So there comes a time in a girl's life where she forgets the wisdom of old: Never skimp on hygiene products. Specifically, my usual deodorants are strictly limited to two brands, both of which are on the more expensive end of the deodorant price scale. I learned this piece of wisdom the hard way.
Yes, dear readers, I've tried many of those in the Australian list, and found most of them rather ineffective. But in my new city I have discovered the local discount supermarkets. To be fair to the shop concerned, their body wash products are fantastic. They smell delicious, and, well, as long as soap does the whole "washing" thing, the smell is really my only other consideration.
Nor have their cookies disappointed, for I can gleefully tuck away copious amounts of gingerbread snaps while my husband looks on in horror (not for my expanding waistband, but for the awful concept of actually eating gingerbread).
And so we come to the conundrum of this week. My old faithful deodorant, imported with me, finally ran out, and I was forced to buy more. And in a moment of sheer frivolity I decided to try the house brand.
Of course, no deodorant purchase is complete without the smell contest. Several varieties were rejected based on the unattractive scent contained within. Finally I discovered one which passed the test: the price was right, the description was encouraging, and it smelled suitably non-specific "lady".
The next morning happened to see me in Finnish class, wearing my new deodorant. Sadly, minutes into the lesson, I dared move my arms. I was assaulted by a stench so powerful I was rendered mute with horror (and this was fortunate... after all, who would want to announce the fact that they stink?). For a moment I wondered if I had forgotten to apply deodorant... but no, I had not.
Alas, my new purchase, which had smelled so benign in the shop, had a secret. In practice it replicated perfectly the stink of obnoxious locker-room sweat. If there was an international prize for "Best Approximation Of Body Odour", we'd have a clear-cut winner. There's only one problem. As far as I'm aware, deodorants are supposed to suppress such a smell, not create it.