I’m actually blushing as I type this.
Okay…I took Carmine out for a walk this afternoon so he could do what dogs do when you take them out. He’s a healthy dog so, like most healthy mammals, his elimination is pretty normal-smelling (given that it is, uh, poop – (wow…You know, when I first started thinking about this post, I figured writing the intro would be a breeze. Uh…I ..well, forging ahead here)
Don’t puke yet – we’re not going to stick with the dog-poop angle for much longer. I’m hoping to segue into Weird Smells We Like; re this poop: the first 3 seconds of bready/yeasty smell should’ve been disgusting, right? Instead it was vaguely….interesting. Then it turned “appropriately’ disgusting. But that initial reaction was not something I was prepared for – even as a card-carrying Smell Freak.
…..so why am I grossing you guys out with this? Well, a few weeks ago Angela over at Now Smell This did a post on Smell Fetishes, those slightly tilted aromas that captivate us – and the comments that followed were fascinating – and very comforting. Turns out that what I always thought was just Sheer Weirdness on my part is, in fact, pretty banal. One of mine is the fleshy part of the knee, when it is bent and I would’ve gone to my grave with that little secret, had it not been that at least 4 other people commented on that very thing (and I think we’ve discussed knees here before – I probably blocked it out. 1960s Childhood trauma, I’m sure). Another is the smell of an uncropped dog’s ear, where it just joins the head. It’s this warm, waxy, slightly oily, cheesy smell. I never get the dog paw/Frito connection – but that ear join could give a Cheeto a run for its money.
Google groans under the weight of sites on armpit-love. Butts are big. Feet…I could walk from LA to Hilo to Tokyo on the list of sites without getting my own feet wet. Non-body perfumistas cop to asphalt a lot. And gasoline (though that’s a no-brainer. Anybody who loves Mitsouko after 1990 has to love gasoline). My herpetologist pal is addicted to the smell of newly sloughed-off snakeskin (warm, right off the snake – she has about 20 pythons, the weirdo, so she orta know). I had a moldy carpet that smelled exactly like puppy-breath and even though I knew it was likely to give me plague…I loved catching that quick whiff of baby dog breath (is there any sweeter animal smell in the world?) The list of unconventional smell-loves is HUGE! With the advent of the Internet (and it’s relative anonymity), lots of folks are ‘coming out’ with their love of smells. Back in my youth, in the Jurassic Era, you got beat down BAD if you were the booger-eatin’ Urkle who sniffed weird stuff or ate library paste – and then threw it up all over the floor. Now that’s an early-60s scent memory from Hell. The Urkle. The paste. The puke. The sawdust (and the really disgusted janitor). And the nuns would never let you change seats, even if the Urkle threw up in the aisle next to your desk.
But I was a little weirded-out by the breadypoop thing– then I realized the initial smell is replicated in the first blast of Bois Farine and (Lord, I’m gonna get a beatdown for this one)..En Passant. And Cheerios! It only lasts a second but there is this warm, fecund, internal smell that doesn’t even smell fecal – more elemental – and having little to do with the actual poop. I know Secretions Magnifique worked hard to be the Bad Dog, with it’s bloody knife, etc…but in that first blast, En Passant is more ‘real’, more deeply organic than that poseur SM could ever hope to be. I’m not a total freak…right? 12 years of 50s-60s Catholic school can make you doubt yourself.
But let’s get back to the SMELLS! My list is long and weird, but I shared a few of them with you (in the 60s,whole classrooms were cracked-out on purple ditto ink -yeah, baby!).
Do you have any unusual smell-loves? Don’t be shy. After all, we are people who pay Good Money for perfumes made with cat-butt, whale poop and blue cheese . Do any of those smell translate in perfumery? M. Malle is probably sending the ninjas over here as I type this..(am I crazy with the En Passant? For reals. You can tell me. I can take it.)