Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Color Purple

The other night I took a long stroll with the hound dog. The sun was setting and I was sure I'd still be out walking as it became dark. The cherry on top of this sunset sundae was, but of course, the smell. I have to say, the wild flower selection in the mid-west is phenomenal. For example, Queen Anne's Lace (which is actually a weed!) turns my commute home in to a drive through a garden.

Back to my walk... On this night I found an unusually furry flower. It had a clover smell to it, but didn't look like all of his other clover friends. it was purple, and man did it smell purple!! And then I thought, "what does purple smell like?" I couldn't detect any artificially flavored grape soda, so I smelled on. I just kept jamming that poor flower up my nose, which got me no closer to my answer. Does any one know what this flower/weed/delicious specimen is?

I may not know what purple really smells like, but at least someone knows what it sounds like. Please, indulge yourself for a few minutes and watch.

Monday, July 26, 2010


A few years ago, I volunteered for a month in South Africa at a baboon rehabilitation center and sanctuary. I have no idea when or how I will be able to return. I loved those little (and big) guys. They giggle, they look deep in to your eyes, and they'll even comb through your hair. (To find bugs, but it feels good, so I'll take it.) They're brats, no doubt. They pull hair, they throw food, they bite, the throw tantrums. I miss all of those things about them too. I have pictures and I have videos. But I can't smell them. They're musty stink mixes with the surrounding contributions of hay and, well, poop. Which may sound like a nightmare, I know. But the most comforting aspect of the experience was all of those smells combined, which is actually quite sweet. Imagine it's a rainy South African day, and you are sitting with a bunch of baby baboons. Missing home, thinking "how did I GET here?!?" Quite surreal on it's own, but the sweet smell of baby baboon is on that I miss every time I look through my pictures.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What Sara's Nose Thinks, Part 2

This one was also submitted Sara of Amali Jewelry (see Daily Candy post here!)

My grandfather, who I adored, died when I was 16. Every once in a while, I get a waft of his aftershave and my memories come pouring back. Sometimes, I'll be with my sister when it happens, and we both stop what we're doing, look at each other, breath deeply, and someone says "I smell him." We then go on a search to find the man with the goods so we can solve our puzzle, but to this day, this delightful scent has no name.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Lake

Above: my cousin, her BF and their dog, Bailey.

Above: Auntie at the community chicken bbq.

Best view in the house.

Among my top 5 smells, and this is no joke, is the smell of lake. When my mother was in her twenties, she and friend took a trip to find "the roundest lake" in New Hampshire. They found Bow Lake, and we've been coming here ever since. I grew up associating the smell of lake with vacation, family, summer heat, and comfort. I love the musty smell that comes off the lake with a breeze. The way it's smell mixes with fermented leaves in the fall. The smell of lake coddles me. I guess that's the best word I can think of to describe the feeling.... There is no safer or happier place in the world for my family than at this teeny, tiny, roundest lake in NH. Not a day goes by that I don't know how lucky I am to have a lake in my life.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Boston...generally smelling

I just returned from a whirlwind 48 hours in New England. First stop, Boston. Many spots in Boston just smell like garbage. There's a lot of people and they have to throw stuff out so I guess that's the simple explanation. But there are SO many other wonderful smells just from my first of two nights.

First at bat ... Fenway! I didn't actually go to a game at the park, but my friend Arielle lives in it's backyard. Walking down Lansdowne St on the way to dinner, my lil nose was invaded mostly by street meat, beer, and dudes with too much cologne and hair gel. Wouldn't a game smell empty without meat and beer? A vegetarian/recovering alcoholic's baseball game must be like getting stuck on a plane on the tarmac. Or something else that isn't very fun.

Above: Arielle gets ready to knock one back.

The first thing I crave when I step off the plane at Logan, is the wonderful combination of oysters and cocktails. In fact, I crave that every morning when I wake up. Juuuuuust kidding. Really though, I love anything briney. Just add lemon and horseradish, and you've got a powerful seaside trifecta. Sharp, sweet, bitter...makes my eyes water. It's no suprise that there are many great places in Boston for bivalves. My favorites are B & G Oysters, and Eastern Standard. We chose the latter, which is host to bevvy of fond memories and a great cast of characters. I know I should try some new places, but it's been a few years since I have lived there, and nothing makes me feel like I'm home more than the old standbys.

Of course, no post about Boston would be complete without the T. I used to take it everyday for work, and, despite the fact that this appears to be a new car, it still has the T Signature Scent: Musty with a side of feet, sneakers, and money. I'm not sure why I smell money on the T. Maybe it's just dirty paper..or people. The jury's out on that one, anyway.

....And now, because I just can't resist....

See you next time BOS. For now, it's back to MKE.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nail Polish

As long as my toes and finders are out and about, I prefer to have them painted. I was always making things with glue and nails and wood in my early twenties so it seemed like a waste to get my nails painted and then ruined. If I did paint them, well, I had them "done." But the more I love having them painted, the more I realize I'm gonna need to do it myself. Some people don't like the smell, but for me, the smell of nail polish is the smell of affordable luxury. A smell that means I won't be doing any handy-work in the near future. It almost smells like I'm going on vacation. It's an instant pick me up. Like I'm going to have a delicious cocktail at any moment. Sidecar anyone?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What Sara's Nose Thinks...


"This is a strange one, but I will never forget the smell of a squished lightning bug. We grew up next to a farm, so our back yard was essentially a cornfield. Every night there would be a sea of lightning bugs. We would go outside and collect them in our little bug jars. If you squish them at just the right moment, you could smear the glowing butt on your eye lids to make some seriously hot 80's eye shadow. You'll have to squish one and see for yourself :) "

I've never squished a lightning bug myself, but from what I've read, they have a musty, dirt like smell. To learn more about these guys, click here! And, if you want to smell for yourself, click here to find out how to round up some of your own!

Sara is a wildly talented jewelry designer who lives in NYC. This is the first we've heard from Sara's nose, but it won't be the last!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spray Paint

This past weekend I attended Bastille Days in Milwaukee. I can only assume this guy was there to show how spray paint can be french. Or something. What REALLY made me happy about this token street art presentation, were the intoxicating fumes that emanated from it. I have nothing but love for the smell of spray paint. And while I'm no Bansky, I've certainly clocked enough hours with the stuff for it to forever remind me of high school boys, a myriad of projects in college and grad school, a smattering of DIY projects, and, most memorably, this back alley in Boston.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What Dan's Nose Thinks...

"You know those grates you walk over on the sidewalks of Chicago? The ones where sometimes there is cooler temperature burst of air coming from the tunnels below. Well, it is interesting because this air sort of smells musty and old, probably because it is. But, even though the smell is itself is negative, I actually find it to be somewhat nostalgic. It reminds me of some of the rides at Disney Land that incorporate water (It's a small world) and other theme parks. It is a musty, old smell but attached to good memories growing up. Just a thought, and a weird one at that."

Popcorn Paws

Above, you will find a photo of THE most adorable dog in the world, his name is Ramos Gin Fizz. You will also see a close up of his paws and a bowl of popcorn. Why, you may ask, are these together as if they have something to do with each other?? Well they do, obviously. And if you have a dog, you should already know why. There is a phenomenon out there, sometimes referred to as "popcorn paws" and in some circles "frito feet" ... both corn products. Despite the fact that popcorn paws gets over 2 million search results on google, including several businesses with the name, I'm finding very few scientific explanations of this. One vet suspects it is the smell of a common, non-infectious bacteria. The most important thing to realize here is that some guy named Murray Weinstock was so passionate about popcorn paws that he wrote this. Listen and weep.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dad's Nose

As of late, I like to ask friends and family what their noses think. My dad has a rather large nose, and, might I add, one with expensive taste. Although he doesn't know it. This Hermes soap happens to be one of his favorite smells, because it reminds him of a family trip to Italy. As you may or may not know, smell is intrinsically liked to memory. The soap actually came in miniature size in the hotel bathroom. (Ti amo Roma!) Can you imagine checking in to a hotel room in the US and finding Hermes? Not so much. Ever since that trip, my mother, like a magician pulling rabbits out of a hat, manages to produce mini Hermes soap bars for my father.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Challah Bread

Unless you are emotionally inept or a corpse, you should love the smell of bread. People who say they don't are liars. Same goes for those who say they don't like salt and butter. For me, it's the smell of Challah toast that really tugs at the ol' heart strings. It reminds me of my late-but-lovely jewish grandparents in Allentown, PA. My search for facts about the smell of bread didn't turn up much I hadn't seen love bread etc etc.
Then I found this article about the dangers of bread!! Oh dear, if you need a good laugh I beg you to read it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


This is the creepy staircase in the parking garage (bottom). Walking through here is certainly the low point of every day, as you could imagine. It's always damp and gives me that public pool locker room feeling. Specifically Gath pool in Newton (top). It also reminds me of how much I HATE walking around with wet feet.

When googling around about cement I found this. Technically it's on Yahoo but you get my point.