The fragrance of Davidoff Clearwater and sweat mixed on fabric was divine. He had just come in from his football match and had hurriedly taken off his shirt to go wash up. I had picked the piece of garment in my hand, got the atoms close to my nose and smelled. It was heaven.

That was my first encounter with smell. Prior to that, I had never thought of using my nose to such an extent. That hot day I realized the pleasure my brain got from breathing different odors in; especially sweat mixed with perfume.

Ma’s sari was kept in a corner. She had worn it the night before her sister’s anniversary. There was a lot of dancing that night and I naturally assumed she had perspired. The thought got me excited. I crept towards the sari from the other corner of the room like a thief walking stealthily to steal the object of his desire. Ma did not like me smelling things, so I had to do it quietly. Her smell was different. It was Chanel no.5 and sweat. I realized Davidoff was better.

Only yesterday I got caught smelling my dog. Her wet dog smell was oddly comforting. She smelled of old shoes, rotten eggs and strawberries. After her bath, she even sported some jasmine in her scent. My cat smells different though. She reminds me of raw fish, baby powder and milk. She has a very indifferent smell.

The first thing I do before I put my clothes on me is to smell them. Every fabric takes up the smell of the detergent differently. Jeans, for example, has a fresh citrus like smell when washed, whereas cotton tends to take up the same smell in less intensity.

My favorite is satin. I have a hilariously expensive satin bra that I gifted myself on my twentieth birthday. The best thing about it is the way it smells after a few day’s wear. It smells of me and sniffing it in the middle of the night or early in the morning give me the consolation that whatever might change, my smell will remain constant throughout the worst apocalypse.


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