Incense sample

As some of my FB friends will recall, got an incense shipment right before the nation’s wheels came off, and the timing couldn’t’ve been better. I was running low on sticks, had a full bag of bunk cones from a 3rd party seller, and this was coming right from Wild Berry, the only brand I’ll burn.  You may also know that the new pineapple scent is some kinda strong, and I teased potential coconut-scent-reviews-as-given-by-Tom-Hanks-in-Castaway should those not be a little more in line with what I’m used to. But, Tom sorta is a castaway, so gonna let that slide.

Now, here’s the interesting thing. Tucked in one of the glassine bags was a sample pack of 5 sticks. Not sure who at Wild Berry is in charge of this, but, sir or ma’am, how ‘bout labeling these next time, huh? The blind guy does not like guesswork when he’s about to set fire to something in his home office, okay? (Flip side? Nice gesture).

Package of incense sticks with no labeling.

Last night, I finally open the things. The pineapple smell, though, is still overwhelming the package, so I can’t even begin to guess at what this might be. Pull one out, put it to my nose, and…worry strikes. It kinda smells floral, and I do not do floral. But, the pineapple is strong with this one, and I think to myself: Self, all we ever order is black cherry, black cherry-vanilla, and more black cherry-vanilla. This time, we ordered—surprise surprise—black cherry-vanilla, pineapple and coconut. That screams fruit-flavors as the overwhelming majority, correct? 

Giving the folks at WB the benefit of the doubt, I lit one. Within 2 minutes, I knew I’d made a terrible mistake. It smells like Easter Sunday morning at the front of the grocery store where they’ve set out all those bouquets for people who didn’t remember their moms until that morning. Nasally-horrified, I decide to put it out.

Oh, but wait! My brain suggests, not wanting to waste the thing. It’s still Wild Berry. Why not just take it into the bathroom? Who cares if that smells flowery? Which, at the moment, made sense. I am in single-guy mode at the moment. I’ve unplugged virtually everything in the house Pam uses, I don’t turn on the lights unless I’m throwing a toy to Mouse in the living room, just trying my best not to expend anything unnecessarily. Which, as my fellow Floridians know in times of hurricane, you don’t flush if you just take a leak. Which brings things around to my burning floral TNT stick. “Can’t be worse than a day of unflushed piss, right?”

Wrong. Not only did I go into the can twenty minutes later only to be molested via sinus, I wet a tissue, killed this thing with the tissue in my bare hand, and wished to return to the hour of yore, when it simply smelled like the Men’s room in a NYC subway station. Didn’t occur to me until I’d taken the remainder of the offending olfactory terrorist out to hurl into the empty lot that I had finally placed it. Not the exact scent, but where I knew it from: Upscale hotel.

Now, on the occasions where I’ve been fortunate enough to have been put up at an upscale hotel, this is one of the few drawbacks. They spray something abhorrent in the full-featured bathroom, it’s always floral, and it’s stomach-churning. You’ve got to turn on the exhaust fan and hope Chuck Yeager’s team installed that bitch, because leaving it on while you go get dinner or use the pool or do an entire day of conventioning will not free the john of the scent. But…but then I realized. No, Joe. You’ve made a mistake. This wasn’t just overdone hotel-piss-and-shower-sex-hiding-fragrance. It was far, far worse. It was: Funeral Home. 

Hopefully, that’s not an omen.

Wild Berry is lucky I can’t review this. My judgment on this would be something like: Ever been in a pricey hotel room bathroom and inhale and the scent is so reprehensibly phony and overpowering that when the Kodiak bear in the next room taps on your door, offering to claw your nose off, you don’t just allow him to, you tip him??? Well, this is worse.

Smell is still lingering in the 2 foot hallway between my office and the bathroom. Chuck Yeager’s team had nothing to do with the construction of my home. I’ve considered giving Billy a Ziploc bag to bring back some dog shit—hell, doesn’t even have to be Mouse’s! to rub on the walls, but I think Pam would be bothered when she gets back.

Still, given travel bans and the shape of the world…could be August by the time she gets back. 

Billy and I could paint by then…

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