smells like my high school boyfriend

September 16, 2011 · 4 comments

Dear Winebuyer,

Yes, you are very charming with your dazzling smile and your infectious laugh. The cashmere sweaters you wear are wonderfully inviting and I almost don’t mind your quick embrace when we say goodbye, the kiss on each cheek, followed religiously by your sing-song commentary, “a hug is one of the only free things in the world…”

Except your hugs aren’t really free. You see, after each hug I’m left with a cloud of something hanging on me that I can’t shake for the rest of the day. And no, it’s not that nagging somewhat dirty feeling I get when I realize I’ve just used my cleavage to close a sale… no, it’s much worse than that.

It’s Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men. And I know this because it’s what my boyfriend in high school used to wear.  In those brief moments of contact with you, the cloying fragrance permeates my clothes. It coats my hair. For the next 8 hours, it’s all I can smell. I close my eyes and I’m transported back against my will to clumsy kisses and clammy palms, shaky fingers struggling awkwardly with a bra clasp for what seems like hours, and quite honestly, I just want to turn and run away screaming.

I’m thinking you may buy the boxed gift set. The kind that comes with the soap on a rope, the aftershave, the deodorant, and the eau de cologne, because it’s like you’re steeped in the stuff. Just as a taxidermist preserves a beloved pet or a hunter’s trophy in formaldehyde, I can’t help but imagine that you are preserved with Obsession for Men.

And this is the real tragedy: your wine bar smells of it as well. One only has to walk through the door and… wham… they are assaulted with “ a masculine blend of botanics, spices, and rare woods (that) reflect the determination and fire that drives men’s passions.”

Here’s a tip. NO scents for work, please. Your patrons will thank you for it. You think they stick their noses into that glass of Sancerre and pick out white flowers and lime blossoms and wet rocks? Not a chance. How about when they sip their Chinon? As they part their lips and lightly breathe in the air around the wine before it dances onto their palate? It’s now tainted with your “base notes of amber, musk, sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli” (what the heck is vetiver?). Holy Moly, I thought this was like a no-brainer! I thought everyone knew this… or at least everyone who knows a lick about wine…

Winebuyer, I know you mean well, and generally I like you as a person. Your palate is terrible, but I’m sure that has everything to do with the fact that frankly, you stink. Now please excuse me while I go shower.


Wine Rep

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Also ITB September 16, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I don’t buy this complaint. I hear it all the time, but rarely do I feel it is justified relative to the situation. If you can’t smell your wine because someone is wearing perfume, then you just need to walk away from them. Most people’s customers don’t sit around complaining because their salesperson is wearing perfume. I’m sure they prefer it to the body odor generated from building an end-cap. In fact many people’s customers are probably wearing perfume or cologne and would be offended if someone told them they were ruining someone’s wine experience.

I hear a lot of ITB people complain about those who wear perfume, and most times it seems like they are just trying to show that they have been in the biz long enough to know you aren’t suppose to wear perfume and drink wine. You are not supposed to wear perfume and drink wine. Tell the French that. I know: It RUINS your tasting experience. THEY SHOULD KNOW they should not be at a wine tasting with perfume on. IDIOTS. I know someone who complains about people who wear perfume to tastings and restaurants, yet he smokes cigars at outside wine events whenever he can.

I think perfume used correctly adds to a persons presence and can make an evening more pleasant. Of course wearing too much perfume or cheap perfume doesn’t appeal to me. But neither do a lot of things that people wear or do, but they appeal to other people, so who I am to tell them how to run their lives? How can I draw the line on what is cheap or too much? Especially if they are buying my wine. In fact if they buy it enough I should surprise them with a big, easy spray bottle of their favorite perfume. Even if it can be purchased at a 7-11.

I say, let’s stop with this damning of those wearing perfume and cologne in the vicinity of wine.

In the end, your true problem is letting that guy hug you. Tell him you have a jealous boyfriend who spies on you and slashes the tires of people who touch you.

Also ITB


Anonymous September 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I do buy this complaint. Nothing is worse than being at a tasting, and being overwhelmed by the scent of someone who seems to have bathed in cologne. As a retailer, I have had many of my customers complain about the overly perfumed individual sitting next to them. I am not trying to tell them “how to run their lives.” I happily sell them wine and take their money. I am not going to invite them to taste the spectacular bottle I have behind the bar. I feel it would be wasted on them. I’ll share that bottle with the less odoriferous.


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