I have no idea what Denmark smells like

There once was a time when I considered myself to have a pretty decent sense of smell. I attributed this to my somewhat-but-not-ridiculously-larger-than-normal nose. I didn't claim to be some sort of bloodhound, using my heightened olfactory abilities to hunt down evild'rs and the like. But I did think that my smeller was at least as good as everyone elses. Recent events however have me questioning my "smellf confidence" tho. It started when the GF and I attended a wine tasting sponsored by the business school. She was phenomenal at identifying very subtle nuances of smells, rattling off words like “fruity”, “dusty”, and “woodsy” that were perfectly appropriate to the wine we were trying out. I, on the other hand, found myself completely overwhelmed and with a single exception (where both the GF and I said one wine smelled like bacon) I could really only identify the smell of wine. This was a little disappointing, but I chalked it up to the GF somehow having a better “nose” for wine due to growing up in Southern California, what with the close proximity to the vineyards than I had growing up in North Dakota and Minnesota where we have no real wine industry to speak of.

But last week she also told me that there was a weird “mildewy” smell emanating from my bathroom. This was news because I had never smelled anything mildewy in my bathroom before. In my paranoid state, I theorized that perhaps mildew spores from my bathroom had overcome my olfactory receptors, or worse, had persuaded them to join the other side. Now my nose was being fed misinformation by the traitorous agents of evil residing in my sinus cavities! And where would it end? I mean if the mildew receptors could be so easily won over, what about the others? Would the smoke receptors switch sides and tell me that the smell of my condo burning down around me was the scent of fresh cut grass? Would I wear dirty clothes to the gym, thinking that the rancid boy-yuk smell emanating from them was actually the smell of laundry fresh from the dryer?

In any case, I’ve now declared war on whatever is causing the smell in the bathroom. I’ve tried several things in an effort to fix the problem, but it hasn’t worked yet. I’ve replaced the towels and the bath mat, and yesterday I ran the shower curtain through the washer twice because the GF could still smell the smell. If that doesn’t fix it I’m going to have to start tearing out the tub or replacing drywall. But it’s okay, I have a DIY book from Home Depot so I’ll figure it out.


Theo said…
In some bathrooms with poor insulation and poor ventilation, mildew will grow on the walls (and sometimes inside the walls). It can be a mess.

On a lighter note, for a long time I've had this tremendous fear of getting used to an awful smell and not ever noticing it. I don't even realize, but I overcompensate for it all the time. Eventually I spend a little more time than usual way from my apartment and come back in to find that the plug-ins or disposal cleaners or whatever else have joined together to suffocate me with the "berry death." And rather than thinking that this is an indication that I've overcompensated for a silly fear, it makes me just realize that I had been living with "the death" for that long without noticing it... and it makes me more paranoid.

I've never had comments about me smelling or my apartment smelling. Just for some reason smell is important to me... I'm not envious of other people's olfactory senses. I just constantly have this feeling of "smell impotence" that I think someday somehow is going to kill me...
J.Po said…
No wine industry in North Dakota and Minnesota?? Nooooo!!!

As for mildew, it sounds to me like you need some sunlight in that thar bathroom of yours. Do you have any window access? Perhaps simulated sun would do - one of those lamps designed for people with seasonal affective disorder. If that doesn't work, I recommend rubbing lemons all over the bathroom. All that acid is bound to kill mold while creating a fresh aroma of lemonade, the fun summer drink.
J.Bro said…
I don't know where I read/heard/was told this, but when I was a kid, I remember learning how to trick your body into forgetting that it had gotten used to a smell. You had to hold your breath, close your eyes, and tell yourself, "I want to smell what the monkey house REALLY smells like!" I still do it.