Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Further Musings on Scents and Humidities

I remain very happy about my strawberry scented pen. I had it with me today in our weekly Deans' meeting. I was taking notes with it, and on a few occasions I smelled what I had written. As the meeting was winding down, Ken Hill leaned over and said, mostly jokingly, but with a touch of concern in his voice, "you keep smelling your ink -- this has me a little worried." I explained that my pen was scented. He nodded agreeably, but the expression on his face suggested that he didn't quite understand.

I realized this morning that my daily shower routine involves a strange array of scents: lavender, grape, grapefruit, and some slightly perfumey soap that has a scent that I can't describe but is somewhat reminiscent of recently mowed grass. But in a good way. And on days when I shave (which is roughly every other day), I use azulene shaving cream and "northwoods" shave balm. Azulene, according to wikipedia is "an organic compound whose molecules contain 10 carbons and 8 hydrogens and consists of a five-membered ring fused to a seven-membered ring." Interesting. But I like how my azulene shaving cream smells, and it's good for my skin. I also like my "northwoods" shave balm, although the scent is a bit much. Doreen says it's like some sort of bug spray.

Anyway, on days which involve shaving, a total of six scents are applied to me. Individually, the scents are all good, with the possible exception of the "northwoods" shave balm. But what about in combination? Is the whole greater than the sum of the parts? Or perhaps some of the scents cancel each other out, sort of like the destructive interference that occurs when two waves that are out of phase combine.

Speaking of which, I was browsing through a catalog that we get, "Harmony," that has lots of eco-groovy gifts and energy-saving gadgets and organic things. (I would much prefer to get a catalog called "dissonance," but I don't think such a catalog exists.) On one page there are a number of different humidifiers. Two pages later are listed some nice looking de-humidifiers. I now want to buy a humidifier and a de-humidifier and put them in the same room and let them fight it out. Perhaps they would just cancel out and nothing would happen. But it might be a case where apparent opposites combine to produce something novel, like some sort of Hegelian synthesis, or like vodka and red bull.


Anonymous said...

dissonance catalog: http://www.srl.org/video/

Anonymous said...