I use it sparingly, I really like it. I bought it in Tesco on my last trip to the UK and I think it may be a home brand. It sits on my shower shelf in a square clear bottle with the dark gold liquid inside. The print, gold on black, tells me that it's body wash scented with Ginger, Vanillia and Pink Pepper. I think it's one of the nicest I have ever used. I love the smell as I shampoo my locks in the morning. I used it yesterday on purpose, I wanted to smell it. To remember.
Joe uses a soap that has a smell that I identify only with him. It's a clean, crisp smell that I just love. I won't let him tell anyone what he uses because that scent is his, he mine ... and I like it that way.
All this is bouncing around in my mind. Yesterday we are having the Vita Book Club meeting where 10 of us are getting together to discuss 'The Diving Bell and Butterfly" by Jean-Dominique Bauby. The book tells the story of a man felled by a stroke to his brain stem that left him, fully alive, fully aware, but left in a body without movement - he could communicate only through blinking his left eyelid. There is much in the book but I wanted to talk about the moment in the book where he, on a walk, smelled fresh french fries being cooked in a venders cart. How that smell overtook him. As I read it, I could smell it too. There was such a powerful subtext there about how, even with the most significant disability, it was possible to lead a sensual and sensuous life.
Joe picked me up at the office and we went over to Vaughn Mills Mall to the food court for lunch before heading over to the book club meeting. Right by the lunch area is a "Fruits and Passion" store that sells soaps, creams and other unguents. As I ate, I began to think of popping into the store to pick up something with an amazing scent to get those in the group to smell. So that we could really talk about what kind of powerful, wonderful, sensous things we could do to enhance the experience of those with profound disabilities.
I headed over to the store while Joe finished his lunch. He chews his food so it takes him longer. I got into the store and was approached by the store owner about help. I said I was brousing and she left me to enjoy the store. I picked up a small bottle that looked like it contained oil. I didn't have my glasses so I called over to her and asked what it was. She came and was explaining that it was a scented oil. She was beginning to tell me how it was used and I broke in to explain what I was doing.
I told her about wanting to find things, smells, sensations that might bring pleasure to those with much more significant disabilities. To enrich their lives with things that felt good or smelled good. Her eyes lit up. I further explained that I wanted to take something to a book club where we'd be talking about service to those with greater needs. "How many people will be there?" she asked. I told her 9. "How would you like it if I made up a little gift bag for each of them with a few samples of some of our products that might work - that have scents that are beautiful?"
I said I'd like it but she didn't have to do it. She spoke with a passion about her work and her store and that she wanted to ensure that everyone had access to things that gave them pleasure. She talked about how if people couldn't make it to their store because of disability, let her know, she'd deliever things to them. As she spoke, she and another clerk, worked rapidly to put 9 beautiful bags together full of all sorts of treats.
She asked about what agency I worked for and I told her that I worked as clinical manager for Vita Community Living Services and that we were always looking for ideas to enhance our care but mostly increase the quality of life of those in care. I told her that with all the needs of someone with a profound disability - I worry that some of those needs get forgotten or left behind. She talked about the importance of ensure that 'all of a person' needs be met. When she was done I had one huge bag that held the nine gift bags and my one tiny bag with the purchase of the oil I had originally come in for.
She got it.
Not only did she get that people with profound disabilities needed to have access to things that felt good and smelled better. That lives can be enriched by the smell of green apple ..
She got it about her customer base.
Finally, someone who understands each and every letter of the word ...