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I am sorry to disappoint anybody who thinks this blog will be about
teenage boys and their personal hygiene habits – or rather the lack of.

My sons are still only 7 and 8 years old and ‘that’ blog is hopefully
still a few years away. Thankfully they are so far not showing any
signs of being ‘allergic’ to soap and water, in fact quite the opposite
as they really seem to enjoy their nightly shower and are evidently
pleased to emerge from it smelling of some weird and exotic aroma that
is current ‘en trend’ in the shampoo and shower gel industry. 

In fact it’s one of my favourite things to sit down with them all
showered and in their pyjamas for our nightly read together, all three
of us huddled together with the odd whiff of coconut, honey, lime,
Bamboo Milk… Amazonian pigmy chestnut marinated in Himalayan sesame
syrup.

But this blog isn’t even about the multitude of artificial smells
created to make us part with our money, this blog is about their natural
smell.

Yes, they smell.

As a new parent this really surprised me and I can’t help feeling
that the surprise was all to do with being an adoptive parent. I now
assume that all children must smell and that it is something that I was
totally unaware of – or am I misguided and should I be rushing my boys
off to a specialist to have them de aroma’d?  

I am also assuming that babies and children must carry the smell of
their birth parents and consequently the smell goes unnoticed, at least
on a conscious level. However to an adoptive parent the smell is new and
alien and I will be honest, at times when particularly pungent not all
that pleasant and it can take you by surprise.

It is only really noticeable in the early mornings when they are
fresh out of bed, having been cocooned under the warm bedding I guess
the smell has accumulated and intensified. It is not sweat as that would
need to be washed away and this smell simply leaves their body (or no
doubt it dulls down and is unnoticeable) as they wind up for the day.

Yes it is certainly a touch of ‘morning breath’ , but the intensity
of that clears before they have brushed their teeth too which suggests
that it is most definitely not just the regular bad breath we adults
wake up with – and inflict on our partners daily.

It is a smell from within and it seems to literally seep from their pores.

I think that maybe we underestimate the importance of smell to us
humans and that in fact we are more in tune with this sense than we are
aware.

I know that before adopted babies are moved in with a new forever
family, the new parents are asked to sleep with a cuddly toy so that the
toy takes on their odour, it is then placed in the crib at the foster
home, familiarising the baby to its new parents in advance. The theory
being that there is then a connection that will comfort the baby in
otherwise totally new and alien surroundings.

That’s quite powerful stuff when you think about it and yet so totally obvious too. 

We spend so much effort – and indeed money – trying to erase or mask
our natural smell that I think perhaps it has misguided us about its
importance, maybe we need to use less manufactured odours and look to
embrace the natural which is within us all far more readily. 

Having said that, it has been a long day and I so need to go take a
shower, where did I put that Amazonian pigmy chestnut marinated in
Himalayan sesame syrup shower gel?

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