Sarah J.Dreisinger, an associate with a Manhattan law firm, doesn't mince her words, when voicing her displeasure with fragrance wearing by her fellow New Yorkers in the New York Times Complaint Box rant page. The title ("Overperfumed") says it all, and the reader early on admits "I have never liked perfume", which should give us the proper focus on which to interpret her views,
but reading through the text, I realize some interesting things about what obviously annoys the author so much and they kinda make sense in a way:
2) the bad interpretation of natural smells by low quality scented products ("a manufacturer's idea of gardenia or lilac")
3) the intermingling of fragrance with outdoors scents ("it lingers as I step outside, interfering with the city's seasonal scents") or the confusing collision between fragrances themselves ("when Warm Summer Breeze and Vanilla Bean are sitting next to each other")
4) the environmental health concern at the back of one's mind
5) the purposeful use of perfume to cover up bad smells (such as smoke or soiled clothing) resulting in something less than pleasant
6) the state of the fragrance industry, issuing hundreds of celebrity scents
7) the very idea of perfume as a vanity project
Well, Sarah, we couldn't agree more on points 2,5 and 6 (and we have been pressing from these very pages for more quality, more innovation, more originality and lyricism in fragrances produced). We have complained about the perfume industry all too recently. And really, whether you realize it or not, there is nothing non manufactured in all the scents in the city-scape; from the garbage from manufactured foodstuff (yes!) to the barbecues (it's not nature's way to barbecue food by itself) to smelling smoke of marijuana (another manufactured product, I bet) and the "subway mélange" (I rest my case).
Plus, the environment is much more aggravated by functional products with artificial smells, as attested by university studies. Perfume is only the drop in the proverbial ocean. And it's all right not liking it. It's an opinion and as such valid, we respect that.
But we have to disagree on body odor being preferable. Obviously you haven't sit in a closed-up space with someone who hasn't washed for days on end. Have you?
On to the readers, what do YOU think? Is body odor preferable over fragrance? Do you object to the idea of scents intermingling? Does something bother you in the scentscape you live in?