#40 – The Smellasizer

“I hope you understand what’s on the line here, Marie,” warned Carol, Marie’s boss, outside of the conference room

“I promise you won’t be disappointed,” said Marie, her confidence rising.

“Because it’s your job–”

“Yes, ma’am.  I under–”

“that’s on the line.  It’s your job that’s on the line.  Just to be clear.”

“Crystal clear.  Got it.”

In the conference room, the department heads and ad execs were taking their seats.  Charlie, the coffee guy, was pouring hot coffee.  Jeff and Julie were have a quiet conversation in the corner.  Jeff glanced over at Marie then said a few words to Julie.  They laughed.

She would show them.  This would be the presentation that would save her job and give her the respect that she deserved.  She pulled out two bottles and set them on the table in front of her.

“Please take your seat,” called Carol.  “I have a few housekeeping items before we begin.  Smoking will no longer be allowed in within 30 feet of this building.  Company policy. Also, the 3rd floor will be off-limits next week while maintenance puts in new carpet.  They’ve discontinued the River Shannon pattern so we’ve gone with the Tivoli Park.”

“Tivoli Park?!” shouted an exec with a cleft chin.  “I thought we agreed on Boone’s Crossing!”

“Saxxon Cosmetics put in Boone’s Crossing last month.  The decision has been made.  Tivoli Park is going in next week.”

The man slumped back in his high-backed swivel chair.

“And now, I believe Ms. Bellman has a presentation for us.  Give her your full attention as this may be her last presentation with Henri.”

Jeff snorted and laughed audibly.

Marie took a deep breath and stood up.  She grabbed the two bottles and walked to the front of the room.  She held up the bottles.

“What I have in my hands will change the cosmetics industry forever,” she began.

Jeff spoke up.  “You mean like your last idea to sell a fragrance line for felines?”  Everyone laughed.

She ignored them and uncorked the bottles.  “These are samples of a revolutionary new technology.  Take a whiff.”

She passed the bottles around for everyone to try.  The man with the cleft chin exclaimed, “Sweet Jesus!  This smells just like a baseball game.  I can smell it all;  the peanuts, the beer, the grass…and honest to goodness baseball game”

“And this one smells like my first Christmas.  This is astonishing!” said a woman in a pink blouse.

A murmur spread through the room as each person sniffed the bottles.

“Marie,” said Carol over the buzz, “How did you do this?  Did you get this from the lab?  Did Frank make these?”

“No ma’am.  A man named Jim Bronson created these smells in his basement with a machine;  the Smellasizer.”

“The Smellasizer?” said Jeff.  “That’s absurd!”

“Shut up, Jeff,” said Carol.  “Tell us more about this Smellasizer.  Can we get a demonstration?”

“I’ll have Mr. Bronson bring it in tomorrow.”

Afterwards, each of the department heads congratulated her on her discovery and the ad execs hungrily discussed the possibilities.  By the end of the day, everyone at Henri would be talking about the Smellasizer…and Marie Bellman.





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