“You smell French”

No kidding. This is really what a prospect told me last time.

I asked him if it was positive and he said: “Yes, I think so.”

Since then I have been on a quest: I have smelled as many French people as I could in Singapore. Believe me, sometimes it gets awkward and my explanations ain’t so convincing. But it’s all on behalf of science – or personal curiosity, which is more or less the same when you think about it.

I have no conclusion to give. Yet. I am not sure what we French smell in particular and if it’s so different from what others’ scent. Of course, due to what we eat, there are people that you can definitely assign to a culture or another. For example, the spices in the air of Little India are all around and with the looks of the buildings and the saris of the ladies, this part of Singapore seems to be in its own space and time. Magical.

However I am not quite sure about what French people eat that would make them so recognizable for the nose… but why not? It is vain (here again, I am being vain. Seriously…) but nice to think that you are part of something small, recognizable and positively different. Also, carrying a bit of your home culture even after so long abroad – and in spite of not recognizing yourself in the culture sometimes…

“You smell French” was a odd and funny thing to say. He probably thought me tired of hearing that I sound French (and I swear I work hard on my accent because it is so annoying to repeat every word containing the sounds h or i and i:). And he tried to find something new. Well that worked.

“You smell French”
“Is that so? Is it positive?”
“Yes… yes, I think so. I am Polish you know… I have lived six years in France – in Bordeaux.”
“Ah. I am from…”
“Yeah Paris, of course. I see that.”
“Is that so? Is it good?”
“Neutral. You make me go back to France. I love France.”
“So… you’ll give me money?”

I guess I look French. I smell Hot Couture or Cartier sometimes. Or cinnamon....

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