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About the Column

Ashley Metz keeps a special book in her South Carolina chateau. It's called the Disney Book of Stinkin' Love. Into that book she pours her passion for the parks, her devotion to Disney World, and from that book, every week, she'll draw forth with characteristic exuberance a chapter exclusively for Disney Dispatch. Ashley welcomes questions, but no matter what you ask, the answer will always be the same, and it will always be correct: Because I Stinkin' Love Disney World!

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FROM: Because I Stinkin' Love Disney World Published Thursdays

Ashley Loves the Essence of Norway

The essence of Norway is... who said sardines? It's actually Laila, an alluring perfume sold in the Norway pavilion. For Ashley Metz, however, Laila wasn't love at first spritz: it took awhile for the scent to ensnare her fancy, and this is her aromatic report.

There is a distinct smell that permeates the air in Epcot's World Showcase.

Yes, you can smell the marriage of east, west, and everything culinary in between. But the smell I'm talking about isn't the clingy scent of crispy fried churros oozing from the Mexico Pavilion or the wonderful waft of fish and chips (as authentic as those found in jolly old England!) from the United Kingdom Pavilion.

While these scents do often dominate your olfactory awareness, the aroma that entices me emanates from the central hub, the Norway Pavilion.

Can you guess it?

If you said Laila Perfume by Geir Ness, then you are correct!

Laila, marketed as The Essence of Norway, unfurls from the heart of the Norway Pavilion and smacks you in the face. With thousands of guests spraying on a sample here and there, there is no escaping this fresh scent, especially when you're walking off the Maelstrom ride and right through the gift shop where it's sold.

Ashley Staggers Under the Scent

At first smell, I was not a fan. I suppose it was because Geir Ness was hosting a special meet 'n greet and, well, that stuff was being sprayed to the four winds. It was too much. I held my breath and walked, crown of my head first, straight on to China.

The next time that I smelled Laila, it was again to excess, this time because my friend's brother and her father had literally taken a bath in it.

It was a hot June day and we were taking shade while they 'went to the bathroom'. The weather was like 2.5 seconds from one of those classic Florida summer soakers. So it was HOT. We were piled together walking through the crowd, just the six of us and Laila.

I am pretty sure that guests in Hollywood Studios could smell the essence of Norway. It. Was. A. Lot. Sincerely. A lot. Plus, I am almost 100% sure that the guys had mistakenly doused themselves with the woman's fragrance.

The best part was the look on our unsuspecting faces because, at first, we weren't aware that we were the smell. My friend and I kept saying: "What is that smell? Who in the world took a bath in perfume?"

And then we figured out it was us.

While the boys were supposed to be hitting the restroom, they were hitting (and I quote) the 'girl catcher'. They hit that stuff hard. It was consuming every last particle of air within a twenty mile radius.

You can imagine the long ride back to our rental home. We were the aromatic version of Pig Pen (remember that kid from Peanuts?). We stunk and the cloud of stench consisted of sweat, wet rat smell (from the rain), and of course, our new BFF, Laila. Sick out.

Ashley Learns to Love Laila

But, like many things related to Disney World, Laila has grown on me.

The first sign that I secretly longed to own Laila was on my most recent trip to Disney. As we were walking into the Norway Pavilion, the scent greeted me like an old friend. What the heck? I don't like that scent, do I?

Then, after I had returned home, I started to reminisce about Laila. I even found myself - gasp - looking for it online. What in the world?

Well, it was floral and fresh. And it did smell like Norway (for all I know of Norway - thank you, Epcot!). And dog on it, it smelled like Disney World.

So now, with no shame whatsoever, I whole heartedly admit that I am over the moon for Laila. I cannot wait to go back to Disney World and buy a stinkin' (this is a term of endearment - it actually smells quite lovely!) bottle... or two... or three.

Don't worry, I promise not to overspray. Jeg elsker det! (Norwegian for "I love it"!)


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