It’s Just Common Scents

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - January 02, 2008
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As a general rule of mine during Christmas at the office, I don’t give individual presents to the people I work with. First of all, I would have to give out at least a couple hundred gifts as I like everybody and, second, I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to get me a gift.

As much as I make sure people know this, I still receive Christmas presents from employees. I guess it’s the thought that counts, after all, and the people I work with are nice and into the spirit of Christmas. Most of the gifts I get are homemade baked treats and stuff to eat, which is great.

I pretty much leave everything wrapped and then take them home with me when I leave work on Christmas Eve. That way, I have a few presents under the tree that I can unwrap on Christmas morning with the family. My wife knows the gifts are from the office, so her focus is on our kids.

That was until I unwrapped gifts from my assistant and also our receptionist, both of whom are women. Each of them had given me nice bottles of cologne. One was Black by Ralph Lauren Polo and the other was Chanel Allure. I suddenly had the undivided attention of my wife.

“Who is that from?” she asked. I had just gone from present unwrapping obscurity to heat-searing focus. My reply was casual, perhaps too casual, “Oh, just some coworkers.”

Now, I think fragrance can be a very personal and intimate thing. I’ve been wearing the same cologne, Gray Flannel, from the first date with my wife some 24 years ago. That’s become my scent and she has bought it for me ever since.

“No, who is that from?” she asked again with emphasis on a straight answer. When I told her, she then seemed OK with it, even remarking, “That’s so thoughtful of them.” I was about to crack open the bottles of cologne when she continued talking in almost a dreamlike state.

“I love it in the morning when I can smell your Gray Flannel as you leave for work.”

I then checked my marriage-speak translation manual and confirmed that wearing a cologne from a woman other than your wife is grounds for immediate and involuntary celibacy.

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