Whenever my wife drags me into Bath and Body Works (I never go there voluntarily, at least I don’t think I do), I get very confused. If a store isn’t selling TVs, movies, or anything else that fits the stereotypical guy criteria, I tend to spend a lot of time wishing I was at least eating a steak and watching football. My mind wanders because literally nothing in that store interests me, except for the fire exit.
At Bath and Body Works, all the women in the store flit about comparing scents and presumably talking about how fun it is to flit about and compare scents. I don’t really pay attention, and that’s probably because I’m a guy and therefore operate on a higher intellectual level (particularly when I’m playing video games that involve blasting zombies into smaller zombie pieces).
I spend the bulk of my time in Bath and Body Works with a vacant expression on my face, the same look lower animals have when they encounter a pile of sticks. I assume other men feel the same way as they have equally vacant expressions. We float around like pieces of driftwood in a koi pond. Of course, lotion would probably help us, because saltwater will dry you out, so we may not be as smart as we think we are. Perhaps several gallons of Tropical Rainforest lotion will do the trick.
So, I end up perusing the 80 billion scent combinations they have in there. All of these scents take the form of soap, hand sanitizer, lotion, and candles, the last of which confuses me even more because electricity has been a thing at least since I was born. It would be the equivalent of going to a car dealer and having the salesman say, “And if this car isn’t to your liking, we have this Roman chariot.”
Because there are so many scents to choose from, they all compete for customers’ attention like a bunch of puppies, assuming the puppies were severely mutated, shaped like jars, and didn’t smell like actual puppies. People may talk about how much they love puppies, but you’ll never find a candle with the scent Newborn Puppy. There are good reasons for this, one of which involves the fact that my daughter would probably ask me if the candle was made out of puppies, thus leading to another expensive round of therapy sessions.
Eager associates appear next to me like pleasant smelling Roman Centurions, asking me if I need any help. I realize it’s their job to ask me that, but a dark part of me wants to say, “Why yes. I’m not familiar with putting lotion on my hands. Could you please give me a detailed lesson involving flow charts and demonstrations?”
Anyway, a few of the scents catch my eye, and I can’t help but wonder if there’s a trend going on here. It appears that to create a scent, all one has to do is pick a food item and add a time of day—either that or describe a vacation spot. I find myself torn between Afternoon Apple Pie, Evening Apple Pie, Predawn Apple Pie, and Month-Old Apple Pie. My olfactory glands are insufficiently developed to tell any of them apart; all I know is that I really want to eat apple pie, and the staff frowns on customers eating their candles.
After holding one of the apple pie candles for about a millisecond, a perky employee comes up to me and tells me they have lotion that smells like apple pie too. For a brief moment, I hoped that “lotion” was Bath and Body Works-speak for “actual apple pie.”
“Lotion,” as I should have mentioned earlier, is the preferred term, even though “moisturizer” has a much better and more accurate ring to it. But a lot of people don’t like the word “moist,” so the rest of us have to find ways to say “moist” without actually saying “moist.” I guess “lotion” has fewer syllables than “moisturizer,” but who am I to fly in the face of public opinion?
Around this time, my wife shows up, holding what appears to be half of the store’s candles in her arms, telling me that there was a sale and that all these candles will help improve our morale or something. She was particularly enthused about a candle scent called Beautiful Day. Turns out that it did not in fact smell like bacon cheeseburgers, Cool Ranch Doritos, and James Bond movies. So that was pretty disappointing.
When we got home, I realized that a multitude of aromas had latched onto me like parasitic scent leeches, making me smell like every fruit at every stage of its growth and rotting cycle. It ended up working out though. My wife just had me sit in the attic with a lit candle that smelled like Sensual Amber. I could have complained, but after three weeks of sitting up there, my wife told me I smelled like a sexier version of those mosquitoes from Jurassic Park.Follow me in a completely non-creepy way: