dictionary with letter A

Aroma: (n) a distinctive, typically pleasant smell.

“Fat people stink.”

The first time I heard this was in the seventh-grade locker room after football practice. Some rather slender teammate, who was by no means my great supporter, crinkled his nose, and in saying this prejudiced statement, made it clear that since I was fat, he had determined that my aroma was foul.

I couldn’t help myself–I sniffed under my arms to make sure that his words were untrue.

But from that day on I realized that “aroma” comes in two distinct packages:

  1. What we expect
  2. What we actually sniff

There have been times in my life when I’ve been around an extraordinarily beautiful woman, only to discover that she suffered from body odor and halitosis. Yet somewhere deep in my soul, I denied these facts in favor of her gorgeous visage.

I’ve also been around fairly unattractive women, and conjured an odor to confirm my decision to avoid them.

So I am not so sure I trust aroma.

And it certainly plays out in the selection of room sprays and candles with fragrance. One person’s “pleasant vanilla smell” is another’s “upchuck.”

To be completely candid, I have also been involved in the heat of the moment during romance and sniffed some things that would not normally be considered “pleasant”–and have used them as a motivation for arousal rather than denial.

So mark me down as one confused on the subject of aroma.

Maybe it’s only logical, considering the location of the nose … that lots of it is in our head. 


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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix


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