Things you should never do

1/24/2015 02:29:00 pm

When I first started wearing Chanel perfume (after some serious soul searching, followed by the realisation that it really can't be had cheaper online) I got caught out a few times because of how strong it is. In the confines of public transport, there was just too much sillage. I would try not to move too much in the hope that the cloud would settle around me, but I knew people were judging.

By the way, I never knew until now that it is pronounced see-yazh... not sill-age. Embarrassing.

In honour of my faux pas, and in addition to the seven things you're not supposed to talk about, here is a timely reminder of some other things that you should never do, especially on public transport in summer:

  1. You should never wear Clinique Aromatics Elixir or Marc Jacobs Daisy.

    Aromatics Elixir smells like an old lady who has been rolled in old-lady-perfume and mothballs for a decade. Per Fragrantica (authoritative source), its longevity is "very long lasting" and sillage is "enormous", which makes it inappropriate for use on public transport (or, I would argue, any kind of use at all). I once had a sample vial, and about 30 minutes after a single spray on my wrist, I vomited because of the migraine it brought on. And no amount of scrubbing could get rid of it.

    Marc Jacobs Daisy I do not understand. It's obviously popular because there are now 760 different variations, but it smells of nothing except synthetic musk and something else revolting. I've read a lot of reviews that call it fresh, and light and inoffensive, but it just turns my nose. I am in agreement with the reviewers on Fragrantica who liken it to bananas, shampoo, canned strawberry pie (is that a thing?), play doh, the smell of a cheap shoe store, and bad memories.  

  2. You should never smell really bad first thing in the morning, especially in the closed confines of a train carriage. If you are a stinker, you have options!! Shower and use clinical strength deodorant. You don’t even have to use deodorant. Just shower, wear clean clothes, and keep your arms down. And stop bitching about how men are discriminated against because they have to wear suits while women wear skirts and singlets in the heat. Just take off your jacket, fool!

    If you don’t want to block up your pores with toxins and get cancer or Alzheimer’s Disease, why don't you do some reading instead and learn that there’s no conclusive evidence to support a link between antiperspirant deodorant and cancer.

    Also, patchouli is not deodorant. And those hippy crystals do nothing. I know because I'm allergic to, and so have tried, everything, including hippy crystals.

  3. You should never take your bike on the train in peak hour. It’s just rude. Also, logic dictates that if you’re taking your bike on the train, you are not riding it; therefore, no one needs to see your lycra-strapped pouch. 

  4. You should not have loud phone conversations, unless they are very interesting.
    Interesting topics include friends who are cheating, poor life choices, and whether NARS The Multiple is as good as everyone says it is. Uninteresting topics include anything that makes it clear you are a wanker (expensive cars, how you talk to people who are beneath you, and anything related to ‘the markets’) or work in HR.

  5. You should not brush your long, tangled, nasty damp hair when it is in flicking distance of those around you. I know that some people are against grooming of any kind on the train, but at least when someone is putting on their makeup there’s no danger of coming into contact with their bodily fluids or particles. Your dander is disgusting. No. No no. 

And just so we're clear on the seven things you're not supposed to talk about (your period, diet, your health, how you slept, your dreams, route talk, and money): nobody cares. I can't help myself... so all of those things feature heavily in my day-to-day conversations.

But never on public transport.

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