You’re driving down the road and get a whiff of skunk spray. You immediately plug your nose, but you look over to see your friend inhaling the aroma. She says she loves that smell and you are totally baffled. Then, you think for a second about the weird scents you secretly love and are a little more understanding. How and, more importantly, why do people develop a fondness for weird smells?
According to some scent specialists (yes, that’s a thing), no smell is technically good or bad. Our experiences and our culture join together to form our opinions on smells. Skunk spray is known as a bad smell because our culture says so, but the odor itself doesn’t necessarily carry a meaning prior to us forming an association. Huh, weird.
This got us thinking. What are some other weird smells people are fond of? Here are the 10 most popular ones we could come up with.
1. GasolineOf course gasoline has to top the list. People literally would bottle up this scent if they could and wear it as perfume. Why? It’s a mystery.
2. Play-DohAh, the sweet smell of nostalgia. Fun fact: you can actually buy this scent in a bottle, weirdos.
3. ChlorineThe unofficial smell of summer, even though it kind of burns your nostrils.
4. Cleaning productsThey smell like straight up chemicals and people go gaga for them. Why?
5. LeatherThe main reason new car scent exists.
6. Cardboard boxesI don’t know, maybe it’s reminiscent of opening presents when you were a kid?
7. Stinky cheeseThis one speaks for itself. People love their cheese, but man it stinks.
8. ErasersBecause mistakes never smelled so good.
9. Fresh asphaltAh, the stench of a newly paved road just waiting for you to drive on it.
10. Dry erase markersMiddle school wasn’t all bad memories, right? The white boards smelled like heaven.
What are some weird smells you secretly love? We’d love to hear about them!