Friday, August 1, 2008

Summertime in the City, and It Stinks

It's August 1st, and did you notice the accompanying odor? The smells coming out of my G train stop have to be akin to whatever it is that keeps hell so notoriously putrid. Fire and brimstone? Maybe, if you add the lovely stench of raw sewage.

In order to not pass out or gag on the platform (especially when a train came from the opposite direction, pushing all those rank aromas forward and blowing it through my hair, ewww), I grabbed a scarf I'd thrown into my bag and covered my mouth. Thank god it smelled like my perfume; I inhaled deeply and survived my odorific commute.

This reminded me of a good 'ol medieval plague accessory: perfume scented handkerchiefs. Used to cover up the stench of death and thought to ward off infection, handkerchiefs, scented with perfumes and aromatic remedies, were held to the mouth and nose as one traveled round the city.







For a modern take on a medieval remedy, try a guy's store like Men's Wearhouse, where you can find inexpensive & colorful silk pocket squares ($6.99, above). They also have a set of plain, cotton hankies for the traditional (13 for $14.99). Spray away and tuck one in your bag. It will also come in handy at busy intersections when you've got to weave your way around buses, trucks and taxicabs and don't feel like inhaling all of the ensuing exhaust.* Ah, city living.

*Do I care if I look crazy? People, it's a CESSPOOL out there. Only the creative will survive. Besides, it'll come in handy for any future public bouts of weeping. I'll look so much more pitiably chic as I wipe away tears with my elegant hankie.

Men's Wearhouse, Empire State Building, 34th btwn 5th & 6th

13 comments :

WendyB said...

The smell of NYC in the summer - you can't beat it. Seriously, you can try beating it with a stick, but you just can't kill it. Like the roaches.

Sharon Rose said...

Wow-if I had that problem on a daily basis I'd use this excellent idea!! What a shame to put up with that in the summer-ewww!!

Kira Fashion said...

really cool!!

a kiss

have a nice time friend!

ButterflyDiary said...

What a terrific idea! Now I feel I can brave the putrid summers...

Lipstick said...

Well that Men Warehouse handkerchief idea is just too cool. Remember about 10 years ago when everyone was tying little scarves around their necks? I miss that-It was so easy to accessorize.

enc said...

WendyB and Mr.OM and I rode in a STENCHIFIED cab one time. Lucky for Mr.OM and me, we got out. WendyB had to stay in the cab to go uptown. It was heinous, she barely survived. She could have used one of these.

Caroline said...

I'm living in Italy for my summer and lets just say the italian garbage system isn't so reliable. not to mention I take the bus everyday and its usually packed with sweaty gross people. ewww

Cammila said...

Yes, hankies! My allergies have had my eyes watering pathetically all the time -- why didn't I think to pick up some pretty hankies? Thank you! Genius!

fashion herald said...

wendy - you describe it very well.
lipstick - do it again, cute!
enc - very seinfeld, and you're embarrassed to say stop the cab, you stink! or you were lucky to finally get a cab.
caroline - ew, it's the worst when there's no garbage pickup!
cammila - hate the allergies, I'm can relate.
sharon - thanks for the sympathy!
bd & kira - thanks, I'm all about a hankie!

gilda said...

omg yes it is SO smelly i hate it. it's a mix of so many odors... pee, rats, dead rats, i don't know. but yes i kinda have a hanky in my bag too!!! hahahah!

INSPIRE THE STARLING said...

I know what you mean - the tube here in london is sickening. You get on and a heatwave attacks you...you climb on and then notice everything around you is dripping with sweat, not to mention the HORRID stink. The worst hour in my life every day.

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Anonymous said...

Nice!