Detoxification: Eight Days In And Smelling Fine


One of the ways that I knew my ex and I probably shouldn’t be together is that he didn’t smell good to me. And from his comments when I’d come home sweaty from a run, I didn’t smell too hot to him, either. For a long time I just chalked it up to being a stinky person, and I made sure to bathe a couple of times a day so I wouldn’t offend him too much. Then something strange happened. Once we broke up, and I started hanging out with my now-boyfriend, I started realizing how much I loved my new guy’s scent! Even better, one day, before I’d become bold enough to say something so weird to him like “Your sweat smells like happiness!” he grabbed me and gave my sweaty body a long, contented sniff. Behold – a relationship between two genetically compatible people! I’d tell you guys not to tell him I said that, but he reads this, so guess the cat’s out of the bag.

I’m giving you that background so you’ll know how important scent has been to me. It was a source of great insecurity for a very long time – most of the way through high school (oh, the days of Love’s Fresh Lemon and CK Truth), forgotten once I got to college and found independence, and then again when the ex started telling me that I was stinky on a regular basis. So probably about a third of my life. Which is complete and utter bullshit. But anyway. Don’t get me wrong – I still wear perfumes and scents when I feel like it. But there’s a difference between accenting your natural aroma and trying to suppress it.

A couple of months ago, I noticed that my scent had changed somewhat. I smelled different when I sweated. Nothing bad, and nothing that hinted at illness or an imbalanced flora. (Ladies, if you’ve ever had vaginitis or a yeast infection, you’ll know what I mean.) Just different. I didn’t like it. It was stronger than I was comfortable with, and it made me uncomfortable as I walked down the street in sweaty gym gear, or entered a crowded bus after wearing the same outfit all day. All the same, even though I knew the smell was overpowering for me, I was pretty sure that no one else was really registering it as distasteful. We’re so much more conscious of our body’s unique scents than others are, and I tried to keep myself from being too anxious and self-conscious. However, my natural state is medium alert, so telling myself to calm down isn’t that useful most of the time.

It’s eight days into my detox. I haven’t had coffee or alcohol in eight days, or wheat, meat, or dairy in seven. And this afternoon, after a particularly sweaty day, I noticed something strange. My scent has changed again. I was used to an acrid, sweet n’ sour overtone, and it’s gone. In fact, my gym clothes barely had a scent at all to me, even though they were sweated through. I’m not sure if this means that my smell went back to what it used to be, or if it’s something completely new, but it’s an interesting development. I’m going to have to get a smell-tester in here to confirm that I’m not making this up. Hope he still thinks I smell good, now that I’m getting healthy.

Other than that, all is well. I’m not having any major cravings, and my headaches have stopped, but I am still pretty tired by the time 4pm rolls around, and I need a nap every afternoon to power up for my nights. I need to be eating more, I guess, but I feel like I’m stuffing myself silly with food every day. My mental state seems to be a bit less scattered, and I’m going to sleep and waking up much more easily now. That’s good, because I’ve got so much work to do. Speaking of, I’ve got to get going. Wish me luck!

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