Personal hygiene aside, my mom died young from a disease exacerbated and complicated by smoking, so I come to my tobacco aversion honestly. I can’t stop someone from smoking, but when I smell it, it triggers an immediate and organic disgust.
That’s how I came to be repulsed by the smell of a client. A nice enough man, he sat at my conference table reeking of Eau d ’Marlboro. I was grateful that he was just in my office for a few minutes to drop off papers. When he left, I opened the window and took big gulps of icy air.
However, the stink stayed despite the influx of new air. Maybe it was the fabric-covered chair he sat on? Sniffing that didn’t pinpoint the pong, and my smoke-free environment was as rank as one of Mom’s ashtrays in late afternoon. Bleeecch again!
Eyes watering, I sat at my desk to prepare this seller’s contracts. I opened the folder he left behind and was wiped out by the first whiff. Every paper he brought me proclaimed its long-term proximity to cigarettes.
I pulled out a two-gallon plastic zip bag and sealed the papers inside, adding a few drops of aromatic oil. Leaving it sealed for a few days did the trick, mostly. Without the aromatherapy, I’d never have made it through the three months of Mr. Tobacco’s transaction.
I’m thinking that it’s no coincidence that smoke and choke rhyme.