The Nose Knows

I recently shared that I’m a hermit in my natural state, and how much I enjoy hibernating in my pajamas.

Something else people may not know about me is that I’m incredibly sensitive to smells. They affect me physically (second-hand smoke gives me an instant headache and nausea) and mentally (lemon makes me happy!), and I spend an indiscriminate amount of time making sure my home and surroundings smell pleasant.

With two adults, four kids, and four animals in our home, you can imagine that’s nearly a full-time job.

I have two different scented room sprays on the stairs near the front door, a wax warmer, candle, and another spray in the living room, and an automatic sprayer in the hallway. I soak a cotton ball with essential oils and diffuse them in my vacuum’s canister when I’m cleaning. I leave the soap shelf empty so I can put a few drops of oil to diffuse there when we shower. I will sometimes put car fresheners or even dryer sheets in the floor’s vents to distribute the scent when the heater runs.

scented candle

Strangely, though, I don’t regularly use perfumes or scented lotions; I don’t like inflicting a particular scent on other people. But I do need for my environment to be manageable.

Trains, planes, or other enclosed spaces that require close proximity with others sometimes make me anxious. When I go out, I have a small scented lotion for when I’m trapped in an environment with bad smells; I put it on my hands and can very discreetly carry it to my nose to mask external odors.

When something in my home smells amiss, I’m on the hunt until the source is tracked. I usually have one of the animals to blame, but the kids contribute their fair share. They’ve sat more than once with breath held and eyes squeezed shut while I’ve showered room spray in their general direction.

I love citrus smells – lemon is my favorite. Orange is a close second. I’m not one for earthy or fruity or flowery smells, but I do enjoy anything that smells like food, especially baked. Vanilla, sugar cookie, cinnamon roll – I definitely linger over those at the store. I’m also a fan of sharp, minty smells.

I am not necessarily loyal to one brand of oils, wax, candles, or sprays – I’ve tried them all, really. But when I find something I like, I try to buy as much as I can at one time; I get grumpy when a favorite scent is only seasonal or is discontinued. I get even grumpier when a product smells great in the store, but the scent quickly peters out at home.

How do you respond to smell? Are you as…enthusiastic…as I am about it? Or are you ready to suggest a support group for my obsession with smell?