Lileks on Scents and Iran


Diamond Member
Nov 22, 2003
He's all over on this one, but the ending grabbed my attention:

...I went to Penney’s, which has everything in Spanish as well. All the signs. Spanish. I’m surprised the marquee doesn’t say Penney’s / Pesos. I found nothing, and moved on. I hit Bath and Body Works, which provides the various Scent Profiles for my life, and discovered that the overpriced C. W. Bigelow line has added “Bay Rum” cologne and aftershave balm. I tried some. It’s manly. It’s damn manly. Makes Mr. Peepers feel like Hemingway, it does. It’s a real alpha-male smell, but in the old-school sense. At some point the alpha-aroma became associated with musky bilge or pungent Hai-Karate type scents that indicated dominance – but only because the possessor obviously had no subordinates or associations who dared point out the fact that he had overclocked his smell-chip. Even those guys, however, respect the Bay Rum. It has that classic hats ‘n’ gats connotation. It’s the kind of smell that says “I shot a Marlin with Bogart then kissed Bacall when he wasn't looking. And she liked it.”

I bought some. Then I left the mall and headed to the Element, which waited under a fog-shrouded parking lot light. Drove around on some other errand, listening to Hugh Hewitt, who seemed depressed. It was about Iran and Israel, I gathered; another day, another speech threatening to wipe Israel off the map. It’s interesting: if the Holocaust “conference” decides that the Holocaust didn’t happen, well, then the justification for Israel is specious and founded on lies, and the mullahs are justified in redressing a mistake. I have the awful feeling that terms, conditions and justifications are being set right before our eyes, and the putative leaders seem unwilling to acknowledge what most canny observers infer.

It’ll all make horrible sense. In retrospect.


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