How many times have I caught a whiff of a passing stranger and been transported on an instant olfactory journey back to my 15-year-old self swooning over T.M.’s Cool Water-scented t-shirt or over D.A.’s collarbone that always smelled of musk and (red) Joop?  Too many times and not enough times, actually.

The streets of London are desperate for the scent of men.  It’s hard not to notice the absence.

When I do pass by a man wearing cologne – Dolce, Issey, Paul Smith, whatever – my head immediately swivels around and I begin sniffing the air like a hound at a fox hunt (an appropriately British simile, no?)

Mmmmmm.  I bask in it.  ‘That smell easily makes up for his terrible posture,’ I convince myself as I walk nonchalantly by.  ‘Yes, that six is definitely now an eight,’* I think.

It’s that easy gentlemen.  Two points just like that.  A few sprays of cologne and women will overlook the buck tooth or the harelip or the cowlick (well, some will anyway).  Two additional points – 20% of total available marks! – for smelling like something other than Persil.  (Though on the right man, the smell of Persil mixed with pheromones and sweat is probably a greater aphrodisiac than anything else I know.)

Two points are just sitting there on the table.  Why don’t you go ahead and take them?

[*Note to those among you who think it’s crass to give points or rate strangers this way: please talk to any man you know about their point system.  You might be surprised and a little unnerved by what you hear.]