Lovely scene you painted there. . . and I was right there with you until . . .
. . . I got an imaginary whiff of that Polo cologne, gagged a little, and was instantly transported back to 1986!
If I start free-associating on the topic of “Polo Cologne”, I’ll crank out another 6 minute rant with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each photo. Who’s got time to read my nonsense about Polo?
I have such incredibly powerful memories (both good and bad) associated with that smell.
They say the sense of smell is the last one we lose when we die . . . and that scent-reinforced memories are often the strongest.
I bet the smell of Polo will be the last memory snuffed out of me when Latrice Royale follows my DNR instructions and plops down on my dying chest.
Remember Liz Taylor’s Poison?
Mmm. That was some wickedly sweet-smelling stuff too. I smelled it for the first time at Jim and Tammy Bakker’s Heritage USA Christmas Market sometime mid ‘80’s before their empire came crashing around them. I never minded Tammy Faye — she was a lovable dingbat who was a surprising ally to us Queer folks. My Granny loved PTL, Tammy Faye, and Jim too. She kept photos of their family in her library of photo albums. Many years later, I bought Granny tickets to see Tammy Faye in concert and sent her off in a limo to enjoy the show; it was a great time for her. That crazy gal really grew on me.
Since he left prison, Jim Bakker has become an avowed enemy of our people, has squandered his chance at redemption, and is now a total shit. He spends his days bilking widows out of their Social Security money, hawking Republican Jesus, apocalyptic fear, and big plastic buckets of 25-year shelf-life, freeze-dried potato soup.
(I told ya, James Finn, I’ve got some crazy churchy memories. I’m saving a big wad of spit for Jim Bakker Sr. should our paths ever cross. How is it all roads lead back to drag queens and loogies?)
Their boy is kinda hot if you like tattoo’d hipsters and has done some good things bringing folks together as a progressive hipster pastor with an inclusive message.
When I think of the gentle friendship that formed between porn star Ron Jeremy and relevangelist Tammy Faye, I smile. All things considered, maybe it’s not so strange that I associate the smell of Poison with Heritage USA.
[sniff, sniff] Acqua di Gio for men. I had a poker buddy named Robert who wore it. He wasn’t really my type, though he was a handsome, straight blasian fellow with great swagger — but I could pick up his scent from across the room, and he smelled good.
Right Guard in an aerosol can takes me back to my first crush — my straight bestie at age 14. That’s an odd pair of memories, Right Guard and unrequited love; maybe I’m not alone with that one.
Over 30 years later, we’re still friends though we only speak every now and then at random. I couldn't tell you what he smells like these days, but it’s probably something tasteful.
When I wanna be fancy, you’ll catch a whiff of Issay Miyake when I walk by. It’s been a long time since I felt like smelling fancy, so mostly I’m unscented. Maybe I smell faintly of whatever citrusy deodorant I’m using, but I save the good stuff for special occasions. I used to have this incredible grapefruit-scented body wash called “drama queen.” Since I got it at TJ Maxx about a million years ago, I doubt I’ll ever be able to find another bottle.
I could tell a great story of this guy I hooked up with during a long weekend trip to Greenwich Village. He was hot and smelled great but was a little embarrassed to tell me the source of his yummy scent — Wild Cherry Secret deodorant! There’s so much more to that naughty tale, but the smell is all I think I’m ever gonna put down in print!
I had a one-eyed great great aunt named Georgia. She had the quintessential rich old-lady smell, some rose-based perfume that hung in the air like incense long after she was gone. Georgia always had the coolest hand-embroidered eye patches, covered in roses, which complimented her coppery red hair.
Gold Dial soap always reminds me of my Granny, the person in my life who loved me more than anybody else ever. It’s weird to be out some place and catch a whiff of Dial. All of a sudden, I get this nostalgic sensation before I realize it’s just common bar soap taking me back in time.
I sure do miss my Granny sometimes. It’s nice to know I can feel a little closer to her in the HBA aisle of most any grocery store.