Smells Like Heroism

A recent article in the Kansas City Star claimed that a company called Epic-Scents has created fragrances for two video game heroes: Mega Man and Proto Man. I’d never heard of the video game characters but I was intrigued by the premise. According to the article, the goal was not to capture the smell of the characters but to express “the experience of who that character is.”

Mega Man—apparently an android who turned into a battle robot to defend the world against evil—was expressed as purity, bravery, and masculinity. What, you ask, does that smell like? A fresh tropical breeze (purity), a musky note (masculinity), and a little citrus (for bravery). The fragrance is called Cool Rush.

As for Proto Man, the notes that bring him to olfactory life are apple and cinnamon because “he’s a bit of a rebel.” Yup, if there’s a smell I associate with rebels, it’s cinnamon-crunchy Apple Jacks.

These fragrances, by the way, are only available as air freshener cut-outs in the shape of the characters at the moment, though the makers eventually hope to turn them into juice.

This got me thinking about the heroes of my own misspent youth. I was born before the days of video games. Back then, we got our kicks through things called books. And as a young girl my favorite books involved The Black Stallion. The title character was, not surprisingly, a large dark Arabian horse who rescued a boy from a sinking ship. So what could the scent notes for this Hero Horse be?  Speed, I thought, since he later became a racehorse. Heart, since he never gave up. And Arabia, for obvious reasons. But what would that smell like? For speed, perhaps a burst of menthol: bright, energizing, gone almost before it registers. This would transition into a “heart” (sorry for the pun) of damask rose. All on a base of dates, saffron, and amber. Ormonde Jayne’s Linda Pilkington should develop this scent, since the more I think about the notes, the more they put me in mind of her lovely Tai’if (minus the menthol).

But the Black Stallion wasn’t my only childhood hero. The original Star Wars movie came out when I was 10, so Obi-Wan Kenobi was an idol of mine as well. His essence? Wisdom, of course. Integrity. Courage. Translation? Frankincense and myrrh, iris, and leather. What, you don’t think courage smells like leather?

A few years later my heroes had changed a bit. I was more into the band Black Sabbath than books about black stallions. Sabbath’s notes? Iron Man, Sweet Leaf, and a drop of bat’s blood. In other words, a top note of metallic moss, a heart of sinsemilla, plus a hint of Red Hot in the drydown. Yeah, that about sums up my adolescence.

Your turn! Who were your childhood heroes—and what would their “scent expressions” be?

Image from Wikipedia

  • nozknoz says:

    Funny, just a couple of days ago I tracked down a vintage copy the Nancy Drew book that I remember from high school. It’s the one with the cover painting of Nancy on a black horse – two classic childhood superheroes on one cover. After Nancy grew up and became a perfumista, she immediately fell for that Cartier L’Heure perfume with the horse mane accord (can’t remember the number). It makes her feel both powerful and a little wistful.

    • Sam says:

      Oh, I love this. Nancy Drew became a perfumista! Why am I even surprised? Of course she did. 😉

  • My hero was Jeannie from TV’s I Dream of Jeannie. I think she would smell of Saffron (fresh & bright), Tuberose (blonde bombshell sex appeal) and Amber (for her origins) and Wonder Woman who would smell of Lavender (squeakyclean), Hemp (truth lassoo) and Salty Beach (where the silicone for her clear jet came from).
    Portia xxx

    • Sam says:

      So funny–I was thinking about Wonder Woman perfume last night, long after having read FragrantWitch’s comment, and also thought of a Hemp note for the lasso. But it’s your other notes that make it perfect.

      And Jeannie! I adored her. So wanted to be able to blink my eyes and make wishes come true. I love your Jeannie scent concept. It would certainly suit her, but it would be pretty divine on others as well!

  • FragrantWitch says:

    I initially read the title as ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ which betrays my age, I guess! I could never read all of the animal stories as they always made me cry too much. I was a Nancy Drew fan through and through as a child. Curiosity, loyalty and wholesomeness with a soupçon of danger. I’ll have to think what smells like though!
    Of course, now I want to know what a Nirvana fragrance would smell like- it would have to have a flannel note though and something earthy like vetiver/patchouli and some jasmine.

    • FragrantWitch says:

      I forgot to add Wonder Woman! Who wouldn’t want a magic lasso that made peoe tell the truth?? And the outfit!

    • Sam says:

      I loved Nancy Drew, too! There totally should be a Nancy Drew/Teen Detective perfume. As for “Smells like teen spirit,” I was originally going to call the post “Smells like teen heroes”–so we were on the same mental page about that! You’re right: a Nirvana frag would absolutely have to include flannel.

      And yes, Wonder Woman. There has got to’ve been a perfume based on that character, no? A mix of spandex, lasso, and ancient Egyptian goddess (didn’t she call on Isis for her powers, or am I mixing that up?)…

      • FragrantWitch says:

        Imagine the bottle you could design for a Wonder Woman fragrance!
        I thought it was several of the Greek pantheon but it was a long time ago! She was definitely from an island of Amazons, that I remember. And she couldn’t allow a man to chain her- but I can’t remember what happened if she did. :Thinking:

        • Ann says:

          Yes! You guys are right, I think it was Isis she called on. My son asked about her so we went scouting the old clips on youtube and I think I remember that. For days afterward, we both went around singing “Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman”! And I love the Nancy Drew mention as well. I liked the Hardy Boys also, and does anyone remember the Bobbsey Twins? (Altho’ I think they were a little more juvenile.)

          • FragrantWitch says:

            And Trixie Belden! More juvenile but still fun.

          • Sam says:

            Yes! Bobbsey Twins and Hardy Boys (tho I never read Trixie Belden). My brother and I were lucky in that a friend of our mother’s had the full collection of Hardy Boys books from his own childhood and passed them on to us. We were in heaven. 🙂

  • Ann says:

    Hiya, Sam! Great post, and BTW, you really knocked me way into the wayback machine with your mention of “The Black Stallion” book series. I loved, loved, loved those in late elementary and early middle school. To check out books, we had to write our name on each one’s card in the book’s inside pocket. The librarian took one look at the card for the original, saw my name on it on every other space and said, “Didn’t like this one much, did you?”

    • Ann says:

      Oops, sorry — didn’t mention a childhood hero and appropriate fragrance. Gotta think about that a bit and get back to you …

    • Sam says:

      A fellow Black Stallion fan! Yeah, I haven’t thought about those books in many, many decades. But they popped into my head as soon as I thought about being a kid. Funny.

      I LOVE your story about the teasing librarian. Wasn’t re-reading a favorite book just the best thing ever?? (Still is, actually 😉

  • Musette says:

    I can’t think of any heroes offhand but when I read about the Epic Scents the first thing that came to mind was “Sheldon Cooper would LOVE these!!”

    xo :Devil:

    • Sam says:

      You’re so right! I was only recently introduced to Big Bang Theory, and I’m loving it. Maybe there’s a co-marketing opportunity here for an independent perfumer and the TV show…