LK Walker


New England,
December 03
LK teaches yoga and meditation. She has written a musical, SLaM the Hockey Rock Opera, produced in New England, which is in development for an off-Broadway run next year. She is currently finishing her first novel and also writing a memoir about the business of yoga.


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Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 3, 2011 9:41AM

The Scent of a Woman

Rate: 13 Flag



My first psychic experience happened when I was 10 years old, sitting in the car with my ‘big sister,’ from one of those befriend a poor youth programs.  It was just before Christmas and we were exchanging gifts.  I knew, as she handed me the box, that there would be a bottle of perfume inside.  And indeed, much to my chagrin, there it was.  A white enamel bottle, in the shape of some animal, filled with a sickly scent.  I said, “Thank you,” but what I really felt inside was that this ‘sister’ did not know me one little bit, to have given a present like this, so unsuited to a wild soul.

But how could she have known me?  Indeed, it took me many years to know myself.

When I was twelve I remember being out in the grass and watching ants crawl up my leg, they got caught up in the long hairs there and it tickled, but before they could get to my skin I would flick them off.  Years later when I lived out west it happened with ticks, and I was quite pleased to squish this little bug before it bit me, giving me Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  I didn’t know at twelve, and I didn’t care at twenty, that as a woman, I was flouting all the rules.   

There is so much grooming advice given to women that undermines our own personal power.

The first, and most insidious grooming rule is the required removal of nearly all body hair except on the top of the head.  Women are enjoined to shave, wax, laser, tweeze and bleach every hair under their arms, on their faces; thinning eyebrows, removing all hair from the upper lip and in front of the ears.  The entire leg, and to varying degrees, the entire pubic area.  Some women have even been known to wax their arms down to their wrists.

What is this obsession with hairlessness?

In the first place, removing all the underarm, leg and pubic hair creates the look on a grown woman of being a child.  It is no mistake the abuse of child pornography in a country that forces all of its women to look as infantile as possible and then to be sexual beings.  

We have been led to view the body as ‘unclean’ in its natural state.   The truth could not be further from that.

Each part of the body that is thickly covered with hair, is an erogenous zone.  The purpose of this hair, is to hold and disseminate the scent of a woman, or a man, helping to attract the opposite sex.


Obsession.  Banish.  Contradiction.  Decadence.  Desire.  Unzipped.

These are the names given by the Madison avenue mavens for perfume scents.  It is a multi-billion dollar industry which, like the cosmetic and fashion industries, is designed to play on the fears of inadequacy and the deep seated longings of women, and increasingly, of men.

The primary ingredient for all perfumes is musk, which is collected from the sweat glands around the anus of a musk deer, an endangered deer native to Tibet, India, Pakistan and Mongolia.  The animal needs to be killed to extract the musk, but PETA doesn’t seem to have jumped on this bandwagon yet.  The word ‘musk’ comes from the sanskrit word for testicle.  Basically women are putting testicle juice on their bodies to attract a man. 

But that is what these parfumeries want.  They want you to be so insecure about your own natural body, that you put testicle juice behind your ears.  They want you to fear you are not enough.  They want your senses to be unclear and your confidence low.  They want to tell you what to wear, where to live, how to shop.  What to look like and smell like.  And then…….they tell’ll be happy.

But our bodies are infinitely more intelligent than Madison Avenue.  Each person has a signature scent, the same way we have unique fingerprints.  There is a natural scent, or perfume, that we put out that is smellable to our conscious minds.  But there is also a ‘secret’ scent called pheromones.  These are small scent molecules undetectable to our noses, but detectable to the brain stem where the nose brings them upon inhale.  These ‘pheromones’ have been called the ‘sex’ scent.  It is part of that invisible ‘je ne sais quois’ that attracts or repels us from a person.  Some of the research done on pheromones has gone so far as to say that people with DNA unmatchable to our own will be found repulsive to us through these pheromones.

So many people mask their own natural odors with copious amounts of perfumes, that our built in fail-safe discernment process is undermined.  We can no longer tell, with our most primal instinct, if this person would be a good mate for us.

So we fall for all the usual tricks.  And here we are then, walking down the aisle with Mr. or Miss. Right.

Fast forward to the weeks after the wedding.  Now we are living together.  And sleeping together.  And showering together.  And you don’t always put your perfume or cologne on right away.  Sometimes you just climb into bed clean, but smelling like your true natural self.  And then, look out.  All of the sudden you find out, wow, this guy or this girl really stinks.  I don’t mean he’s got b.o. but there is something about him that I just don’t………like.

And there it is.  You can’t get away from it.  You’re married.  You’re married to the wrong man.  All because of Calvin Klein.  Just ask Kim Kardashian.

There is no money to be made if a woman feels good about herself, confident in her looks and bearing, and sure in her spirit and soul.  It is important to remember that Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein do not have your best interests at heart.  They are here to make money, nothing more.  And the advent of consumerism began with the adage to create a need, and then design a product to fill it.

Humans have always adorned and transformed their bodies.  From the lip plates worn by African tribeswomen to the poisonous make-up made with various colors of lead from the time of Cleopatra.   But underneath it all, there is no way to not be who you are.  And eventually, possibly to your chagrin, your significant other will find out.  My advice:  go unscented before the wedding, and save yourself some time and heartache.


The right scent for a woman is none at all - Cicero


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I'm surprised scent sellers don't lace their products with pheromones. Then again, they probly do.

I'd send the rooster over here to rate you but he'd probly just say something hurtful.
Very well said... I was proud of my mom for giving up perfume in her nineties. She smelled an old lady drenched in the stuff and decided she didn't need it anymore. She loved "White Shoulders" all her life. I can see a little bit. I have a vanilla mist that just smells delicious to me. But as a way to attract a mate it is an illusion. Thanks for this post.
?? The blurb on the front cover is quite misleading as to the content of the post. Not your doing, of course. Happy to see the only beings you talk of killing yourself this time round are ticks...
Sooo true. I have begun going armpit naked since I found out that some forms of deoderant are associated with cancer. I was thinking of going au natural anyway. I find that I rarely dislike my own scent...but have asked others to mention it if I offend and I will take action. I too heard the thing about scent and genetic compatability. I like it. Bring on the sweaty guys!
I think you're right, LK. When I left her I packed everything but forgot my robe hanging on the back of the door to the bedroom. They said she would wear it because she could still smell 'me'.
Hi! Thanks for this article. Although I completely agree with you about the hair removal fixation of our society (just for women and girls, of course), I must heartily disagree with you about perfume.

I am of mediterranean descent and we love our scents. Not all perfumes are made of musk. In fact, many of them today are quite a bit of artificial stuff and alcohol along with flowers, fruits, and even tobacco. I use perfume every day, and not too much of it, either. I get compliments that I smell good all the time. And, every one of my boyfriends could smell my smell, as I could smell his, at the nape of the neck, and under the arms, whether wearing scent or not.

Although I know it is quite popular nowadays to diss perfume, I still like it and buy it and choose to wear it.

I do not, however, shave anywhere.
Re: shaving. I remember being 11 or 12 and my dad commented I needed to start shaving my legs because I had hair on them. I went from feeling like an innocent carefree kid in that instant to being an anxious adolescent, worrying how other people were perceiving me. I had also started sprouting bosoms and hadn't started wearing bras yet. This was the late 50's, early 60's so it wasn't like today when totally flat chested little girls wear beginner bras and get waxed at the salon with their moms. I was still playing with dolls, for crying out loud!
Just ask Kim Kardashian?

Just look at a picture.

The guy is HUGE and she is this little thing. Curves, yes. But still tiny.

A size mismatch.
I'm with you. I think most men prefer women that are less perfumed and covered with makeup. And I can remember almost passing out from the toxic mix of perfumes on the older women in church when I was growing up
Interesting article, well said!
Having come of age in the '60's and been enamored of "Hippie Chicks" I find it hard to be attracted to todays "Women" It is too much like Pedophilia. As a photographer, (former fashion photographer), I can watch "America's Next Top Model" ( My wife insists-) and not feel a whit of sexual attraction. Give me natural women with real curves any time. That isn't to say that a touch of some fragrances (mostly floral) don't bring back memories- they do - a certain perfume always gets my attention because of one woman who wore it.
Great post. Have you seen the documentary, "Killing Me Softly" about women and the advertising business? So scary. I used it when I taught high school. I'm glad you are raising the ante a bit. We haven't talked about these things for a long time. Why are women wearing 8 inch high heels now?
Thank you for sharing. This is an incredibly testimony to the growing universal acknowledgement of a Culture of Death. We are all told that our natural selves are not good enough. Perhaps we come to this conclusion from different perspectives, but it is the same conclusion nonetheless.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing. Fascinating.

PS I enjoy yoga, too.
You don't feel comfortable wearing fragrance? Don't. But before spreading inaccurate information about it, do a little research. You will find that the perfume industry has no longer been using musk extracted from the musk deer since 1979, when the species was listed as endangered. What is listed as "musk" is either man-made molecules, which are also used in practically every detergent, or of vegetal origin. (And, no, the musk pod is not a testicle, but a gland on the animal's belly).
You might also consider that some people enjoy fragrance because it is beautiful, and have done so for millenia, way before the advertising industry played on insecurities to sell consumer wares. It was, in fact, considered so beautiful that it was the language humankind used to speak to the gods by burning incense.
Though many of the scents sold in shopping malls are indeed a far cry from this connection with spirituality, nature and beauty, some still are.
I appreciate everything you said here! I think platinum blonde hair and baby voices on grown women are more evidence of the desire you describe.