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Just in time for Father’s Day: A daughter’s dream

 News came the other day that researchers had determined that women are attracted to scents associated with their fathers. The word is that they may choose their friends and partners accordingly.


The study done at the University of Chicago used two-day-old T-shirts. Women were asked to sniff them and pick the one they would choose if they had to smell it for the rest of their lives. Generally, they picked the one that smelled like dad.


My father was an oil deliveryman who hauled gas and fuel oil around town. He smelled of petroleum every day of his working life. I guess if he’d had daughters, they would have all been hanging around the service station sniffing gasoline and falling for the service station attendants. 


Smell plays a large part in our lives. Just look around at the scented candles, air fresheners, soaps, bath oils, deodorants, perfumes and colognes in our lives. Detergents come in a variety of scents, as do dryer sheets, fabric softener and cleansers. In the last few years, aromatherapy has become a popular way to solve our ills through the magic of fragrance.  


There is no doubt that smell is a powerful sense. The military has been working on a “stink bomb” for years for use in riots and crowd control. It was found that various cultures had different tolerances for various smells. Burning sulfur was not unpleasant to some cultures and the smell of burning hair reminded people in some countries of dinner. 


“Oh, no, we’re having roasted possum again for supper. I do wish you would skin it first.”


The one smell that universally offended most people of the world was that of the outhouse, or in more modern terms, the Portajohn.  


There’s a movement afoot in Canada to be scent free. A newspaper in Halifax prohibits its 350 employees from using perfume, scented deodorant, shampoo or even strong mouthwash on the job. A 1,400-employee telephone service center has declared fragrance off limits in the workplace. In Ottawa, public buses ask riders to be seated only without scents and the local hospital has embarked on a “No Scents is Good Sense” campaign. 


Fragrances have been with us since before the Wisemen brought their gifts of frankincense and myrrh. As a matter of fact, they were a necessity because hygiene was almost nonexistent and bathing was considered dangerous to the health. 


So, it’s no wonder that researchers are trying to find which scents attract and which ones repel. It’s big business.


The revelation that women are attracted to the scents of their fathers may prove a breakthrough in scentology. Just think of the new men’s colognes that will soon hit the market, all aimed at finding a man the perfect mate. I can think of a few myself. Call them “Eau de Dad”:

English Stockings: A musty, footy, athletic fragrance, reminiscent of locker rooms everywhere. Reminds you of dirty laundry or of the end of a long round of golf or a day of playing football. 

Olde Couch: A laid back, refreshing, sleepy aroma reminding one of Saturday afternoons snoring in front of the TV while the remote lays cradled idly in the hand. 

Aqua Vita: The sharp, pungent smell of cigarette butts mixed with beer on the floor. Wear this and you can almost hear the juke box booming in the background as the police come to haul you away. For evening wear only.

Forest Floor or Deer Stand: The woody fragrance of the forest, a mossy bouquet of gunpowder, venison and diesel pickup trucks.     

Evinrude: A slightly fishy scent which is available in either fresh or salty fragrances. Takes you back to that time in your youth when the doctor pulled the hook from your ear. Can also be used for bait.

Barnyard: A heady, spicy aroma, also handy for opening up your sinuses. Comes in Chicken Coop, Pig Sty, Cattle Pen or Dog Lot fragrances. 

Chanel #7 Come 11: Clean, crisp smell of poker chips, fresh as a new deck of cards. A bit of a smoky aroma tinged with the feel of empty pockets.

Outdoor Grill: A greasy, charred aroma, even more smoky. Makes you yearn for a good restaurant. 


Look for all of these coming soon to a store near you. It makes you sort of feel sorry for the Canadians. I wonder how they’ll pick their mates?