The stinking season

John Taylor: October 08, 20070 Comments

The sun danced, the wind caressed. The Monterey Bay hotel doors were wide open. Oh, the relaxation. Oh, the pssssssttttttt.

Beware of nature's bounty polluted by a scented air-freshener. In the land of no-smoking, where salt air cleanses the lungs, smell-merchants still get the final say over what's in the air.

Christmas trees are coming. The spray-painted, the forest-moldy, the chemically preserved.  And the scented magazine ads and come-hither direct mailers are multiplying.

Those far-too-many-of-us with allergies and asthma hurriedly discard unopened those department store circulars. We hurriedly read an article or two from a favorite magazine sprayed with "eau de lust" or whatever the perfume du jour.

How bad is bad?  The Wall Street Journal reports that the Showtime cable network inserted marijuana-scented ads into certain magazines to promote the drama "Weeds."  Last year, Kraft Foods used a scratch-n-sniff card to promote its DiGiorno Garlic Bread Pizza.

And as for "pure" perfume, the story quoted an expert as saying more fragrances were introduced in 2006 than in the 1970s and '80s combined.

We have created a world where the aroma of chocolate chip cookies must pass a "is it real, or faux?" test.  But when we gag at a trash can, we can now blame an idiot on Madison Avenue.