Common Scents

Steph & Chris Dagg run Notaires Alder lakes. Through this personal Blog, Steph is going to describe her experiences of moving to France and living the dream of many UK carp anglers.

Having a teenage son, an ‘ado’ of my own who has introduced me to lots of his friends the same age, I can honestly tell you that young French men smell. Yes, smell.

They smell gorgeous. Every new one I meet seems to smell better than the last. How do they do it?

Well, they certainly take a lot of showers. Benj is sent off for a week’s boarding at Lycée every Monday with the strict instruction to have at least one shower before he comes back on Friday night. A few times on his return home, it’s been obvious that he hasn’t come into prolonged contact with water that week. Why not?

“I can’t get in the shower, Mum!” he protested the last time I cornered him about it. “There’s always a queue.”

“What, every day?”

“Yes, every day. Morning and night.”

Benj told me how he’d challenged one of his fellow boarders in front of him in the shower queue one morning. He’d been in front of him the day before.

“You had a shower yesterday,” Benj grumbled.

“Of course,” was the reply, with a shrug.

“Do you really need another one today then?”

“Of course,” was the reply, with a shrug.

So, for a start, young French fellas are extremely clean. And then they love cologne. Benj came back from his first week at Lycée with a shopping list. He needed proper English teabags for his breakfast time cuppa. He needed a tube of condensed milk to put in said tea. He needed another blanket to keep warm at night. He needed Snickers to keep him going between breakfast and lunch. And he needed … I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“What’s this?” I asked him, pointing to the last item. “I’d swear it says ‘cologne’.”

“It does,” confirmed Benj.

I looked at him stunned. Benj is a young man who can be extremely reluctant to come into contact pleasant smelling toiletry items.

“You want cologne?” I stuttered.

“Yes, all the boys wear it,” he replied. “They all have bottles and bottles of it. I’m the only one who hasn’t got any.” He looked at me mournfully.

Feeling like a bad mother, I took Benj shopping at once and bought him the best cologne money could buy at Simply Market. He’s since gone up in the world with a bottle of Adidas cologne his sister thoughtfully gave him for Christmas. And he smells much better too! Almost as good as a native French teenager, but not quite. They just have that extra ‘je ne sais quoi’. And boy, does it smell great.

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