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Deodorising the Destitute


On a recent trip to Paris, I was touched by this scene of tenderness and cooperation:

A hoary, malodorous hobo bumbled into an upmarket perfumery in St Germaine. A haughty sales assistant marched toward him- presumably to turf him out.

But rather than nudging the homeless man out the door, the lady plucked a perfume from the immaculate glass shelves and liberally doused him with scent. The homeless man stood quite still, smiling serenely, enjoying the attention, the intimacy, the tendresse.

Adequately refreshed, he thanked the girl and left.

The lovely thing about this moment was the inferred routine – this man, possibly the best-smelling tramp in Europe, was clearly a regular.

(Picture courtesy of Pedro Simoes)

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