“You Smell Like A Tent”

avant-garde tent dressThe other night, while my husband and I were watching VEEP entwined and covered in cats, his nose a whisker away from my neck, he said very earnestly “You smell like a tent.”

I was horrified for a second and then burst out laughing until I cried. It was such a random and specific thing for him to say. It’s also funny because I don’t camp or do anything involving tents, and the very idea of a tent terrifies me. I was so taken by his comment I even posted it to Facebook, where my brother reminded me that during the summers when we were kids, we’d pitch a tent in our backyard and eat pizza.

Tents have such a distinct musty scent, a mix of canvas, stale air and sun. The thing is, he was right. And I’d done nothing that day to generate such a smell, other than walk to the store and type on a computer.

victoria beckham tent dress

Victoria Beckham in her favorite piece from her SS14 line: The Tent Dress.

What I have noticed, over the past few years, is that I do smell different. After doing a bit of research, I discovered that my “Tent” aroma is yet another unpleasant side-effect of menopause, and is normal, or at least, normal for middle-aged ladies like me.

I remember the “old” smell of my grandparents’ home, or antique shops, estate sales, or the occasional thrift store, and how it is a thing, like a table or couch, that just is. We’ve all experienced it. I just didn’t know there was a “bridge” smell that ramps up to that.

Jesus Christ.

I suppose it could be worse. There are far worse pieces of camping equipment to smell like. Although on second thought, I can’t think of any.

If I’m going to smell like a tent, I may as well dress like one and bring the look full-circle. There’s great Pinterest Boards here and here that pay homage to the tent dress and coat. I think I’ll camp out there for awhile.

4 Responses

  1. moniqueverrier@me.com'

    I actually own a very beautiful dress made out of… a decommissioned WWII German army tent. I met the designer at a trunk show in Amsterdam – she had come across a warehouse full of them and thought that she’d like to make something beautiful out of something with such an ugly history. So she bought some, and designed dresses, pants and skirts from them – grommets and all. Ironically, her last name is Fuhrer. (she’s Dutch, not German) – you can see her work at http://www.ninafuehrer.com – (yes, there is an extra ‘e’ in the spelling of her name in the URL) – if you scroll through ‘Collection’ the army tent stuff is near the end. I love my tent dress and I especially love the designer’s intent and the story behind it.

    1. Paula

      Hey Monique: What a great story! Her work is incredible, I am going to order something! And I can’t help but enjoy your unintended pun on her “inTENT” behind the collection. Thanks for sharing this. xoxo

  2. aratner@nyc.rr.com'

    Oh boy, does this bring back a memory! When I was still “pre” menopause, I was at a performance of my daughter’s & sitting between some other mothers that I was friends’ with when I caught a whiff of B O. I started sniffing around & I was shocked to find, as I sniffed my underarms, that it was me! I had never had such a problem, ever. Well it caused me to go to the dr who told me that it was from menopause starting to rear it’s head. Yes, this does happen to us unfortunately. What’s more disconcerting is that my urine now smells the same as my grandmother’s (noted on entering the bathroom after she had used it). It Also has to do with menopause it doesn’t always smell bad but enough to take note. One thing I don’t ever want to have is “old lady smell”. Boy what we have to put up with!

    Another note- I got that tent dress of Victoria Beckham & it’s so comfy, just throw it on and go chic. Do you think it’s better to look like a tent or smell like one? Not sure : )

  3. Paula

    well, I’m not sure if this makes me feel better or worse! Didn’t even think about the whole “pee” issue, but yes, that is horrifying.

    Send a photo of you in the Victoria tent dress! Dying to see it on a normal person. I LOVE that dress, have always loved that shape of clothing. So fresh, cool, easy, modern.

    Have a great weekend!


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