aromatic substitution

There are five candles in my house that smell like memories. I messaged a friend the first night one was lit: “Last night I came home and the house smelled different. It smelled like a sensuous man in tune with his surroundings and spirit. Kinda like incense, kinda like ceremony, kinda like bed sheets after sex.” The scent was an immediate aphrodisiac. I lunged for Bubba who turned me away because of a migraine.

I got comfy in bed, stared at the flame, and remembered why the candle did what it did.

During a three-hour drive to a campsite, one of my carpool buddies shared some information about attracting people with scent.

“How old is the person you want? Find out what cologne or perfume was popular while they were in puberty, and wear that. It will bring them back to the time when they were super horny. They’ll want you.”

Once at the campsite, talking to the carpool buddy’s girlfriend: “I’m a greedy bisexual. I wear Old Spice deodorant and a floral perfume behind my ears. So many people, both men and women, come up to me to tell me how good I smell.”

Several months later, talking to someone who used to smell heavily of cologne and has since let it fade: “I wear Old Spice. It reminds women of their fathers.”

A couple of days ago I picked up a new candle. It’s the most I’ve ever invested in a candle. When I told the shop ladies I was looking for something that smelled like a man, they both sang, “Ernesto!”

One walked away and came back with a bell jar lid. “Smell this.” I was sold.

Here is how Cire Trudon describes “Ernesto,”: “In a Havana hotel, under the fixed sun of the Revolution, the fierce and partisan overtones of leather and tobacco meddle with the wood panelling’s waxen silence. In the cool dimness, sly grimaces emerge, framed by cigar smoke and gun barrels.”

Here is how I would describe the memories behind all of my recent candle purchases:

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