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Grooming tip №2 July 10, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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I think there was a №1 ages ago, but that one was just for the boys, whereas I think this one covers the board. Darlings, do not use lime-based or lime-scented hygiene products. If you smear yourself with lime-based or lime-scented shower gel, say, you end up smelling PRECISELY of stale sweat, which is no good to man or beast. Well, good for a no doubt very small number of folk with a BO fetish, but otherwise it’s a no-no. Give it a swerve.

That is the end of this public service announcement.



1. actualfactual - July 10, 2006

But what of us Issey Miyake fans? Please tell us that it’s lemony zitrus freshness we smell of and not some lime-tainted sweatiness…

2. actualfactual - July 10, 2006

I just wrote “zitrus” didn’t I? I am English, deep-down. Honest.

3. BiB - July 10, 2006

Flippin’ ‘eck, IAF, that was quick. I’d hardly had time to recover my composure and here you are. Well, I trust your anglo-credentials, but your German soul still comes shining through.

I’m not sure I’ve ever caught a whiff of Issey Miyake. I was instructed to buy it for a homosexual once for Christmas, but doesn’t it cost 50 quid? Think I plumped for something else instead.

In any case, a sporty, running type like you most only ever smell pleasantly of fresh sweat, which is another kettle of fish altogether.

(Have you settled back in yet? Or will we be seeing you in Berlin ere long?)

4. actualfactual - July 11, 2006

A familiar complaint, although usually only from females of my aquaintance….

If I am ever in Berlin (and to answer your later question, yes, I would love a job in Germany) I will give you a sniff, as it were. Of the fragrance, that is. I’m not sure how much it costs – I don’t have it down in my mind as being ridiculously expensive. That said, girlfriend who bought it thought La Prairie was good value for money…..

I’ve settled back in enough to have re-learned that this area isn’t for people like me. So if it’s not down t’pit it’ll either be on my bike to London or back abroad…..

5. BiB - July 11, 2006

I’m sure there’s demand in Berlin for scientific types like you (he says, on a wing and a prayer, but I like to be encouraging). Are you in Staffs? I’m sure this advice is superfluous, but, whatever you do, never move to Silverdale, the grimmest mining town/village in the world.

6. Bowleserised - July 11, 2006

Miyake = watermelon, I think.

7. chendaberry - July 11, 2006

Don’t like watermelon as a smell ever since drinking far too many obnoxious watermelon cocktails at some club a million years ago. The smell still comes back to haunt me at inappropriate moments.

Since we’re on the topic of stale sweat – not something I would have dared bring up myself, so think I should make the most of this bib-given opportunity.. I have this friend. Who is obviously lovely. Except, obviously again, for her BO problem. I met up with her for a coffee yesterday and somehow the conversation moved towards H&M clothes – yep, I have such erudite conversations, me – and then she suddenly claims that she doesn’t buy H&M t-shirts anymore, because they give you instant BO. Initially I was rather flabbergasted at her blaming the innocent t-shirts. She then went on to say that the cotton ones are the worst ones. Which made my flabber gast even more. Now this is a new one for me. Since when does cotton make you smell bad? I thought cotton (and possibly linen) is what one is meant to wear in the tropics to keep one fresh while sipping G&Ts on the veranda. Or am I being unjust? Could it in fact be the evil cotton t-shirts? Or a dastardly H&M ploy to make us all smell bad?

And yes, being English, I still haven’t managed to broach the ‘actually you smell’ topic. Am such a failure.

8. GreatSheElephant - July 11, 2006

hmm, I thought cumin was the note that produced the armpit smell. Not that I like lime, mind you – instant bathroom cleaner.

Anyhow, Bib, if I promise not to wear lime, would you like to meet for a drink on the evening of Sat 22nd July. My travel companion to Berlin has just had a better offer and has pulled out, curse her.

9. daggi - July 11, 2006

H&M clothes do smell nasty when you buy them – I haven’t noticed that they cause you to smell nasty too. Washing them first might be an idea…

But the point of this comment was to congratulate you, BiB, for the use of “№”. That’s a man with a Russian keyboard, or intimate knowledge of the “Alt + some 8-figure number” code. Do they still use that character on a regular basis?

10. leon - July 11, 2006

At a guess, I’d say the problem is caused by the fact that a) H&M t-shirts are always cut very tight under the armpit in my experience, and b) the cotton tends to be on the rough side, increasing irritation no doubt.

I recently did a count and discovered I had no less than five kinds of eau-de-toilette (don’t do aftershave; far too strong). I’m not sure what this said about me but it can’t have been good.

(They were all good ones though, I’m not talking Old Spice here).

11. BiB - July 11, 2006

Leon, it says you’re the type that gay men say, “Is he really?” about, which is usually a nice type, so fear not. Is aftershave much stronger than eau de toilette? I once got the Russian a double pack – one of each – of Eternity as a panic Stansted, on-the-way-home present and was complimented on my choice by the depressed but beautiful Polish lady serving. I’m sure I’d like Old Spice. I think Eternity is as clichédly manly as Old Spice now, isn’t it?

Daggi, fucking well-spotted. I did indeed have to switch to the Russian keyboard (shift + alt) and then do shift+3, so the Russian № is in the same place, as it were, as #. I’d started with #, but that made me feel phonily American, so plumped for the Russians instead.

GSE. Oh my god. How exciting. International blog-drinks! Yes, of course. The thing is, I’m actually meant to be at my first ever gay wedding – lesbians, actually – in Brighton – surprise, surprise – that weekend, but, after an e-mail request for my address to send the invitation to, one hasn’t come. So I’m in a moral dilemma. Can I contact them and ask if I’m invited after all? Or do I just not go? In any case, I’ll keep you posted, and, if I’m not there, then, yes, see you here.

Chen, that subject is almost impossible to broach, surely? My very first office job, when I was 18, provided a whiffy colleague, and it was the talk of the office about how to tell her to wash every now and again and to use deodorant. (The Russian and I are now into gel deodorant. Compulsory purchase on any trip to the Kingdom.) But I think it must be impossible to tell a friend that she smells, mustn’t it? Unless in a majorly roundabout way, like, say, you go swimming together and then you show her the wonderful deodorant you use afterwards and recommend she have a bit of a rub round with it herself. If she refuses and says she doesn’t go near the stuff, you could perhaps squeeze in that it’s life-changingly good and full of pheromones, or something. Has she got a boyfriend? Say you found love when M_ smelt your deodorant. (Must I delete M_?)

B., does miyake actually MEAN watermelon, or that’s just its whiff? Russian for watermelon is арбуз (arbuz) (Turkish, apparently) – god I’m enjoying all this alting and shifting – which isn’t nearly so sonorous.

12. GreatSheElephant - July 11, 2006

yes, I think you could email them to check whether they got your previous email with your address. From a purely selfish perspective though, I hope you’ve been disinvited…

Leon – five is nothing. Take a look at http://www.perfumecritic.com for a man with eaux de toilette

13. Bowleserised - July 11, 2006

Miyake smells like watermelon, sorry. My life is a rollercoaster just now, and I am becoming increasingly inarticulate.

For a man truly obsessed with parfum, you want Mr Michael Bywater, who can sniff one, tell one what one’s “base scent” is, then what perfume one should be wearing. Apparently I smell like ambergris. Which is a mystery substance that sperm whales manufacture and leave to float in the open ocean. Er…

(Chenda you need to see GSE’s kitty blog….)

14. chendaberry - July 11, 2006

B, Ambergris is also a particularly interesting homoeopathic remedy for symptoms including: easily embarrassed, blushes easily, shy in company and (I love this one) ‘erractic symptoms’, and many many more things of course. Not sure whether that fits you to be honest.. Maybe he needs to sniff some coffee to calm his nose down again.

Bib, not sure if I want to go round saying things like I found love when he smelt my deodorant. Might make people think I have zero other qualities. But nice suggestion, none the less.

15. GreatSheElephant - July 11, 2006

ooh. Have you met Michael Bywater? Pants slightly…

16. Bowleserised - July 11, 2006

GSE – Yes, I made him sniff every woman at a party. He may not like me any more as a result.

Chenda – surely it is the most expensive homeopathic treatment ever? The theory was something along the lines of: all women have one of a handful of basic scents, and that’s one of them.

17. GreatSheElephant - July 11, 2006

ooh, he’s welcome to sniff me anytime. ahem.

18. chendaberry - July 12, 2006

No. Homoeopathy = small doses. Very little needed to make bazillions of globuli.

19. Bowleserised - July 12, 2006

I know it’s small doses, but ambergris is impossibly rare. In ye olde days people who found a lump would basically be transformed into landed gentry overnight,

20. BiB - July 12, 2006

“Ambergris, ambergris,” he says, clicking his fingers and clutching at straws. I’ve got a feeling I read a story, probably on the BBC, about some Australians who found a massive lump of the stuff and thought they’d struck it rich. The thing was, they couldn’t flog the bastard as, according to the article, scents can be produced artificially now, although perhaps that’s bollocks.

21. Bowleserised - July 12, 2006

Yes, you can get the artificial stuff, but apparently it’s as nothing to the real thing. That’s the kind of thing that super rich Arab potentates order by the flacon.

22. Ed Ward - July 12, 2006

Damn, it’s WHALE VOMIT! Main reason it’s rare is there aren’t that many whales left, and those that are no longer get seasick.

Or something

23. BiB - July 12, 2006

Maybe those Australians, with the big lump of the stuff, need to be mugged then? It’s quite romantic, in a way, to have fragrant puke. We’re going to be on to that cat-poo coffee again in a sec, I can tell.

24. chendaberry - July 12, 2006

Have to confess I’m not sure where the homoepathic remedy makers get it from. Maybe they keep a whale in a tank in the back room like those poor, poor fish in Kaisers. And rock the tank to make it feel sick. Or something.

25. Bowleserised - July 12, 2006

Poor whales. Another reason to save them! I was sea sick for years as a teeenager and it was miserable.

26. BiB - July 12, 2006

Maybe that’s why they beach themselves or go to visit central London once in a while as they’re so fed up of being in the bloody water.

Are there ambergris-hunters, perhaps? People who stalk whales, waiting for them to produce. Sounds like an expensive hobby, but the product should more than meet the costs.

27. Bowleserised - July 13, 2006

More like beachcombing, I think.
Could be very nice; living in a shack and drifting round New Zealand beaches, occasionally striking it rich.

28. leon - July 13, 2006

Better still to hire, or buy, a boat and seek out the whales before inducing them to vomit, like some emetic-wielding Ahab, and then collecting the ambergris. Why wait for nature to take its course?

Yes, I can just see it now: perhaps in ten years’ time I could feature in a National Geographic article, bearded and weatherbeaten, one hand on the tiller of my craft and one on not a harpoon, but a large nozzle connected to a vat of, I dunno, Drambuie or something.

“The Whale Chunderer”, they could call me.

29. BiB - July 13, 2006

Gotta be quick, while the Russian’s in the shower and I’ve been pretending to work all along. I must have worked for a least several minutes today and yesterday.

I’m up for the beachcombing and whale-puke-enforcing. As long as I can just lie on the beach while you two do the active bit. I promise I’ll help clean up the puke, or load it into a plastic bag and take it to the pawnbroker’s. Deal?

30. Bowleserised - July 13, 2006

But how does this work with the caff?

31. BiB - July 13, 2006

Can’t we have staff to take care of the caff and just live it up on the profits?

32. marlen - October 5, 2006

Whale puke is one of my favorite fragrance notes! Thanks for mentioning my site, GreatSheElephant! I think I’m up to around 1,000 now? But it’s also a side-career for me…


33. BiB - October 5, 2006

Hello Marlen. I’ve passed on your thanks to GSE, just in case she missed them herself.

The only time I’ve come across the name Marlen before was for a Russian artist and I was assured it was a hybrid of Marx and Lenin. Was this your parents’ rationale too?

All the best from chilly Berlin.

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