Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

Laundry Detergent

Posted at — Mar 21, 2021

This is part of the grateful series.

Sometimes, as I pass by houses on my walk I’m met with a fragrance.

It’s a familiar fragrance––but I couldn’t quite identify it initially.

I’d think, there’s no flowers around––what could be the origin of this beautiful smell?

As it would turn out, the winds of the night would transport the fragrance of laundry detergent and dryer sheets from houses' dryer vents.

It’s a rather intimate experience. I learn which fragrances a household likes to use, and how much of it they use.

In certain houses the fragrance is overbearing; clearly these folks are not the stingy type. They’d rather their clothes smell like roses than to waste a dryer sheet.

Some houses go the conservative route. Maybe a single dryer sheet in a double load of laundry. Reasonable, but resource-aware.

Some houses, I don’t smell anything. Perhaps there isn’t much I learn here––have they not done their laundry, or do they not use dryer sheets? I’ll never know.

What’s best is the futility of it all. As I entered this tangent of thought on my walk, I asked myself––what’re you running away from? Why does your mind have such a strong attraction to be anything but present?

I’d hypothesize the brand of detergent used or the dryer manufacturer before I could be still with my thoughts.

I’m grateful for fragrance and my sense of smell. It’s one of those senses that is often not at the forefront of the human experience.

I’m grateful for the artificial chemicals that appeal my brain –– the ones that fill our noses with the smell of roses.

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