I was in a queue yesterday and the woman in front was trying to kill me. She didn't know it, of course, she looked fairly nice, but her liberal use of personal stink juice overwhelmed my senses and brought on a coughing fit that a TB sufferer would have been proud of.
I have a catlike slavery to my nose and could probably follow a nice smell for a couple of miles but a bad one is enough to put me off something for life. I suspect most people are the same and like me find that the over use of any perfume/aftershave hides the essence of the real person underneath. I feel cheated.
In our bottle of personal smell we carry around a gentle concoction of the lives we lead, the food we eat and the regular products that we use. At the base of this is our very own parfum, mixed in our own skin and as individual as a fingerprint. As the eyes take a photograph so the nose seeks out the essence and decides whether the smell is attractive or repulsive (or somewhere in between).
I have found over the years that I must be able to store a thousand smells and each can bring back a memory - my dads starched, soapy collar, my grandmothers floury, cigarette smokey apron and the smell of my children moments after they were born. This sense of memory is so powerful that one dip into my mums powder box can transport me back to her bedroom in the late sixties.
So. Give me your smell, your personal pong, the essence that makes you you. By all means wear something that enhances it, subtly, but leave me with a sense of you and the life that you carry around with you. Nothing is more powerful than the effect of warm, clean skin so please stop hiding it under those nauseating, malodourous man-made scents that nearly kill off the sense of smell in one ghastly sniff.