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Confession #10: The Smelling Circle

January 19, 2010

Okay, this is going to be a little weird.

I have a fairly sensitive nose. Good smells (popcorn, Angel perfume, campfires, etc.) have a powerful effect on me. Bad smells (body odor, mildew, other people’s farts, Cheetos, etc.) have a profoundly negative impact on me.

I love how women smell. You all are delicious. I’m curious about how you want us guys to smell, hence the Saturday question on the blog about your favorite cologne (the most common answer seems to be Aqua di Gio). I wear Aqua di Gio on occasion, but mostly I like the way I smell with Old Spice deoderant.

I think my sensitive nose partially stems back to when I was younger. I got migraine headaches on a fairly frequent basis back then, and when I did, the slightest smell would send me reeling. Even good smells.

Mostly, though, I’m curious about how things smell. Especially things that come in contact with my hands. Like, you know how when you get orange or onion or garlic or wet sponge on your hand, it smells for days afterward? For the most part, those smells aren’t good. They’re pungent. But I’m absolutely fascinated by how they make my hands smell.

A former girlfriend noticed my penchant for smelling things (especially myself), and coined a phrase for it: The Smelling Circle. The Smelling Circle started with one member (me) and expanded to Biddy a few years ago (he’s also fascinated by how all this–including my hands–smell). We’ve been smelling things together since ’07.

I know, this is weird. There’s really no good reason for me to post about it. But it’s time for the Smelling Circle to be revealed to the world. We’re open for membership. We’re here, we like to smell things, and we’re proud of it.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Dionne permalink
    January 19, 2010 11:30 pm

    That’s interesting. I always hate it when I’m around someone who HAS to smell their food. To me that is an animal response, not a civilized human response. Smelling non-food items is ok like flowers, perfumes, crayons, etc. I have a student who works in my office that loves to smell paper- yes, paper! Her favorite type of paper is the kind that comes out fresh from the copy machine. Another co-worker I have loves to smell crayons, but I think that’s normal because I like to do that too. I also like to smell leather and the inside of books. So when it comes to The Smelling Circle, that’s as far as I go.

    • January 20, 2010 1:01 am

      I do smell my food at times, but I do it from a distance.

      I love the smell of a new book.

      Mostly, though, it’s about smells that are interesting. Even some bad smells. Like skunk. I think skunk smell is fascinating.

  2. January 19, 2010 11:31 pm

    I don’t think a lingering orange scent is a bad thing. And you’re strange.

  3. Mary permalink
    January 19, 2010 11:54 pm

    Smell memory is one of the strongest. The smell of a new doll or toy truck; fresh cut pine, mowed grass, cherry pipe smoke on corduroy, Play-doh; these scents send me reeling into the past. Long ago there was a study of women who agreed to give birth and not see their children but they were able to smell their infants. Later, they entered the nursery blindfolded and identified their own infants with a 99% accuracy. Smell is a primal sense and one of the most valuable.

    • January 20, 2010 1:03 am

      Oh, I totally agree about smell memory. It’s so powerful. It can send you back many years in a split second–and unlike some memory triggers where you can’t put your finger on it, smell seems to be wired in a way that makes the memories come vividly to the surface.

      That’s fascinating about the woman/child experiment.

  4. January 20, 2010 12:11 am

    So who smells better? You or Biddy?

    • January 20, 2010 1:04 am

      It’s not so much about better–it’s about who smells more interesting.

      In which case Biddy wins hands down. Although I am intrigued by the smell of his wet nose on my hands.

  5. Bryce permalink
    January 20, 2010 6:22 pm

    So I notice that you specify “other people’s farts” as bad. Is that to say that you enjoy the smell of your own farts??? Now that would be an interesting confession.

  6. February 3, 2010 5:01 am

    i used to wear Acqua Di Gio but now im a big fan of angel.


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