I realized recently that I probably smell like an old maid. There are several likely reasons for this. In the morning, I take two showers: one with water and a mild boring soap (nothing too overwhelming before 7:00, I always say), and a second one with Gold Bond Medicated Powder. This is intended to keep me fresh throughout the day, or until it hits 90 degrees. The latter usually beats the former by a long ways, but at least when I start to sweat in earnest, I tingle a little. I also give off, I imagine, little puffs of Palmolive and menthol.
I smell like an old maid in the evenings because that’s when I take my second first shower, and that’s when I break out the really exciting substances: lavender or sometimes (on special occasions) Summer Hill shower gel, for instance. I use these because they came in sweet little boxes in the mail from my mother, and they smell pretty and are said to be calming, and besides, they were free. Then it’s time for the second second shower, this one with lily-of-the-valley powder that came with its own puff, from my godmother.
I scrub and rinse and dust myself with these things because they make me feel like a lady for a few minutes, albeit a little old one. And because in between showers, I suspect, I mostly just smell.