Beauty Reeks of Rot
A contribution from an anonymous source, who we shall call Trevor.
Trevor has the most bizarre synesthesia. It overlaps. It is hard to keep track of what senses are overlapping with other senses overlapping with themselves. His most potent synesthetic response is that he ends up ‘smelling’ an aura of scents — each one unique and associated with a person. It does not appear for a while. He must get to know someone first. Eventually, they build up an aura. Scents correlate themselves fixedly with individuals, and this scent sticks. It will never go away. That is that person’s scent forever. It overrides other scents they may actually have.
Trevor gets in a whirlwind romance with a girl. It is amazing. They are in love. It is perfect. They are great for each other. They move in together.
Girl’s synesthetic “scent” appears for Trevor. It is inexplicably vile.
He does everything he can to think ‘over’ the scent. He is not very good at it. He cannot willingly change her scent. He experiences it as a bland, ugly, vegetation rot and cottage cheese smell. He actually begins gagging if he looks at her (and gets the full force of the ‘aura’) before steeling himself for it. It creates problems. He becomes physically withdrawn, and looks pained when having sex. He avoids eye contact but tries to be cavalier about it.
She notices. He has no explanation, because he thinks the real reasons why would sound absolutely insane were he to express it truthfully. “I’m sorry, your aura smells like rotted plants and cottage cheese.” He doesn’t consider it. He waffles. He struggles over it but it is causing very real and serious problems with intimacy. He is in anguish about it in private, trying to remember her real scent. Trying to drown it out.
It’s getting a little close to the end. He asks a doctor about it. Doctor gives a strange look but otherwise contributes nothing except that perhaps he should see a psychologist, especially if he is also hearing voices.
He does, at one point, do a google search, over strange things like “why do I smell people’s auras.” Gets a hit on Synesthesia. Is amazed. Brings it up delicately. Starts with the Wikipedia article. Shares it. Girlfriend is at first skeptical.
The story, hopefully with followup, continues.