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Saturday, August 15, 2015


This Trifle Business Called Smelly Males

In a lot of books, there's a bit of romance that develops at some point in time. Aside from Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart (you'll find a review for that later this month), there hasn't been a book this summer that didn't have an ounce of romance in it.

And most of them have at least one thing in common: The love interests smell.
I know, I know! You probably find this really funny, but I'm serious! The males smell. They smell pleasant – there are variations from citrus to sandalwood to ocean. If they don't have a smell, it's just a "manly" scent.
It's obviously not body odor – that usually comes across as gross and icky and absolutely disgusting. But of course it is. I mean, it's B.O.! Who said THAT smelled great? This manly scent is still pleasant for some reason unless that male is actually just a side character. That side character is usually an outcast (possibly chubby with the glasses and ensemble) and made fun of by a Prom/Homecoming Queen or King. Maybe even both.

Cologne and shampoo totally exists – I've been told I smell like chocolate once (it was actually coconut, but okay...). They have smells, and I totally get there's going to be a waft of coconut or Hawaiian breeze floating around for a day or two.

But... but... what happened to the infamous Axe bomb? What about not having a scent at all? There's obviously that one person who throws on perfume and smells really, really nice and you can smell it across the state. Then there's that one person who throws on perfume and it's a vomit-inducing smell and you can practically smell it across the state as well. Sometimes it's strong enough you can probably smell it from across the country.

Let's face it: I'm very sensitive to perfumes and colognes – I'm not allergic to anything, I swear! I'm probably the first one who'll smell something if anyone decides to throw on perfume. Put on Axe ten times and I'll probably smell it halfway across the gym. Get really close with an unpleasant smell and I'll look like a very unpleasant person who is blatantly trying not to gag.
I admit that is an absolute disadvantage when you work at a restaurant. It's rude to walk away or make gagging faces, so I pretty much start hoping the order is small... really small.

I start wondering: Is there actually a character out there who has a nose as sensitive as me? Do we really just go up to random guys and take a whiff of them like nobody's business? And why are female characters attracted to and getting so excited over this manly scent that's probably made of 99% of sweat and oil?
It's a trifle thing that I'm curiously perplexed about.
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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.