Friday, August 22, 2008

The 20 Most Recognized Scents In The World

According to a Yale University study cited by and Crayola.

At first glance I saw baby powder and cigarette butts back to back and thought for a split second that they'd listed baby butts. "Yep," I thought to myself, "That's a recognizable scent all right."

Hard to believe B.O. didn't make the list. It's fairly recognizable, particularly on a crowded bus or in France. The smell of desperation is well-known to most adults, too.

1. Coffee
2. Peanut butter
3. Vicks VapoRub
4. Chocolate
5. Wintergreen oil
6. Baby powder
7. Cigarette butts
8. Mothballs
9. Dry cat food
10. Beer
11. Ivory bar soap
12. Juicy Fruit gum
13. Orange
14. Cinnamon
15. Lemon
16. Tuna
17. Banana
18. Crayons
19. Cheese
20. Bleach


  1. "baby butts" ha ha ha! You make me laugh. :D

    A couple of my favorite scents that aren't listed are fresh bread baking in the oven and lilacs on a spring breeze.

    A couple of my not so favorite scents would be rotten eggs/sulphur water and dead skunk.

  2. Here's one I'd know anywhere - the smell of the in-laws house.

  3. Dry cat food, really? I would list popcorn and freshly cut grass as more recognizable than that.

  4. i suppose you have personal experiences to state that France comment on!
    I'll never understand why americans seem to believe the french smell. i wonder where it comes from.

  5. Spent two entire summers in France studying and part of another year. I can confirm the smell. Not everybody but yes, more prevalent for sure.

  6. Dr. Z - HA!

    Frou - relax, it was a joke. This is a humor site.

  7. Coffee....mmmmm, my fave smell!!

    Around here we have "laser breath" or "shit-breath" when our kids haven't brushed yet. **gag**

    My worst smell by far is rotting potatoes, makes my stomach flip just thinking about it.

    After living in Europe for seven years, I can honestly say that some Europeans are not as "anal" about hygiene as we are here in North America. But that is not to say that we don't have vile, stinky people here too! Ask anybody who has ever ridden a city bus/subway. :oD

  8. Skunks. And if you have a kid (or were a kid once): Play-doh.

  9. woodsmoke and appleblossoms

  10. Magic Marker

  11. What about that cement-in-a-can that fits/holds PVC pipes together? I got a whiff of that stuff and about passed out.

    Ammonia would have my vote too.

  12. I would think Vanilla would be on there. I like to wear it as perfume because it makes you smell like cookies

  13. I'd exchange dry cat food for cat piss...far more recognizable!

  14. I can’t figure the significance of dry cat food, chocolate, or cheese scents. Most cheeses (not all) are bland in scent and I can’t ever remember chocolate having a scent. I like the additions – many I had thought of too. How’ bout garlic?

    BTW, sorry to see that Cliffy got arrested.

  15. Damn, Reen, quit eating Kraft Singles and "gubmint" cheese and try the good stuff. Good cheese is piquant and tasty.

  16. what about bacon and patchouli, which is awesome. as long as it is used sparingly

  17. I can't believe Juicy Fruit gum made it on there before.... well pretty much anything really.

  18. Cary: Something tells me I'd better not respond... any response would be---drum roll, please--- cheesy. :)

  19. Funny, you looked at the list and saw baby butts...I looked at it and saw cat balls. For the life of me, I can't think what cat balls smell like.

    Depends on the cheese, that's fer sure. Bleu? Limburger? Fumunda? Maybe.

    Big 10-4 on vanilla, bacon, lilacs, grass (both the mowed kind and the smokin' kind) popcorn, and how about cotton candy, roses, and brownies baking

  20. What about clothes that were hung outside on a clothesline..........that "April fresh scent!"

  21. Fromunda cheese definitely has a scent, and not a good one.

  22. Ahhh Vicks VapoRub my drug of choice. It really should be number one. A few dabs under the nostrils and your ability to smell the other 19 smells on the list evaporates!

  23. Missing: Magnum markers. Mentholatum. Popcorn (and, of course, burning microwave popcorn). Freshly mown grass. Lilacs. Bus exhaust. Gasoline. Hubba Bubba (barf). Dog poop. Tequila. Cigarette smoke.

    But I do LOVE that crayons are on the list!

    I'm surprised that the lower things on the list -- cinnamon, lemon, bleach, orange -- are so low. Hmm.

  24. I'm totally down with those who posted bubble gum, Play-Doh, and markers. Good stuff!

  25. wait what is Wintergreen oil??

  26. yeah - what is wintergreen oil?? does anybody know?

  27. Rain mixing with the soil



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