Did I Say That? Ooooh, that smell!

I’ve never dated a woman who had BO, and I’ve never been married to a woman who had BO, so I’ve probably missed out on something big.

BO, according to groundbreaking research by the University of British Columbia, is healthy for a relationship and can reduce your stress level.             

“Smelling a partner’s scent can help you deal with anxiety and tension,” the study said. (Of course, “scent” is nothing more than a politically correct term for “odor” and “stink.”)

I read about this research in my favorite scientific journal, the New York Post, and any New Yorker will tell you that if it’s in the Post, it must be true.

In fact, they could have conducted this study in New York City, where body odor permeating the MTA subway system is as thick as LA smog. More than once, I’ve been squished between two strap-hangers while an ungodly stench ventilated from their underarms.

The story said, “Stress levels dropped in women who smelled their partner’s shirt during a stress test, but rose in women who smelled a stranger’s shirt.” (You’ve heard of fake news? This sounds like fake science.)

After I work out, my gym clothes emit a pungent aroma, which could be more effective than a stiff dose of Valium. I’ll have to stash them under my wife’s pillow to see if it works.

The lead author of the study, Marlise Hofer, said many people even sleep on their partner’s side of the bed when they’re away or wear their shirts.

My wife’s blouses don’t fit me, so I can’t try that, although I sleep on her side of the bed whenever possible because the mattress is firmer.

There are stories of separated couples who send items of clothing to comfort each other, and babies in nurseries who are given something from their mothers to calm them. When we got our puppy, she cried every night until we put a towel with her mother’s scent in the bed. Dogs love smelling things, and their greatest pleasure is roaming the streets, sniffing where other dogs peed. I suppose we could learn a lot from them. A little sweat, a little body odor, and we’re on the path to Nirvana.

“A partner’s scent alone, even without their physical presence, can be a powerful tool to help reduce stress,” Hofer concluded. To test this theory, I got rid of the air freshener in my wife’s car and hung my gym socks from the mirror, but she got really stressed out when she saw what I’d done. No good deed goes unpunished.

Of course, this research assumes your partner is someone who calms you down. What if he drives you crazy? I shouldn’t admit this, but my wife has a variety of scents that I find stressful. Here’s an exchange we had on the way to a party:

Me: “Are you wearing perfume?”

Her: “No!” Said begrudgingly, as if I’ve denied her a God-given constitutionally guaranteed right. I have to beg her not to wear perfume because it makes me cough, sneeze, wheeze, and sniffle.

Me: “Then what do I smell?”

Her: “Hand cream. I can’t wear hand cream?”

I’d never deny a woman unlimited free access to hand cream, even though hand cream and body lotion are as toxic as Chanel No. 5 to me. Quite honestly, I’d prefer a partner with cracked hands and dry legs who smells like a canister of oxygen, but after reading this latest research, I may have to change.

The good news is that smelly clothes could be better than medication in reducing stress — and cheaper. No co-pay required. Big Pharma is probably already pillaging collection bins for sweaters, gym shorts, baseball caps, T-shirts, socks, and underwear to use in the war against high blood pressure, tension and anxiety.

So in the entrepreneurial spirit of the Trump administration, I intend to make some money off our clothes hamper, which can be as overpowering as potpourri from Yankee Candle and as pungent as the locker room at Planet Fitness … and more relaxing than hot yoga when it comes to reducing stress. To make America great again, I’d be willing to lease you a piece of clothing of your choice … for a small user’s fee.

Joe Pisani can be reached at [email protected]

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