Common (and uncommon) scents: Name that smell!

I love that commercial, you know the one, where the main character thinks everything smells fine when, in actuality, the family, vehicle occupants, etc., know differently. The whole point is to promote an air-freshening product. Which brings up the question: What smells are we smelling that maybe we just aren’t cognizant of because we’ve gotten so accustomed to them? I have to believe the list is long.

Then there are the smells that we’re aware of acutely. I can’t imagine this list being short either. And, there are many we can’t seem to get away from (do without) but we’d sure like to. I list here a few good ones. Seriously, they are.

Foot odor: I tend to wear shoes that are especially inclined to generate that quite distinctive smell. It is most likely a result of perspiration with the shoes inability to breathe properly. Even after removing the shoes themselves, that particular stench seems to linger and even penetrates the socks I happen to have on at the time. There is no mistaking that smell! I’m sure this condition is easily corrected with the many products available just for this purpose, so not to worry.

Underarm (read: “in-the-armpit”) odor: Ditto. Related to that kind of stink, excuse my saying so, but it’s the pits!

Bad breath: While these odors, smells, scents are not easily detectable to ourselves, we are quick to notice them from others when at close distances. Here again, the problem is easily alterable in most cases I would think.

Smelly foods: The first thing that comes to mind here are cheeses. There are some pungent ones, let me tell you. Some are so strong, and when cooked, are even more so. Where’s a clothes pin when you need one?

Here’s a good one: Used motor oil. Motor oil when drained from the car’s drain pan, comes with its own characteristic odor. I would have to think that it is the heating up of the engine repeatedly and the oil’s breaking down over a period of use that causes this scent. It can get pretty intense.

Candle (wick) smell: I notice this when candles on a birthday cake are blown out. It can as well be quite odoriferous. And, truth be told, it’s not a smell I prefer.

Typical household odors: They come from a variety of sources, namely, cooking, cleaning products, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, pets, scented products like air fresheners and candles to products for the hair like shampoos, deodorants/anti-perspirants, perfumes, body washes, flowers, perishable foods that have been left out too long and/or have become moldy, the contents of the trash can or the trash can itself, you name it – the smells running the gamut, consisting of pleasant and unpleasant smells alike. Even when warming up the automobile before driving off, this can leave behind a telltale smell as well. And with new cars, there’s that unmistakable “new-car” smell.

It is really amazing when you think about it just what our proboscises (noses) are exposed to day in and day out. And, I probably have only scratched the surface of aromas, fragrances, odors, smells, scents that are capable of being whiffed. It’s a great big smelly world out there. What we’re talkin’ about here is common and uncommon scents alike just in case you’re wondering.

Whoever said “Take time to smell the roses,” no doubt knew a thing or two. Trust me, they did!

– Alan Kandel