My cologne-addicted client is becoming a giant problem. This is the sort of thing that defies the diplomacy of a salon hostess or elite hotelier.
I cannot fathom why he apparently rolls in SmellBoy(tm). (An old trainer friend of mine from my former gym, who used to gallantly and tastefully hit on me now and then when he could tell I was feeling down, explained to me that there is really only one scent of men’s cologne, and that is SmellBoy; he hoped to some day give that name to a signature line of his own, with an upscale version called “JustDoMe.”) If it were just him — despite the extra $20 he’s laid on me since the outset, and the lavish praise he heaps on my work — it would be less awkward. I’d tell him to lose the stink, he’d probably get pissed off and not come back, and someone else would book the time eventually.
But no. He comes connected to one of my oldest clients, and her daughters, one of whom dates him and referred him, and their father, divorced from mom but still close to the family, whom they treat to a session occasionally. They all pay me more than I ask. I could fill a weekend with this clan alone.
You can’t imagine how personally people take it when you tell them their perfume is making you puke. (At least, in my case – so far — it hasn’t been literal.) Someone who had been coming to me for a couple of years once showed up gaudy from a ladies’ luncheon of some sort, reeking of Macy’s perfume counter, and with my eyes crossing, I asked her as she left if she could refrain from wearing scent when she came again. “I have pretty bad allergies,” I reminded her, “and it stuffs up my head and gives me a sinus headache.” I haven’t heard from her since.
After SmellBoy left the last time I washed his sheets. They still stunk when I pulled them out of the dryer, and so did the sheets that were dried with them and the washcloths that had slipped into the load. I hung them all on the porch to air for two days, then washed them again. This morning the basket still stunk; it hit me in the face when shook the sheets out to fold them.
I’m trying vinegar in the wash water now.
His girl friend must have no nasal passages left. It’s the only explanation.