Bonnie Henry: Life with a semifunctional proboscis is no bed of roses

2013-03-24T00:00:00Z Bonnie Henry: Life with a semifunctional proboscis is no bed of rosesBonnie Henry Special to The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

I'm a drip. So are you, and you, and all you multitudes of miserable souls who dare not stop to smell the roses, lest your nasal passages begin to hydrate in some socially unacceptable way.

Early on, I learned to live with my allergies. For decades I mainlined, initially taking shots as often as three times a week. A few years ago it all ended when my immunity seemed to increase at just about the same time as my insurance coverage began to decrease.

Funny how that works.

Actually, the doctor may have been right. I no longer suffer the way I did as a child, when a wadded-up Kleenex was my constant companion and everyone thought I pronounced my name "Boddy." On the other hand, I've also mastered a few tricks along the ol' primrose - if somewhat-unscented - path.

I either hold my breath or breathe through my mouth whenever I'm forced to elbow my way through the gantlet of perfume aisles at the department stores.

(Granted, this is harder to do in an elevator filled with perfume wearers who may mistake your heavy breathing as more than just a survival technique. My advice: Wait for another elevator.)

I try to buy detergents and household cleaners that are unscented. For those products that absolutely insist on some sort of odor, I lean toward lemon. Try as I might, I have yet to find any cleanser that even remotely smells like a forest.

I seek out the all-important "unscented" label for every lotion, ointment, cosmetic and hair spray I buy. It's been years since my skin has felt the slightest flick of cologne.

This is not to say I don't enjoy certain aromas: creosote after a rain, coffee brewing, cinnamon rolls baking - all olfactory delights enjoyed in their natural settings - until now.

For it seems that American moviegoers could soon be noticing more than the smells of fresh popcorn and sticky soda spills inside our theaters. According to a recent Time magazine article, South Korea's CJ Group plans to deploy close to 1,000 odors to match the onscreen action at four U.S. locations by the end of this year. Bear in mind, this is light years away from the 1960 Smell-O-Vision flop, "Scent of Mystery."

Like car chases? With this new technology, your nostrils can enjoy the full scent of burning rubber as much as your eyeballs enjoy the action up on the screen. Or let's say it's some romantic comedy. When Brad Pitt enters the room, will the Chanel No. 5 he recently hawked waft in behind him?

With 1,000 odors, I can think of even more extreme pungencies. See those prisoners up on the big screen working on the chain gang? Lift that pickax. Smell that sweat. Or worse.

How about a little blood and gore? If you can't stand the sight of blood, wait until you smell it, up close and personal. Or how about those scenes of rotting garbage, or what may lie beneath?

Ah, yes. Nothing like the smell of a moldering corpse to set the mood for a dinner-and-a-movie date night, I always say.

Turns out, we may not be safe from all this even in our own homes. According to that same Time article, a college professor in California is working on a television accessory that could emit thousands of scents to coincide with what's happening on the flat-screen TV - including, of course, those ubiquitous perfume commercials.

Even I can't hold my breath that long.

Bonnie Henry's column runs every other Sunday Contact her at Bonniehenryaz@gmailcom

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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