My teenaged daughter recently asked if I wanted to go to the mall with her. I don’t like going to the mall, but it was my daughter doing the asking, so I went.

In the middle of the main courtyard were several working dogs and their handlers. The dogs appeared to be practicing how to deal with kids who want to pet them, and also how to sniff out drugs and/or explosives in a crowded place.

One of the dogs was stationed outside Bath & Body Works. This seemed especially cruel. The combination of smells coming out of Bath & Body Works was confusing even to me.

I don’t like scented things. I have stocked the house with unscented soaps and unscented lotions and unscented laundry detergents. My husband calls me an “odorist.” Partly this is a survival mechanism, because artificial fragrances will sometimes make me break out in hives.

After my teenaged daughter and I got tired of watching the working dogs, she asked if I wanted to go into Bath & Body Works. Since it was my daughter doing the asking, I said yes.

Oh my. Candles, lotions, soaps, home air fresheners, car air fresheners, even scented hand sanitizers. (Like the smell of rubbing alcohol isn’t nice enough.) And in such a wide array of fragrances!

Bow Ties and Bourbon: I may not know what a bow tie smells like, but I do know my bourbon. This did not smell like bourbon. It smelled like cheap imitation butterscotch.

Endless Weekend: Otherwise known as “Gin-Soaked Nights.”

Midnight Blue Citrus: Is it the midnight that’s blue, or the citrus? Because I don’t want to smell a blue lemon.

Country Chic: Mmmmmmm, smells like a rustic barn.

Sensual Amber: Like the stuff that contains fossilized bugs?

Salted Oak Bonfire: If we’re salting pieces of wood, the “salted” craze has gone too far.

Pink Apple Punch: Why “punch”? Why not just “pink apple” … or, I don’t know, “apple”?

Copper Coconut: These two words together make my head hurt.

Twilight Woods: Smells like fear and vampires.

Velvet Sugar: Velvet is smooth. Sugar is rough. The only trait these two things have in common is that NEITHER OF THEM HAS A SCENT.

At the Beach: Smells like Coppertone.

Coconut Lime Breeze: Smells like Coppertone.

Tahiti Island Dream: Smells like Coppertone.

Fiji White Sands: Smells like Coppertone.

Sea Island Cotton: Smells like Coppertone.

Pink Cashmere: Since I had circled the whole store sniffing and sampling, I felt I should buy something, so I bought something from the Pink Cashmere line. Even though “pink” is a color, not a scent, and cashmere is a kind of wool.

I just bought a lotion that promises to make me smell like a goat.

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.