Scent of a woman or tree or pilgrim or whatever

First-time readers should be aware that in this column I tackle the issues nobody has the courage to address (also, where have you been? I don’t know if I want to be associated with people that are just now coming onto the best thing to hit newspapers and the internet since kitten videos, laughing babies and synchronized wedding dancing.).

Today is no different. Today I take on a scourge sweeping our country. It’s hidden under our very noses. I’m talking, of course, of confusing, out-of-control scents.

If you find yourself in any woman or married couple’s homes you will likely find no fewer than five candles (with more in reserve for smell emergencies). The only thing men may have is a bottle of air freshener with flowers or clouds on it sitting on the back of the toilet – likely purchased by a woman at some point in 2005.

From lotions to candles to body wash to shampoo, scents such as Honey Sweetheart, Forever Sunshine, Dark Kiss and Midnight Pomegranate threaten not only my sanity but the very fabric of decent society.

Seriously, “Midnight Pomegranate?” How did that decision get made?

Smellentologist Gary: “We need a new scent. I was thinking pomegranate?”

Smellentologist Wizard: “We’ve already done pomegranate. But, you know, we haven’t done time-based fruit scents.”

Smellentologist Gary: “Pomegranates smell different at other parts of the day?”

Smellentologist Wizard: “Can you prove they don’t?”

Smellentologist Gary: “Well … no.”

Smellentologist Wizard: “Well then …”

Smellentologist Gary: “Uh … noon?”

Smellentologist Wizard: “Don’t be ridiculous.”

Smellentologist Gary: “Midnight?”

Smellentologist Wizard: “Now you’re talking.”

I suspect these are the same people that name their children Sundance, Moonstar, Jennifry or Jaykobe (pronounced “Raven”).

As an olfactory expert like myself can attest, you haven’t smelled anything until you’ve thrust your smell knob into a bushel of kiwi at dusk.

Against my will I recently discovered there’s a scent simply called “Noir.” Further investigation reveals “featured notes of black cardamom and white musk,” which are, of course, imaginary things. If this fragrance finds its way into your home it’s advised you use a pair of tongs to toss it into a fireplace while calling a shaman to cleanse your house’s aura. It’s also advised that you then find some Tiramisu, because it is delicious.

There’s something the scent empire doesn’t want revealed, but I’m a whistleblower and cannot be silenced (also a whistlethrower, whistlepeddler and fourth-generation whistlewhittler). There’s a powerful mind-controlling agent in Yankee candles that compels women to purchase candles that smell ridiculous.

The only explanation for a lotion/candle called Turquoise Sky being in existence is that, as a race, we’ve run out of scents. Instead of repeating or improving ones that make scents (har!) instead we’re creating imaginary ones.

Unfortunately I’m not immune and have one such abomination in my bathroom, which is in my HOME. Which is where I SLEEP. The scent? Fresh Sparkling Snow. I have major issues with this on several levels, the most obvious being NONE OF THESE THREE WORDS NATURALLY HAVE A SMELL. Yet there it is, existing.

Dear LORD here’s another scent travesty I just discovered: “Man Town.” Yes, ladies, you can now finally have your home smell like a bunch of men. If you’d like to get a sample of this scent, just stick your face into an old gym bag someone left in the locker room of your local YMCA. Then put that gym bag onto the floor of a fishing boat.

Based on what my wife brings home I assume Smellentologists look for new ideas while eating lunch at the office cafeteria.

Reginald: “Francis, what’s that you’re eating?”

Francis: “Uhh … a cucumber?”

Reginald: “You there, Beatrice, what about you?”

Beatrice: “Um, I’m not sure. Some kind of melon?”

Reginald: “Brilliant! First we do that, then we do turquoise and cheese Danish!”

Or they place a tiny ball of bread in front of beakers full of various scents and pick the first three the smell duck munches.

The more I think about it, the more I believe I can help scientists with new ideas because they’re clearly lacking (“Fluffy Towels”, seriously?). Here are some fresh ideas that will fit right in.


Grandpa’s hat

Box of spaghetti noodles


Marshmallow kidney bean


Freshly oiled lady thigh


USS Enterprise Lt. Commander Data (with emotion chip)

Ham sandwich


Flapping windsock


Nancy Regan


There you go, science! Your nose hole will be thanking me soon.

Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications ( He can be reached at or via ventriloquist dummy. Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny or he’ll smell you (please shower).