Part of the Mare Herd at the 4DH Ranch in Oklahoma. For More Works by Debra Coppinger Hill Click Image.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Last night I raked up the loose hay in the east feed room. Then I stood there and breathed in that indescribable smell of good Oklahoma Bermuda/Bluestem and Colorado Alfalfa. It’s a smell that fills your senses and follows you for days. Men’s cologne should smell like this; rich, full, useful and nutritious. I would pay good money for that smell in a bottle.

It led me to consider other smells that might attract Ranch/Farm Women. Warm, cuddly puppy smell is nice. But how many men would agree to smell like a puppy? (Although I have met several who have worn cologne that reminded me of wet dog.) Freshly dry new foal is high on my list of favorite smells. Almost any horse smells as a matter of fact. Even horse sweat has its merits. Then there is saddle leather, real saddle leather, cleaned and rubbed down with oil; not that swamp water smelling stuff they sell at Christmas by showing a guy on a horse. My favorite, however, is the smell that clings to a coat on those sharply cold days where your breath hangs in the air; a blend of barn, feed and livestock mixed with tiny crystals of ice. It waifs into my senses, makes me close my eyes and quickens the pace of my heart as I breathe deep. It is the smell of honest, hard work. Real men already smell like this. We do not have to go in search of it. It is here, where we live. It is land, livestock, love and home in one sniff.

My Grandmother used to joke that all men should smell like Lincoln Continental cars and one hundred dollar bills. That too might be nice, that is, if we can change the vehicle to a Chevy 4-wheel drive, Duramax crew cab one ton. But I still think I would prefer those afore mentioned smells.

Husband detests all women’s perfume. He believes in addition to no smoking ordinances that there should also be no perfume zones. When I asked him what women’s perfume should smell like he instantly answered, “That’s easy! Perfume should smell like fried chicken and German Chocolate cake. Or cocoanut pie…yeah, pie, that would be good too.” Then he wandered out of the room muttering something about bacon sandwiches, chili, fried catfish and butterscotch pudding, but by then I wasn’t really listening. I was hatching a business plan.

If only I had known it was just that simple to smell attractive to a man! I think I will make my own signature scent. I’m going to call my new line ‘Yummy’. I’ll get a really pretty bottle, go into the kitchen and mix up my patent pending secret recipe. A few teaspoons of vanilla, a hint of cocoanut, three pinches of chocolate and a dash of chicken drippings! Since I am sure it will be immensely popular, with husbands everywhere who will be buying it up as gifts for their wives, I will need to have more than one scent. At this point I am considering replacing chicken drippings with bacon grease, chili powder and the oil you fry fish in. And actually, that butterscotch kind wouldn’t be bad on a guy either.

This is totally not where I was going with this when I started writing; but just like with the rest of ranch life, you learn to go with the flow…or in this case, with the smell!

RIDING DRAG with DEBRA COPPINGER HILL is featured each week at ALWAYS COWBOY where Debra is a Resident Western Poet. Join her and her Cowboy Friends for Cowboy Poetry, News & Events. http://alwayscowboy.net/debra_coppinger_hill_poetry.html

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