The first time I smelled it, I was sitting at my desk, participating in a webinar. The scent of the perfume was heavy and cloying, sitting on the air like a wet blanket, and, had it been a type of music it would have been a part of the head-banging genre.

I wanted to bang my head, too. Against the wall.

I didn’t recognize it. You know how you come to know the scents of the women in a setting you frequent. I figured that someone had a client in the office, and just when I was praying they’d shut themselves up in one of the conference rooms, the stench became stronger. And there was a voice.

This hallway is very dark. And drab. Where in the world is your office? Is it all the way at the back? If I’d known it was going to be this far, I would’ve had you come to me

And so it went. Down the corridor they went (which is neither dark nor drab), toward the agent’s office suite, for what I’m sure was an incredibly long meeting, filled with negativity and complaining, and punctuated by a certain headache. Lord have mercy, I hope they at least made a sale!

I sat there, still strangled by that horrifying smell, for the next hour. It stayed and stayed, and I realized what a perfect compliment it was to that woman’s demeanor. All of it had an oppressive effect, sort of like pinning you down beneath a heavy weight.

Later, I got in the elevator, and at one of the stops on the way down, a woman I didn’t know got on, and a very light, pleasant scent entered the elevator in tandem. There was nothing remarkable looking about the woman, but nonetheless, she was radiant. She smiled, warm and welcoming, and complimented me on my shoes. Her phone rang, and excusing herself, she answered, completely engaged in listening to who was obviously her significant other.

Oh honey, it was a great day! What? Oh, no, I didn’t get that account. Yeah, I was disappointed, but now I’ll be able to really focus on getting the others finished, and I won’t be staying as late anymore. More time for us! And I was asked to be in on the Jackson account, which is huge! Now tell me about your day…

As we exited the elevator at the parking garage, she actually stopped and put her man on hold for a second, turned back to me and told me to have a wonderful evening. Then she turned the opposite way from me, but that pleasant aroma lingered on; it, too, a perfect match to its wearer.

Really, with or without perfume, we leave a scent behind. Our words and actions can fill a room with eye-watering, nostril-burning, putridness, or leave a pleasant sweetness on the air. Something to think about today, and everyday.

And while we’re concentrating on leaving some kindness and positivity in our wake, perhaps we should look for a perfume that compliments it, too. A subdued version, please…for the sake of all mankind.



“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 ESV

Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.” 2 Corinthians 2:15 MSG