Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What's your flava? (And yes, my taste in music is eclectic but categorically fairly apalling.)

So this is something to which I've given more thought than it surely merits.

Here's how it started: Nick walked into the room, and it was clear he'd just eaten peanuts. And there was this huge peanut smell swirling around him every time he moved.

Now, I love all things peanut. But for me, it quickly got a bit cloying.

And I started to wonder: what if each of us smelled like a particular food? And that was just our smell?

Like, you know how people have their own particular smells? And you might be extra attracted to someone because his or her skin just smells so good to you. And the converse is true as well.

Smell is a weird thing.

Several years ago I stopped dating someone because I just disliked his skin smell. I didn't understand what it was till we'd spent some time together, but it didn't take long to know I was never, ever going to sleep with him. Because I just couldn't imagine his skin smell next to me, all over me.

It was too sharp or metallic or something. It just bugged.

So then I was thinking how much more dramatic it would be if we all had a food smell that emanated from us constantly. It would be sort of like perfume, but really, just your smell. And then you'd really have to check for perfume compatibility, actually.

I think I would choose lemon, or grapefruit, or some other citrus. Then again, spices like cinnamon or cardamom are lovely.

And on a tangent, have you read Michael Ondaatje's poem The Cinnamon Peeler's Wife? I am not so much for poetry, but this poem is just gorgeous. Sensual and gorgeous. It's in one of my favorite books ever, his memoir - Running in the Family.

If you have a penchant for batshit crazy family stories, this is a good one. And he's such a gorgeous writer.

But back to food smells. Fresh-baked bread is delightful, but would you want to smell it all the time? Or vanilla? Or flower smells like lilac - would they eventually get too sweet?

Also, it would make finding your one of 26 that much harder, I would think. Because you couldn't change it, you'd have to really consider combinations.

Like, it might be hard to combine marshmallows and cilantro. And the person who smelled like cilantro really might only appeal to a very narrow slice of the population.

Or maybe not? Maybe it would help clarify who you're compatible with?

Anyway, hi! It's Wednesday!


  1. Very, very interesting. I like the idea of one's smell not changing over time. I'm dreading the little old lady scent. I suppose I should be grateful to have reached longevity.

    I'd choose peonies or the beach. Third choice would be clean laundry. I'm not a bold person, so I expect my smell would be light and not overpowering.

  2. I think Sean and I are both Garlics. If I was Cilantro, there is no way we would be together, it's the only food item that Sean really really doesn't like. When I was asked at my bachelorette the one thing that I would change about him, I said that it would be nice that he liked cilantro, all the girls thought it was hilarious and incredibly minor. I agree!

  3. I think I'd want to smell like coffee cake with lemon drizzle.

  4. i think i'd either want to smell like basil or parsley... no clue why.
    i think then i would go well with anyone who smelled like garlic or cheese or cream sauce... even a lemon smeller.
    i have to say that i do consider these things when picking my body butters... some smell great at a whiff but holy moly if you wore them all day you'd certainly knock people down. (that's why my favorite and standby is olive oil :)

  5. While I love the smell of gasoline I do not think I would want my man to smell like it.

    I love grapefruit and clean linen. So...fresh smelling.

  6. Hm. I suspect I'd smell like cinnamon or nutmeg.

    Clearly, my soul mate will smell like some combination of chocolate and hazelnut.

    Or perhaps not. The constant sniffing might prove an impediment to a real, lasting relationship.

  7. I'd probably go with basil. Comforting, delicious, not overpowering. Mmmmm...

  8. HKW - I don't think the little old lady scent is inevitable, though, do you? I genuinely don't know.

    All those smells are lovely and light and clean.

    Soph - Ha! Good that you would both be garlics. It would be hard, I think, if only one was.

    As for cilantro - that is hilarious! You know, several people I work with HATE it with a passion. And it turns out a lot of people do!

    Jo - Ohmygod that sounds like crack to me right now. Yum.

    notsojenny - Those are both nice, crisp smells. Yum. And they could be deliciously combined with a lot of other smells.

    I was at the gym last night with someone wearing strong cologne - it is definitely true that one has to think about their smell and how much it affects others.

    Lemmonex - Yah, gasoline could be a bit much. And I am in agreement on the fresh smells.

    Dagny - Yum. Delicious, and lovely combo. I hadn't thought about the perils of over-sniffing, though. You make a good point.

    Lilu - Absolutely. Hadn't occurred to me as a smell, but such a good one.

  9. To me, B.O. smells like chicken soup, and drunk people smell like hot dogs. I like both chicken soup and hot dogs, but the smell association makes me like them just a little bit less.

  10. And, in that I smell like love, I prefer that the men in my life smell like genius.

  11. I would want to smell like limes. Or rosemary (though that might be a bit strong.) I would want Shawn to smell like roast chicken, I think. Or maybe strawberries.

    Cilantro is the one spice that I hate and I hate it so strongly that it actually makes me gag if I accidentally eat it.

  12. Something citrus, I think. But not rotting citrus, which is the most horrendous smell ever.
    And what is it with the cilantro haters? I love the way it smells and tastes. My family, on the other hand, hates it passionately.

  13. Interestingly enough, my hubby smells slightly yeasty, like fresh-baked bread. He doesn't particularly like it when I sniff him though, so I have to be a bit covert. He says I smell like peaches, which is good I think.
    As far as "old lady smell," if the person is clean, what you're most likely smelling is perfume or cosmetics that have gone bad.

  14. I don't know, my mom has just begun smelling like an old lady. She's found herself some sort of new old lady moisturizer. It's not expired, it's just an unfortunate choice. It makes me suspect that your smell receptors alter just like your taste buds do when you get older and you are inadverdently attracted to old lady smelling products. It doesn't bode well.

  15. I dated a guy once who told me I smelled like a citrus orchard. Also, oddly enough, when I used to go tanning I'd leave smelling like a burnt orange.

  16. I remember reading about a perfume company doing research into what scent was most attractive to men. They went through their entire line testing each and every one and every combination they could think of.

    In the end the male test subject almost unanimously agreed the best scent was...the one used by the company to clear their pallets, so to speak. This scent, the sexiest smell a woman can wear to attract a man: fresh-baked cinnamon rolls. In fact, just the thought alone is making me a little happy in my pants right now.

    For me, my favorite smell is freshly cut wood. I think that's not a bad way to smell if you're a guy.

  17. FreckledK - Those are both interesting and hilarious associations.

    And of course you smell like love. And the smell of genius...hmm. I am trying to imagine it.

    Hillary - I think smelling like limes would be great. Rosemary, for me, not so much.

    And cilantro really is one of those extreme things.

    J - It makes me giggle to think about covertly sniffing at your husband. And peaches - very nice!

    As for the old lady smell, I think that's a reasonable possibility.

    Anonymous - Hmm. Are you going to tell her it's not her best choice? I LOVE how my mom smells - such a nice combination of perfume and moisturizer and comfort and I don't know what-all. But if she switches to something old-ladyish, I will definitely tell her.

    jo - That's so interesting! I wonder what it is about your skin?

    FoggyDew - Fresh-baked cinnamon rolls. Ohhh, yum. Hard to imagine as sexy, but very positive.

    As for freshly cut wood, definitely a very manly, athletic smell, I think.

  18. Coffee. I'm going with coffee.

  19. I'll smell like cinnamon rolls. My future husband can smell like Coffee.

  20. When you're done being pregnant, I'm thinking we get blind drunk and passionately discuss absurdly mundane but incredibly telling topics like this for hours and hours.

    I adore you.

  21. That poem turned me on more than it probably should have. *shifts uncomfortably in chair*

    My manfriend tells me I always smell like coffee and vanilla. The coffee I can understand because I drink so much of it. Not sure why I smell like vanilla to him. But I think it's endearing.

    He smells like the outdoors after it has rained. That clean, earthy smell. Goes well with coffee and vanilla, really.

  22. Ohhh..I have a superdeveloped sense of smell, and am very sensitive to people's smells. One of the main reasons I had to give up a consulting job was the constant traveling (flying) necessary. I couldn't deal with those little commuter planes and all those smells. It was overwhelming to my system!

    My boyfriend somehow always smells like soap. Really good, yet basic soap. I'm always kidding him that when he sweats he smells like roses. A must for someone like me!


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