propolis creme and sweet citrus with calendula petals that get me going in the morning. Great post, Gina!

  4. So much fun, Gina! Loved your post!