What IS It with the Body Spray Already? Smells Like a Lot More than Teen Spirit

Chanel S.Image via Wikipedia

My eyes are tearing up and I’m getting ready to sneeze, a good sign that one of my sweet-smelling daughters has readministered body spray. Again.

“Readminister again” is not a redundant statement; they will later re-readminister. Possibly just as they get into the car or some other enclosed space in which I will be trapped with the vaporous goodness.

Japanese Cherry Blossom? Cherry Almond Vanilla? Something involving cherries, at any rate. Or flowers. It’s hard to tell what specific scent it is when it’s bombarding you at Force 10.

Don’t get me wrong—I love my daughters. Really. I’m pleased that they prefer to be clean and sweet-smelling. They generally leave the house groomed, although we differ on the critical question of whether slippers with semi-hard surfaces on the bottom count as footwear for the big wide world out there.

On the slipper question they vote Yes, I vote No. My vote does not count. The only time they entertained the possibility of reconsidering this point, it was because four feet of snow fell on us in late December and early January and stayed for weeks. They didn’t wait for the spring thaws to go back to the slippers.

They’re not over the top on make-up, thank heavens. Admittedly Eldest Daughter went through a raccoon-eyes phase, applying black eyeliner and extra-black extra-clumping mascara with the enthusiasm of a small child newly introduced to scented markers.

She shared her hard-earned wisdom with Number Two Daughter, who uses a light hand. Both have beautiful eyes in any case.

And they do smell nice. But this comes at a price: the constant reapplication of body sprays purchased approximately every other week at Smelly Body Sprays R Us or some such chain.

When one of them gets ready for school in the main bathroom, we brace ourselves for the moment when the door swings open and the cloud wafts out well in advance of the girl ostensibly wearing the perfume—or being worn by it.

I’m sure I did this at their age. I remember a certain fondness for Love’s Baby Soft that probably announced itself around corners. Today my tastes are a trifle more sophisticated (Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel, which they had better not stop making), and expressed in moderation.

So what do I do, say, “Don’t smell quite so nice”? There’s a reason the words “teen girls body spray” bring up 103,000 results in Google.

A closer look at these results reveals that apparently this isn’t exclusively a girl thing—in fact, it’s a huge problem with boys.

Who knew? Since we have one boy who is 11 and still smells like the outdoors and whatever project he’s been working on involving glue and solvents, if not soldering irons and melting rubber, this has not yet become apparent.

Boys ODing to prevent BOing is such a problem, in fact, that the manufacturers are actually starting to suggest boys should tone it down. This will never move product—I’m amazed at their public-spirited campaigns (which conveniently move the product name up in the Google results....).

For example, this YouTube spot aims at the boy side of the line, using a sex appeal pitch to suggest that subtlety is sexier than a level approaching anesthesia.

This piece talks about the Axe overdose effect similar to what I’m experiencing with Cherry Almond Vanilla Blossom Floral Flower Whatsis.

The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding (such dreamers they must be, the people who could found something with such an aspirational name and so little hope of realizing the goal expressed in the name….Oh wait, it’s a Christian organization; they may have back-up help) write about the problem here.

The Google results, as always, are an entertaining mix of sites telling you about the problem, and sites enabling you to make purchases that will add to the problem.

I won’t even get to the articles where they talk about using body spray as a flame thrower or inhalant. I already know this stuff is both deadly and a substance of abuse--I’m livin’ it. Here it comes now....
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