The Nose Knows: Part One


The first person to ever hire me was the lady who had been my principal in elementary school. By the time she became my employer, she was a college professor and a flight attendant, and I was a sophomore in high school. She hired me to stop by her house once a week, to do some light cleaning and to organize her paperwork. Occasionally, I graded papers. The best activity was updating her flight attendant manual, which required absolute attention to detail—a single misplaced page could cost her thousands of dollars.

My favorite smell there was the Swiffer floor cleaner, which used lemon-scented inserts. It smelled of perfectionism and cleanliness.