Sunday, September 2, 2007

Hoppe's No. 9 Aromatherapy

My Foster's Sunday Citizen newspaper column from July 29 presented the following tongue-and-cheek lead anecdote regarding aromatherapy:

"Nearly a decade ago my wife and I sat in a birthing class as the new age instructor spoke of aromatherapy, passing various scented ointments and assorted fragrances among the group of us parents-to-be. These, she told us, might be used to handle the rigors of delivery (over 13 hrs. in our particular case, all done without aromatherapy, though caffeine played a role in my case as the pinch-hitting nurse . . . but I digress).

Yes, I behaved just fine in our little seminar. My then-pregnant wife on the other hand remarked with a conspiratorial whisper: 'Your version of aromatherapy is Hoppe’s No. 9.'

Say what?

You folks who handle hunting firearms, and shoot sporting clays for pleasure just nodded and possibly laughed. Don’t know Hoppe’s? It’s the storied gun-cleaning solvent used to remove anything from rust, powder, lead or metal fouling from your favorite firearm. It’s been around forever (1903, in fact), and the sweet smell of it after an October bird hunt provides a mix of nostalgia which takes me back to my teenage hunting years [even the recent spring turkey season].

Any warm and fuzzy feelings stirred up for you hunters? No doubt. All sportsmen and outdoors types associate certain smells with their time hunting, fishing, hiking, whatever."

Funny thing is, a handful of random online "aromatherapy" sites have linked this outdoors column, which is surely an ironic twist of fate. Wonder if they actually read it?

--Steve Hickoff