I am pretty sure I reek right now. I can't tell for sure but I've noticed a distinct cowboy smell in the breeze whenever I twist my body very fast. I get like this sometimes, panicking about a smell in my vicinity, always suspecting myself as its source. In the past I've asked my girlfriend — on the down-low — to sniff me in public, and reassure me that whatever it is I'm smelling isn't actually coming from my skin or clothing. I'll describe the notes of the odor, just so she can distinguish them from regular NYC stink: "metallic but shitty", "swampy", "like a New York Sports Club shower around 6:45pm on a weekday", "like the owner of a dim sum restaurant just farted" etc. My girlfriend is pretty awesome.
I'm actually very fastidious, but that does not prevent me from thinking I'm the offender behind every stink I smell. I have wondered, lately, if it's all related to denim care. When I was a kid, my mother washed my jeans after every single wear. She was obsessed with germs, and I am very much her son. Later, as I grew independent, I washed my jeans less often. They take up a lot of space in a dryer and I had to conserve. This meant I would wash jeans after three or four wears, maximum.
Recently, I bought a pair of jeans and the instructions inside (written in Swedish) explained that I should wear them for 60 days before washing them for the first time, in order to preserve their "rinse." That seemed insane to me and I don't think I ever made it 60 days, but I came pretty close. Since acquiring those jeans my laundry timetable has been completely off. I have a lot of pairs of blue jeans—I don't really wear much else—and because of the volume of denim and my newly erratic washing schedule, I'm never sure when jeans are ready to be cleaned. Unless I've actually done something obviously smelly in them — dumpster diving, fish storage, hobo smearing — I usually just fold them up and put them back.
Now I'm wondering if I'm wearing jeans that were seasoned with sweat, then air dried, and now thanks to a suddenly raised body temperature caused by some kind of fast-paced activity, I've naturally unlocked the sweaty flavor of my jeans once again. I don't know if it's even true; the smell might have been generated by a co-worker, after all. But that hasn't stopped me from wildly swiveling in my chair, hoping to catch a cool blast of stink-air generated by my motion.
UPDATE: A minute ago I purposely dropped a pen in that "oops! I'm a very clumsy seductress!" manner women follow in shitty comedy movies and European softcore pornography. But when I bent over to pick it up, I used the opportunity to smell my own lap. Coast is clear.