04 Jun
Help, My Friend Stinks!

Awwww, yeah, it’s Guest Post Friday. Which just so happens to be our favorite day of the week because it’s when The Mouthy Housewives can hoist our problems onto the shoulders of some very cool, funny writers. Writers like today’s esteemed guestest hostest Margaret from the popular humor blog Nanny Goats and Panties. (Yes, she really does have photos of goats wearing panties.) Thank you, Miss Margaret—we’re honored to have you here today!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

Recently, a friend complimented me on my perfume and asked me what it was. It was my signature scent, but I still told her. Of course she bought a bottle and now she uses it and loves it. I’m upset because although I know that everyone’s body chemistry transforms a scent a little, it’s very distinctive and I feel like my signature has been forged. What should I do?


Smelly Stephanie


Dear Smelly Stephanie,

Oh, how I wished you’d asked me this before you went and blabbed your secret to your friend because I would have told you to lie right through your pearly whites. But now that the smelly cat is already out of the bag, you do have some options for the next course of action.

If you’re the pacifistic or conflict-avoidant type, consider another signature scent. Take a Zen-like approach and learn to unlike your current favorite perfume. Be open to a new olfactory modality.   Or, adopt a “sour grapes” attitude and tell yourself that you never liked that horrible reeking odor anyway. In either case, after you’ve eliminated the desire, cleanse your entire sensory system by running through a ginger-filled meadow. Then visit your local custom fragrance mixologist. Do not buy anything “off the shelf”. Once you’ve discovered your new signature bouquet, do not allow them to tell you what the ingredients are, but make sure they lock up the recipe in their secure and smelly vaults. This way you will never again divulge your secret scent.

If you are of a more stubborn nature and have no qualms with face-to-face confrontation, talk to your friend and explain that while you two seem to have similar tastes in the nose-pleasing arena, you considered this your special scent so when she wears it, it’s like she’s wearing the same dress to the same cocktail party as you. Perhaps by pointing out this analogy, she’ll understand and cease her egregious behavior immediately. Otherwise, this is a fantastic opportunity to punch her lights out.

If you don’t think your friend is one to listen to reason and you refuse to change your perfume, perhaps some chicanery is in order. Have male friends walk past her, say, at a party, with various indications that, P.U., she stinks. They should wave away something offensive while stifling a cough. With pinched faces, they should utter, “I say, what’s that stench?” This will probably put a stop to your traitor friend stealing your personal fragrance.

If none of the above efforts appeal to you, then sue the bajeezus out of her. Because while mimickry is the sincerest form of flattery, forgery is almost always illegal, and people should pursue their own aromatic endeavors, or pay dearly fighting about it.

And for Pete’s sake, lie the next time someone asks you what that delicious scent is. It’s not like they can come back and accuse you of misleading them, because you know, everyone’s body chemistry transforms a scent – blah, blah, blah.

Best of luck!


21 Responses to “Help, My Friend Stinks!”


Comment by Diane.

Hi Smelly! You know, change is good! Look at this betrayal as an opportunity to find a new scent and completely tranform your scent. I went shopping for a new odor recently (did you know that menopause can also change your native ‘essence’ in addition to the plethora of other curses) and it is overwhelming the choices. They even have computer based scent-finders to help you narrow down the kajillion choices. Make an afternoon of it – you might even bring along your friend!


Comment by Plano Mom.

I just love the humorous and loving way you point out when we’re being silly.


Comment by admin.

This is exactly why I try to only smell like Vicks Vapor Rub.



Comment by Karen at French Skinny.

The same thing happened to me when I was wearing…..my favorite scent. People would walk by her and say “You smell like Karen. That’s weird.” She stopped wearing it. Then I stopped wearing it because it was kind of ruined for me after that. Like my fragrance cheated on me. Dirty, cheating, smelly fragrance. I have issues.


Comment by Michelle.

Be Zen about it LOL to funny! I’d take the sour grapes road, much more fun.


Comment by Nicole.

Great advice! I love having options.


Comment by dusty earth mother.

Cannot believe this woman stole your sniff. That’s like her secretly telling your children to call her “mama’.

I’m all about taking the high road. Tell her flat out that you feel like you’ve been robbed of your identity and offer to buy her a bottle of something else. That smells like someone else.


Comment by Kari.

Tell your friend that after a few months, it starts smelling like old baby vomit which you have found people comment on (!), so that particular fragrance can get very pricey when you have to keep buying new.


Comment by Anna Lefler.

Excellent advice!

Side note: I find that when I tell people my “signature scent” is Lady Speed Stick, that pretty much puts an end to the discussion.




Comment by Di@PowderRoomGraffiti.

I think you should deposit a small ‘phffft’ of your own personal ‘musk’ every time you go near her. And then punch her lights out.


Comment by JD at I Do Things.

Soooo . . . ginger grows in a meadow, does it? Hmm.

You’ve given me the courage to find my own special perfume, even tho no one has stolen mine (because I don’t have one). I can’t wait to see if someone asks me what scent I’m wearing, because I’ll just save some steps and go straight to the punching out her lights option.


Comment by Jen.

I would have lied, in fact I would have told her some hideous perfume just for having the nerve to ask me what my signature scent was. The nerve of some people!


Comment by Kathy.

Help! I need advice too! I used a new hair care product today and my husband says he really likes the smell, then added “You should wear that instead of your perfume.” What? Like rub it all over my body?! You don’t love the perfume I’ve been wearing for 25 years? Can’t be! I love it. Everybody loves it.

I’ll be over here mumbling and rocking back and forth in a corner.


Comment by Melly.

A woman once asked me what scent I was wearing and I told her. She looked at me and said, “well, sometimes the least expensive colognes are the best smelling”.

I had paid 80.00 for that little bottle.

I just look cheap.


Comment by Peggy Sue Brister.

I didn’t know ppl’s choice of perfume was a signature scent. Was this custom mixed perfume or just a specific perfume you got from the fragrance counter at the dpeartment store? If that’s the case, there’s millions of other women wearing your signature scent as well. If I smelled someone who I thought smelled great and asked what they were wearing, I would probably go buy myself some too. SOunds kind of childish to be pissed at someone else for smelling like you.


Comment by Joanna Jenkins.

A local custom fragrance mixologist!?!?! You made that up right, because if that’s for real, I gotta get out more. I never heard of it.
Happy weekend,


Comment by Tracy.

Wow, these are some glamorous, reality show style problems! You know like they have in the “O.C.”

I like your advice, very solid, very sound but might I suggest submitting a false tip to The Consumerist that the perfume in question has excessive cadmium? That way you can blame any random bitch slaps on heavy metal poisoning.


Comment by Ann.


(is not a good baby name)

Such a funny post, Margaret.


Comment by Margaret (Nanny Goats).

I just wanted to jump in here to thank everybody who has read and commented and to thank The Mouthy Housewives for having me. This was such an honor and a treat!


Comment by HellTygr.

Wow, you people have time for a signature scent? I call it a victory when I can *find* my pit stick in my disaster of a bathroom.

Seriously, the only time I notice how someone, er, smells, is when they lather it on way too strong.


Comment by Brattus Rattus.

Seriously? A signature scent? I’m happily divorced, with no kids, and have all the time in the world to do absolutely NOTHING and I still don’t have the slightest interest in a signature scent problem. Coach Poppy (both of them) are FABULOUS. 5th Ave – that’s my “man catching” scent. Take the knowledge and go forth and make people happy and smell better.

Consider Checking Out...