The Scent of a Woo Man




“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” ― Jim Henson


Can you smell that, what is that scent…?

Is it sweet, bittersweet, sour, umami – can you have umami for the nose since the nose influences taste?

Is it actually a scent or just something in the air?

Is it love which is in the air or… the smell of fear?

Maybe a bit of both…?

The aroma of a memory, perhaps… or the odour of something wicked approaching or being approached?

Have you ever found yourself wrinkling your nose at someone or something yet there are no particles of smell there, or if they are they are imperceptible, a whiff of a thought, a feeling?

There have been a few people whom I have known in whose presence I could not abide to be simply because my nose did not like their scent. It was not one of those cases where the perfume they applied on themselves was noxious to my nostrils.

Although I have made violent U-turns, behaved physically erratically, when I have found myself too close to someone wearing too much perfume, particularly one brand of perfume (not the one in the photo – I love that scent) which makes me want to retch all over the person wearing it… that’s why I skid to a halt and run the other way, because such a reaction on my part is not polite.

It was just a case of my nose knowing something of which the rest of me seemed to be oblivious. My mind told me that these people were fine. My eyes may have noticed something, but chose not to focus on what they beheld. My ears may have heard anomalies, but pretended not to. My skin may have puckered a bit when touched by them, but my epidermis is rather sensitive. My mouth may have kept quiet when it wanted to speak, feeling that familiar taste of words which others would not like. My instinct may have bristled and my intuition may have been ringing a bit, but these things can be written off. However my nose refused to play with the other senses, which made it difficult for my other senses to function as though nothing was wrong.

In a similar manner my nose has often encouraged an interaction of which the rest of my senses were wary.


“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Have you ever followed someone just because you followed your nose?

I have to confess that I have actually stalked pipe smokers in the street. Love that aroma!

We talk a lot about the eye of the beholder, but what about the nose? The actual nose and that other kind of nose which can do things like smell a rat or something fishy.


“When you’re not looking, somebody’ll sneak up and write “Fuck you” right under your nose.” ― J.D. Salinger

Recently I read two excellent posts (thank you for sharing) which, at least in the eyes of this beholder, reflected the skill which humans possess to sense when something is not quite right with the picture being presented.


Dear Author

“But here is where we differ.
I am a reader.
This means that sometimes my interpretation may differ vastly from yours.
It’s not that I am wrong, it’s just that we are different.
So when you shared who you imagined you would like to play one of your main characters in the screen adaptation of your books, it threw me.

…we are unique individuals and we all see things according to the experiences in our lives.” – Suzjones





“My least favorite was the shrink who, after I sat in his office and told him
I was afraid the switch in my head was about to turn off,
lectured me on what a poor choice of metaphor a lightswitch was.
Because “depression is so much more complicated” and “psychiatry
is so much more skilled” and “this is not wax on/wax off for brain chemistry”
and among all the things he said, none of them was
“can you tell me more about that?”” – Alice Isak


But which sense sensed this?

Is it common sense, a sense of self, of self-respect, a sense of the ridiculous with you as audience… and if so can it smell?

Can it smell the scent of a woo man – a man or woman who is highly skilled at appearing highly skilled, but whose skills sometimes crack under the pressure of our expectations of them living up to their own hype. Their look may be up to par, and their talk may do the walking for them, maybe they are even charming in their self-presentation which softens the rough and blurred edges. They cater to the eyes and ears… but what about the nose? Is it as easy to deceive our sense of smell?


“A great nose may be an index of a great soul”― Edmond Rostand





  1. I’ll confess: my skill at trusting my senses/instinct to tell me when something is just “off” is still a work in progress! I’m glad the piece spoke to you — and I love how you’ve worked it into something new. 🙂


    • Thank you 🙂

      I loved your post, how you wrote it, what you wrote, and how you expressed it. It was beautiful, poignant, and had an element of mystery which echoed the mystery of living and being in a vivid manner. You are very talented. Thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. .Warm smiles, glad-full heart ❤

    Having worked 14 months in a surgical intensive care unit (and even more time as a paramedic), there seem to be definite smells associated with illnesses.

    In separate studies done by Atanasova and Naudin, those with major depressive disorders were shown to smell unpleasant odors more than pleasant odors. The corollary: do those with MDD emit unpleasant odors? Might there be such a things as "odor of narcissism" or other states of mind? In some memory file in your mind-brain, are there fragrances associated with Mom and Dad?

    In a garden of delight, with respectful admiration and appreciation,

    Steven 🙂


    • Haha! Awesome humour! 😀

      There was an amusing perfume advert – – for Chanel Homme a while back which I think captures the narcissist factor, from at least one side, rather well.

      Scents, aromas, perfumes, odours, etc, play an intrinsic part in the human experience, from whatever angle it is approached.

      The sense of smell is important to the sense of taste.

      Certain smells can evoke as much within as they do without.

      Of course I have olfactory associations connected with my parents, doesn’t everyone? I’m sure you probably do, care to share?

      If you share yours, I’ll share mine 😉


      • Hello again 🙂 With Dad, it is the smell of cedar-lined cigar boxes. The cigars were wrapped in a delicate sleeve of cedar; and the way he unwrapped the cigar and tenderly held it to his nose, shows one man’s pleasure with pleasure.

        With Mom, whose pregnancies interrupted her dreams to teach art, the scent is nostalgia, an odd mix of lilacs, oil paints, and moth balls.

        For Grandma, Mom’s Mom, who I only knew as a very young child, the aroma is flour, cinnamon, and sugar; for Grandpa, a Master carpenter in the Old World tradition, the fragrance is sawdust and sunshine.


        • Thank you for sharing 🙂

          Cigars is a scent I associate with my father too. I tried smoking one once… it’s an acquired taste! I used to love playing with his cigar cutters 😉 The cigar boxes… my mother used to insist that I made things with the discarded ones (which was fun until it became a chore).

          I don’t have any smells which I associate with my mother, not that I can think of, as she overwhelmed my ears more than any other sense. So I have sounds rather than scents connected to her, most of which are painful rather than pleasant. She never stopped talking, and her voice was rather strident due to her vocal training.

          Mostly for me, my olfactory sense is a pleasantly evocative one. I tend to focus on that side of it and often follow my nose.

          I love your descriptions, very visual as well as olfactory!


Comments are closed.