Funny how scents can affect us. They conjure up memories, good or bad, tempt our palate, and distinguish us from others. I remember when I was a child my father smelled lightly of nicotine (he smoked then) and Old Spice aftershave. It was familiar and comfortable and very much ‘him’.

Nowadays most establishments ban use of any scents; perfumes, aftershave, because too many in society are ‘sensitive’ to them. Actually, it’s not the scents they can’t handle, it’s the polluted air we live in daily that compromises respiration. Scents don’t cause it, they just aggravate an already damaged respiratory condition caused by existing bad air quality, which is too bad because there are some lovely fragrances in life to enjoy.

There’s nothing like that damp, mossy smell that heralds the arrival of spring, or the clean crisp, cool air that comes with the fall and winter. And nothing wets the appetite like the slow roasted turkey that permeates the whole house – you can almost taste it in the air.

Not all scents are pleasing; car exhaust, garbage, paint, but most can tolerate these in small doses. Sadly for some these scents spark issues. My husband is asthmatic and very sensitive to strong scents, the kind I’m oblivious to, so I don’t always understand his reaction. I put on nail polish and he asks “did you put on perfume?” (Cause my perfume smells like nail polish? Here let me dab a little nail polish remover behind my ears,,,I’m feeling frisky)  

He also struggled to breathe for the 15 years we had a dog. He was supposed to be a hypoallergenic breed (if there even is such a thing) but my husband struggled just the same. Interestingly, the dog stayed by him whenever he was home even though it was the kids and I that walked, fed and played with him (the dog, not my husband) My husband was the only person who couldn’t handle the dogs presence and it seemed like the dog purposely trailed him. (my husband kept threatening to euthanize him…..maybe he understood and applied his own revenge?)

I guess it’s easy to take the air we breathe for granted. It’s free (until someone figures out how to harness it for sale) and invisible, so why think about it…..until it’s gone. I wonder if we’ll see the day we have to buy air? It’s not so farfetched. Who ever thought we’d be buying drinking water?  71% of the world is water yet most of our freshwater resources are either unreachable or too polluted, leaving less than 1% (about 0.003% of all the water on Earth) available for human use. It’s only a matter of time.

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