An Open Letter to the Young, Perfumed Guy Seated Next To Us

Dear young man seated next to us at Three Seventy Common last night:

You stink.

That's not an assassination of your character; it's a literal assessment of your fragrance. You were bathed in body spray, the kind you can buy on the shelf at any grocery store or drugstore in the United States, swimming in it to the point where the air above you was probably flammable. It was a truly God-awful reek in such a small, confined space.

You looked like a young guy; you had papers in front of you and
weren't paying attention to the “Uncommon Mondays” guest chef's menu,
which makes me think you were either interviewing for something or
working. God only knows what impression you made on the older gentleman
sitting with you.

Every time you raised your arms to gesticulate,
you sent acrid shock waves of cheap scent ricocheting around the room.
Suddenly, the outstanding sea urchin risotto with black cod, roasted
grapes and mushrooms was overlaid with the humming buzz of mass-market
perfume; the meat course that followed tasted hollow, because our senses
of smell were fatigued from your continued olfactory assault. You even
managed to ruin my martini.

There wasn't any way to escape it,
either; Eric Greenspan is a popular chef, and the restaurant was full.
We were doomed to sit next to you through six courses while you
obliviously pointed your armpit-delivered chemical weaponry at us. Rather
than lingering and talking over coffee or a digestif, the four of us fled into the
Laguna Beach night, desperate for fresh air tinged only with the salty tang
of the ocean.

You need to learn that cologne is the new cigarette
smoke; that you can smell attractive by washing with scented soap; that
the way to apply cologne is, in the words of Carson Kressley, “spray,
delay, and walk away.” In other words, spray the cologne once into your
hallway at home, then walk through the mist.

You, sir, are an Axe-hole.

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