My Love Of Scent, And Men's Cologne's From The Past


Ever since I can remember, I have always been fascinated with my sense of smell, which is why I hold such an interest in colognes, perfumes, and aromatherapy. I actually took a course and got certified in aromatherapy many years ago, and still practice it. I have about half a dozen bottles of essential oils in my apartment, which I use for various purposes. I find essential oils extremely helpful in so many ways.

As most of you already know, my job involves the personal grooming industry (makeup, skin care, hair care, and fragrance). Over the years, I've held many different positions in this industry -- I was a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician, I was a makeup artist for various color companies, I worked for several different men's skin care and shaving lines, and I was also (for 10 years) an ambassador for the fragrance division of Bvlgari. And I have to say, that was probably one of my favorite jobs because I love Bvlgari fragrances. I was extremely proud to work for that company because they make some of the most beautiful and handsome fragrances in the industry.

For me, wearing a fragrance is like putting on an article of clothing, I don't feel completely dressed unless I spritz on my favorite scent. I wear a fragrance every single day, regardless of whether I'm working or have the day off. And I wear it not only for the aroma, but also for the feeling it gives me. Fragrance is all about how it makes you feel.

I guess my love of scent all began with my father, because he too had a passion for fragrance. He never left the house without splashing on his favorite cologne. For him, wearing a fragrance was like putting on a tuxedo, it made every day feel special.

However, there is one thing about wearing a fragrance that holds true for many of us. Our taste in fragrance changes throughout our lives. Have you ever noticed how you'll smell a fragrance that you wore eons ago and loved with all your heart, but then when you smell it now, you immediately think, "EWWWWWW, how did I EVER wear that cologne?!?!

Allow me to take you a little fragrance journey into my past, at a time when I loved these fragrances because they were popular, and like everyone else, I thought they smelled fabulous!

Yet, when I smell them now I think...."WTF?!"


Old Spice (launched: 1937)
My father wore this, so it ended up being my first "cologne" when I started shaving. I can still remember the TV commercials for this after shave lotion in which a sailor whistled the Old Spice theme song.


BRUT (launched: 1964)
OMG..,can you believe this ad?!? 
Talk about an over-abundance of testosterone. When you wore BRUT, it was all about how it was supposed to make you feel like a MACHO brut.


English Leather (launched: 1949)
Okay, out of all the fragrances I listed here, this is probably the one that makes me cringe the most whenever I smell it now -- like a leather horse saddle after it's been sat upon during a 5-day journey through the hot Nevada desert by a sweaty, stinky cowboy who hasn't bathed in a month.
In other words....it smells like BUTT.

CANOE (launched: 1932)
This fragrance reminds me of when I was in Catholic School and in the 8th grade.
Of course, the nuns told me that I would burn in hell because God didn't permit his children to wear artificial fragrance. 
It was a mortal sin.




British Sterling (launched: 1965)
I wore this during the first half of my Senior year in High School. When I smell it now it reminds me of artificially sweetened cough syrup.
YUCK!



Jovan Musk (launched: 1973)
This cologne reminds me of my Senior year in High School as well.
I wore it on my Senior Prom. The girl I was dating at the time said that this cologne drove her WILD whenever I wore it.
 She told me it made her feel like an uncontrollable BEAST, I kid you not!


Grey Flannel (launched: 1975)
This cologne reminds me of the 70's, when I first moved to New York City and attended acting school.
What I loved about this fragrance is that if grey flannel actually had a aroma, I felt that this is what it would smell like -- cozy, warm, and spicy.

*I have to say, Grey Flannel is one of the rare colognes I used to wear, that I still think smells great. It's timeless and classic. 




And lastly...Hai-Karate (launched: 1967)

All the men in my family wore this cologne when it first came out because it was the rage in the 60's.
Hai-Karate smelled like lemon and lime mixed together with oriental spices.
Yet when I smell it now, it just smells....CHEAP and CORNY.

Here's the commercial that ran on television, back in the 60's...



Have a grrrrreat smelling week, everyone!
 X

30 comments

  1. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comSeptember 03, 2018

    Ah yes - Old Spice - reminds me of my dad! And at school and university, all the boys wore the awful smelling Brut!

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  2. Valerie DaggattSeptember 04, 2018

    Old Spice was a permanent fixture in Joe's cabinet and nothing would induce him to try another fragrance. I can hear him now saying, gruffly, 'why buy something I end up not liking'. There was no arguing with the man. He had gifts from family members but they just sat on the shelf, unopened and unloved. I guess I'm the same. Although I have tried other perfumes I still insist that Guerlain vol de nuit is favourite. Joe bought it for me every Christmas.... and now I am hanging on to the tail end of the last purchase.

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  3. Ron, I love your "grooming" posts, especially the ones mixed with tongue-in-cheek reviews! You know, my late dad never wore men's cologne. Never. We'd buy bottles for him for birthdays and Christmas, but they'd remain unopened in his closet. After a while, we found other gifts he'd appreciate more.


    I'm like you, in that I never think of myself as "dressed" until I've spritzed perfume on! And yes, fragrance is a very personal thing. The aroma of baking chocolate chip cookies, for instance, evokes memories of home, as does the tangy smell of a pot of cooking spaghetti sauce!



    I love your brief foray into some of the popular men's scents from the past, and yes, I remember many of them. Not for me, mind you, but for guys I knew or dated who wore them. And even today, I can catch a whiff of something that reminds me of somebody from long ago. How cool is that? I tell you, this Internet would be superior if anybody ever could figure out how to send scents over it, ha!


    Happy week to you, my friend! xo

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  4. Oh my God, Ron, what a blast from the past! My oldest brother Jim was a huge cologne guy back in the day. I remember that he had English Leather, Canoe, and Brut to name a few. (What's up with the guy with the eyepatch?!?)

    He had one brand that actually looked like a liquor bottle and he told me that one of his friends took a swig of it without reading the label. Boy, was she surprised!

    My dad, of course, was an Old Spice man, of course. And I remember that awful smell of Hai Karate and the ridiculous commercial! (Do they still make that stuff?!?)

    Thanks so much for the olfactory nostalgia tour, buddy! It was quite a ride!

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  5. LOVE this post! I was a NUT for men's cologne back in the 80's. I don't know if it put my hormones in overdrive or what, because I still associate men's cologne with sex! ๐Ÿ˜‚ But I suppose that's what the advertising did to us, right? My friend and I used to get samples of men's cologne at the mall and wear it.

    I remember all of the colognes in the photos except canoe. I think my dad wore Brut or Avon brands my mom bought him. My spouse wore Lagerfeld for years, but I think it became hard to find. Right now, he's using a Tommy Bahama sampler pack I bought him for Xmas.

    You are so right about how our tastes change. I used to wear Beautiful and now I HATE that smell. I've been on a CK One kick for a few years now and love it. Fun post, Ron. Have a super week! XO

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  6. Ron, I had no idea that your work involved the grooming industry. Wow, you are one interesting guy who's worn many different career hats. You could write a book!

    I laughed at so many parts of this post, you are hilarious! I love fragrance too. And it's funny that you worked for Bulgari because I used to wear one of their fragrances, BLV, which they no longer make. I got so many compliments anytime I wore it.

    Loved the video LOL!

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  7. Oh Ron, I LOVE THIS POST!!! " I don't feel completely dressed unless I spritz on my favorite scent. I wear a fragrance every single day, regardless of whether I'm working or have the day off. And I wear it not only for the aroma, but also for the feeling it gives me. Fragrance is all about how it makes you feel." That's exactly how I feel about wearing my perfume. I wear it every day. And I even carry a roller ball size of it in my purse so that I can touch up during the day. I switch off my fragrance according to the season. Right now I'm wearing the original Chloe because it's not too heavy, but still contains my favorite notes.

    I laughed out loud at my desk this morning when I read about what the nuns said to you in Catholic school. And the part about your girlfriend you took to the prom. Dear god you are so damn funny!

    I used to have a boyfriend who wore the most horrible cologne. One day when we were shopping in the mall, I took him over to the men's fragrance section and picked him out a new one. I mean, if I have to smell him, I want to like what he's wearing, right? We both liked one of the scents from Burberry. Now whenever I smell it, I think of him. :(

    Great post, Ron!

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  8. Hey there Fiona!

    HA! Yup...I think everyone has that same memory; especially if you grew up in the 60's. Old Spice was on every father's dresser.

    I cannot BELIEVE that I used to wear BRUT. And not only did I wear it, I BATHED in it - HA!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing the cologne memories, my friend. Have a fantastic week!
    X

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  9. Hello there Valerie!

    "Old Spice was a permanent fixture in Joe's cabinet and nothing would induce him to try another fragrance. I can hear him now saying, gruffly, 'why buy something I end up not liking..."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG, my father was the same way! He wore that cologne until he was in in 60's, when I finally convinced him to try Jovan Musk, which he ended up loving and wore until he passed away in 1993. Like Joe, a creature of habit.

    "Although I have tried other perfumes I still insist that Guerlain vol de nuit is favourite. Joe bought it for me every Christmas...."

    OMG, I love that fragrance. It's one of my faves from Guelain! In fact, I actually worked for Guerlain twice, once in Florida, and once when I first moved back to Philly. I really like their fragrances. I used to wear, Jicky, because it was unisex.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear friend. Have a great rest of your week!

    X

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  10. "....especially the ones mixed with tongue-in-cheek reviews! "

    HAHAHAHA! I just couldn't resist this one, Debbie. I actually started to write this post last week, but was waiting to find a few other pictures before I published it.

    "...my late dad never wore men's cologne. Never. We'd buy bottles for him for birthdays and Christmas, but they'd remain unopened in his closet."

    Yes, I know, some people are like that...they just don't like (choose) to wear any kind of cologne.And there are some people who find any kind of fragrance offensive. Many people have scent allergies.

    "I'm like you, in that I never think of myself as "dressed" until I've spritzed perfume on! And yes, fragrance is a very personal thing."

    You too???? Isn't fragrance wonderful? And you're right, it's very personal because not everyone likes the same kinds of scents. I like warm, woody and earthy. Yet some people like citrus, clean and crisp.

    " And even today, I can catch a whiff of something that reminds me of somebody from long ago. How cool is that? I tell you, this Internet would be superior if anybody ever could figure out how to send scents over it, ha!"

    HA! That's a GREAT idea! And I'm actually surprise that they haven't figured out a way to do that.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and reminiscing, my friend. Happy to you too!
    X

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  11. Hey there Rob!

    OMG, my oldest brother was the same. He freaking LOVED wearing cologne and had all the latest. He even had some from Avon in which the bottles were shaped like cars and stuff.

    " (What's up with the guy with the eyepatch?!?)"

    HA! Yes, exactly. What's up with the eyepatch (and that cigar??). I mean what does that have to do with a cologne. He looks like a PIRATE!

    "He had one brand that actually looked like a liquor bottle and he told me that one of his friends took a swig of it without reading the label. Boy, was she surprised!"

    HA! That's hilarious!!!!

    And yes, they still do make Hai-Karate because I saw it on Amazon. They also have one called, Jade East.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing in the cologne nostalgia! Have a fantastic rest of your week!

    X

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  12. "I was a NUT for men's cologne back in the 80's. I don't know if it put my hormones in overdrive or what, because I still associate men's cologne with sex! ๐Ÿ˜‚"

    HAHAHAHAHA! OMG, that cracked me the hell up!!! You sound like the girl I used to date when I was a Senior in High School. She would literally turn into an ANIMAL whenever I wore Jovan Musk.

    "My friend and I used to get samples of men's cologne at the mall and wear it."

    Funny you said that because I know a TON of women who do the same thing. Many women really enjoy wearing men's cologne. In fact, I get a lot of customers who come into my store and only want to smell men's cologne for themselves.

    " My spouse wore Lagerfeld for years, but I think it became hard to find. Right now, he's using a Tommy Bahama sampler pack I bought him for Xmas."

    OMG...I wore Lagerfield too! I never word Tommy Bahama, but I do know what it smells like - fresh, clean, and tropical.

    I worked for Estee Lauder many, many years ago, so I do know how Beautiful smells. I used to use the shower gel in that fragrance because it was so clean. And yup...LOVE CK One! It's a classic that still smells GREAT!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing scents. LOVED your comment!

    Have a fab week, my friend!

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  13. Hey there Candice!

    Yes, I've been in these industry for the past THIRTY years! And do you know what? I still really enjoy it. I love my line of work and feel passionate about it.

    Throughout my life, I've had many different career, I've worn many different HATS!

    "it's funny that you worked for Bulgari because I used to wear one of their fragrances, BLV, which they no longer make. I got so many compliments anytime I wore it. When did you stop working for them?"

    OMG...I freaking LOVED BVL!!!!!! I used to wear BOTH the men's and the women's! They also came out with other variations of BLV (BLV Notte and BLV ll) but neither of them had the impact of the original. Great fragrance, wasn't it?

    I stopped working for them around 2013. They were bought by another company and the whole "feel" of the company changed. They cut my hours A LOT, so I had to look for other work.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific rest of your week!
    X

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  14. Hola Denise!

    I had a feeling you LOVED fragrance as much as I do because I know how much you LOVE cosmetics, skin care, and beauty things!

    " And I even carry a roller ball size of it in my purse so that I can touch up during the day. I switch off my fragrance according to the season. Right now I'm wearing the original Chloe because it's not too heavy, but still contains my favorite notes."

    HA! Do you know what? I too carry around either a roller ball size or a small spray size in my backpack so that I can reapply during the day. I am currently (for the summer) wearing a fragrance from TOCCA called, Giulietta. It's a woman's fragrance but smells very unisex because it's simply clean and fresh. Like how you smell after a shower. Perfect for this summer heat.

    "I mean, if I have to smell him, I want to like what he's wearing, right? We both liked one of the scents from Burberry. Now whenever I smell it, I think of him. :("

    Made me laugh out loud! I agree with you, I think a couple should choose fragrances together because they both have to like it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a fantastic rest of your week! And keep on wearing those fragrances!
    X

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  15. "In other words....it smells like BUTT." ROFLMAO! Ron, that is hysterical! So I guess what you're telling us is that it smelled like CRAP? I wonder if they still make it because I might be interesting in trying it out on my girlfriend LOL!

    My girlfriend loves anything to do with beauty products. I told you this before, our bathroom looks like a cosmetic store. She wears several different perfumes, but I only wear one, Gio from Armani. I've been wearing it forever, tried other ones, but keep going back to it because I just love it.

    GREAT post,dude! You always manage to make your posts informative, but also humorous.

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  16. She turned into an animal๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ YUP!๐Ÿฏ

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  17. Hiya Matt!

    " So I guess what you're telling us is that it smelled like CRAP? I wonder if they still make it because I might be interesting in trying it out on my girlfriend LOL!"

    Not if you don't want her to RUN away from you - HA! Truly, I can't understand WHY or HOW I could have worn English Leather because it's just so PUNGENT and horrendous. I remember one day when I got mad at my older brother about something and I took his bottle of English Leather off his dresser and threw it HARD on the floor and it smashed into a millions pieces. It literally took a whole MONTH to get rid of that odor. Come to think of it, that's probably WHY I hate that scent so much - HA!

    "but I only wear one, Gio from Armani. I've been wearing it forever, tried other ones, but keep going back to it because I just love it."

    I know Gio from Armani very well and really like the scent. I wore it at one time too. Classic scent. It's clean, fresh, and sexy.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a GREAT rest of your week!
    X

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  18. Grrrrrrrrrrowl! Yup...just like a TIGER! HA!

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  19. Ron, I LOVE the Tocca fragrances!!! I used to wear Stella! Tocca is such a beautiful fragrance line. It's Italian, right?

    By the way, did you change your blog header recently? It looks different. I really like it!

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  20. Yes, TOCCA is an Italian line of fragrances. It's such a gorgeous line. I used to blog with someone who also worn Stella. It was her favorite fragrance.

    Yup....good eye! I did change my blog header. I did it a few days ago. I love this blog template because it gives you so much freedom to change things. I was thinking of getting a whole new theme, but I really like this one so I decided to just change the header. I made it on the website, Canvas.

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  21. Oh my...what a trip down memory lane. Or maybe just "tripping" since the majority of these must be worn in an altered state of mind. I laughed at the Brut ad. Could his arm holding the bottle be at a more awkward position? Weird. I must be weird too because I've worn the same fragrance for more than twenty years. It's Alfred Sung for Women. I've tried other, more "modern" scents, but still keep coming back to this one. Can't find it in the stores anymore so it's ordered online when I need it! I always receive compliments on how I smell when I wear it so I see no need to force change! The sense of smell is such a strong psychological trigger. Perhaps much more so than sight, sound or taste. I also love essential oils and wish I had more of them, but the pure, therapeutic quality ones are a bit out of my budget right now. Now, it's almost pumpkin spice season and the aromas of Autumn will be filling the air! Yea!! Hope you're having a wonderful week.

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  22. "Or maybe just "tripping" since the majority of these must be worn in an altered state of mind."

    Bwhahahahahaha! OMG Lisa, that was so funny because it's SO true!!!! You would have to be tripping to wear these. Isn't the BRUT ad hilarious?

    " Could his arm holding the bottle be at a more awkward position? Weird."

    Bwhahahhahahaha! Yes....I thought the EXACT thing!!!! The hand position is so phallic!

    "I must be weird too because I've worn the same fragrance for more than twenty years. It's Alfred Sung for Women. I've tried other, more "modern" scents, but still keep coming back to this one. "

    Lisa I know that fragrance and think it's so beautiful, so I can understand why you keep coming back to it. It's such a classy scent, and one that's very adaptable to daytime, nighttime, or special occasions. I use to wear Alfred Sung for men.

    "The sense of smell is such a strong psychological trigger. Perhaps much more so than sight, sound or taste. "

    I totally agree, it's the strongest of all triggers.

    " I also love essential oils and wish I had more of them, but the pure, therapeutic quality ones are a bit out of my budget right now. Now, it's almost pumpkin spice season and the aromas of Autumn will be filling the air! Yea!!"

    You're right, they are VERY expensive; some of them even ridiculously priced. I used a lot of Aura Cacia which is a medium priced brand and pure. I also use the essential oils from Vitamin Shop which are pure, but also very reasonable.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your fragrance thoughts, my friend. Enjoyed your comment!

    Have a great rest of your week!
    X

    P.S.I can't WAIT for all the wonderful Autumn aromas too!

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  23. My Dad wore Old Spice, too! It takes me back. And Lord, I remember the Musk days in the late 70's. When I was in high school, Love's Baby Soft was a thing. Now I find that creepy. My very first perfume I got in 7th grade - it was a compact with four waxy perfumes in scents of fresh-cut grass, hay, and two other similar ones. Man, I loved that stuff. I wish they still made it because it was a very natural smell I really liked. In college, I had a bottle of Yves Saint Laurent's Opium and a bottle of Anaรฏs Anaรฏs. Two very different perfumes! Oh, and also I wore Chanel No. 19 for a while. And now? I have used Neutrogena Sesame Oil instead of perfume for years and years. I adore the scent of it.

    Fun post, my friend - stirred up a lot of memories!

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  24. OMG...every single one of the fragrances you mention that you've worn I know of and LOVE. Don't tell anyone this, but I also worn (for a brief time in the 70's) Love's Baby Soft because I love the scent of baby powder!! I too love the scent of fresh-cut grass and wore a fragrance YEARS ago from The Gap called, GRASS. It was faaaaaaabulous! They also made a candle with the same scent.

    Oh, and OPIUM.....LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that scent! So spicy and sexy. A good friend of mine from Florida used to wear Anais Anais, Lovely scent!

    And speaking of Chanel No. 19, I used work Chanel as a makeup artist for about 6 years and 19 was a big favorite of mine. Did you know that 19 was actually created and worn by Coco Chanel herself? She was born on August 19th, so she had that fragrance created for her and allowed it to do public once she died. But up until then, SHE was the only one who wore it. Great scent!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing you fragrance likes! How fun!

    Have a great rest of your week, my friend!
    X

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  25. Ron, isn't funny how so many of your readers said in their comments that their fathers wore Old Spice? Mine did too! Wow, I can't believe it was launched as early as 1937? And I still see it in Walgreens or CVS. My husband doesn't wear the cologne, but he does used Old Spice deodorant.

    Fragrance is such a powerful thing because it holds a lot of memories. And wearing a certain fragrance is so personal. I tend to migrate to floral's like, J'dore from Dior, Daisy and Gucci Flora. Back in my younger days I wore spicy fragrances like Obsession and Coco. Like you said, I spell those now and think, how the hell did I ever wear those because they are so strong?

    Loved the video, Ron! Brings back a lot of memories! X

    Hasn't this heat been horrible? I see that this weekend it's suppose to cool off. I am ready for Autumn!

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  26. Hey there Elaine!

    Isn't it uncanny that SO MANY of our father's wore Old Spice??? I can still remember the bottle sitting on my father's dresser, next to a box of peppermint Chicklets and a pack of Salem cigarettes. Yes, isn't is funny how you can still find it in drug stores? I still see the deodorant stick as well.

    "I tend to migrate to floral's like, J'dore from Dior, Daisy and Gucci Flora."

    I know those fragrances very well. Love Daisy by Marc Jacobs! And used to work for Chanel, so I know Coco too. Rich, spicy and dark. Loved it.

    I found that video on You Tube, isn't it hilarious?

    OMG...yesterday I thought I was going to melt on the pavement, it was SOOOOOOOOOOO hot. With the 60% humidity, they said it felt like 103 degrees, and it DID! Today is not too bad. I saw that this weekend it goes down into the 70's. THANK GOD!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantastic weekend. Stay cool!
    X

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  27. Ron, I wast thinking of you these past several days. I bet you're really enjoying the much cooler weather. Doesn't it feel wonderful after all that heat?

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  28. OMG Elaine, these past several days have been GLORIOUS! And I don't care about all the rain either. I'm just so grateful for the much cooler temps. It feels like FALL! :)

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  29. What an entertaining post, Ron! I'm not much of a fragrance wearer because I have such allergies. I can't even use scented laundry detergent because it makes me sneeze like crazy. That TV commercial was hysterical.

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  30. Hey there Daniel!

    Yes, I know MANY people who are sensitive to scents and have allergies, so they can't wearing any kind of cologne or perfume. I have a friend who has to use UNscented laundry detergent because not only does it make her sneeze, but also makes her skin break out in a rash. Anything she uses has to be unscented.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a fantastic week!
    X

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