After the medicinal blast of camphor, the brrrrr rush of cold. This is a chilling, contracting smell, punching back the walls of a cave to make more space for itself. A cold, dark atrium where small bats have been roused and can suddenly fly free. The effect is bracing in the same way a slap might wake you up from a doze – you’re awake alright, but you’re not that grateful for it. Perhaps if the result were more gradual it would be more welcome?
I’m a little feverish, sore throat, headachy, a little grumpy. The camphor smell of the Vick’s serves to intensify, not soothe, these feelings, since the only time I seek it out is when I’m feeling exactly this way. It’s a reverse feedback loop – I know I’ll feel better eventually, but the smell reminds me of the fact that I don’t feel very good right now.