The Five Best Smells

 

I had the odd distinction of creating a hashtag the other day which became the number one trending hashtag in the world – in this case, #5bestsmells – which was chosen by all sorts of folks on Twitter as a spawning point for offering a public version of closely held sentiment. I view it as a sort of Proustian memory indicator of happiness and pleasure – my own #5bestsmells are, as follows: charcoal grill firing up, salt of the ocean, fresh cut grass, Light Blue on a woman, and bacon.

What’s your own #5bestsmells, and what scents inspire various memories for you?

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Brian

    #1 – fresh air, replete with higher oxygen content, brought onboard a submarine after weeks of recycling/producing internally.  Talk about synapses.  

    Then grass, onions and garlic in a saute pan, bread baking, an Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature.

    • #1
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    @TheKingPrawn

    Bacon, bread baking, wood fire smoking meat, freshly mowed golf course, pipe smoke.

    Brian, agree on the fresh air. There is something about the way Pearl Harbor smells when you first come out of the hatch that is quite unique.

    • #2
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    @Douglas

    Speaking strictly for myself, there’s nothing like walking into my Krispy Kreme shop at 2 AM and smelling the doughnuts that are coming off the production line, along with the fresh KK coffee being brewed. I gotta have both when I smell that.

    A close second would be the smell coming out of my local steakhouse. Oh man, the smell of steak cooking.

    • #3
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    @RobertLux

    Don’t know about “top five,” but absolutely the first thing that comes to mind as “the greatest smell” is from my visit to Croatia three summers ago: arrival at the island of Hvar, followed shortly thereafter by a leisurely hike in the hills above the town at sunset. The aroma of wild growing lavender…the experience was something close to Heaven.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Contributor
    @BenDomenech
    Brian: #1 – fresh air, replete with higher oxygen content, brought onboard a submarine after weeks of recycling/producing internally.  Talk about synapses.  

    Then grass, onions and garlic in a saute pan, bread baking, an Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature. · 5 minutes ago

    Arturo Fuente FTW.

    • #5
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    @DocJay

    1) Napalm in the morning.2) The facial sweat of face palms over Tommy’s last article.3) Ted Kennedy’s glioblastoma multiforme.4) Eric Holder’s fear laden gas as he is cuffed and led to jail.5) Obama’s cigarette smoke being wafted by the rolled up newspaper his hen pecking wife hits him with while she degrades his manhood.

    • #6
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    @user_310989

    I saw this question before it had a hashtag, much less before that hashtag trended #1 globally.

    My very manly 5: fire, 2-cycle engine exhaust, the woods, black powder smoke, Hoppes No. 9

    The wife’s: honeysuckle, banana bread, fresh-mowed grass, coffee beans, babies

    • #7
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    @HeartofAmerica

    You’ve already hit some of mine.

    1. Bacon 

    2. Freshly cleaned sheets  hanging on the line

    3. Woodsmoke fire/BBQ

    4. A Baby, just after bath time

    5. Wild onions

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Member
    @Charlotte

    Lilacs, chocolate chip cookies baking, meat on the grill, Christmas trees, rain on hot asphalt, fresh snow.

    • #9
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    @TheKingPrawn

    All this talk of meat on the grill and the sun is shining…brb.

    • #10
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    @CharlesMark

    Cinnamon

    • #11
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    @BenDomenech

    A surprising number of women cited cigar smoke, steak, and fresh cut grass. LEARN from this, men!

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Inactive
    @RobertLux
    Ben Domenech

    Brian: #1 – fresh air, replete with higher oxygen content, brought onboard a submarine after weeks of recycling/producing internally.  Talk about synapses.  

    Then grass, onions and garlic in a saute pan, bread baking, an Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature. · 5 minutes ago

    Arturo Fuente FTW. · 9 minutes ago

    Arturo Fuente Royal Salute is my personal fave.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheKingPrawn
    Ben Domenech: A surprising number of women cited cigar smoke, steak, and fresh cut grass. LEARN from this, men! · 2 minutes ago

    I still prefer my pipe smoke to cigar smoke though.

    • #14
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    @Cesar

    1. Bacon. 2. Fresh-cut grass.3. The sea.4. Classic Old Spice.5. That smell just before it rains.

    • #15
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    @DianeEllis

    Wow, Ben. I had no idea you were the instigator of that.1.freshly ground coffee2.heads of babies3.the Pacific Ocean4.the woods after a rain5.meat on a grill

    • #16
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    @KCMulville

    My wife is from Baltimore. When we were first married, we’d go to the in-law’s for Thanksgiving. They had a tradition of kielbasa and sauerkraut along with turkey, and the combination of smells is just wonderful. You’d just open the door to their house and stand there, loving life.

    My grandmother lived in Margate, New Jersey. She lived  a two-minute’s walk to the beach. The ocean air still puts me right to sleep. 

    The fast food chains have driven out a lot of what we used to call “hamburger joints.” You can still find them at the shore along the boardwalk, and yes, I know that the smell is from the terribly unhealthy grease – – but that smell carries a lot of memories.

    Incense at a cathedral during Christmas midnight mass. When the whole church is dark, except for the candles. 

    Finally, imagine a bar near the ocean, out on the deck. Late afternoon, when the summer sky is streaked with orange and purple. When you’re just hanging out, after the beach but before dinner. The smell? The first waft from a glass of Irish whiskey. 

    Who dares not believe in God?

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Wow. Apparently a Promoted Tweet (the advertisement above the top trend) is worth $120,000 a day. Too bad you didn’t start a “#BestRicochetSmells” hashtag.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Natalie

    1. the candle “Angel Whispers”

    2.  burning leaves

    3. fresh cut grass

    4. “Wash a Bye” baby wipes.  (Weird…I know)

    5. Brut cologne

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Also it didn’t hurt that yesterday was 4/20. I bet there were a lot of tweets talking about cookies, brownies, and other baked goods smelling good. Not to mention the subject of the holiday itself.

    Wait a second. Diane- heads of babies? You decapitate newborn children just to enjoy their scent? This is almost worse than Puppygate. Almost.

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheGreatAdventure

    Number 1 has to be freshly ground French Roast coffee.  I suspect numbers 2 through 5, however, all involve bacon in some capacity.

    When I was a kid, I loved the smell of gasoline.  That was cured quickly after working as a pump jockey during HS.  

    Nina (by Nina Ricci) is fantastic as well – that happens to be the fragrance worn by my hot squeeze of 26 years.  :-P

    • #21
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    @WesternChauvinist

    5. Puppy breath, garden loam tied for fifth,

    4. Gardenia blossoms, closely followed by honeysuckle in fourth,

    3. Thanksgiving turkey roasting, even better if someone else is cooking,

    2. Bread baking,

    1. My clean babies. Sorry, only mine, and only clean. I hope my future grandbabies can replicate that.

    Oh, and above all (I know, it’s more than five) — chrism oil. That right there is what Heaven smells like, I’m thinking.

    • #22
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    @judithlevy

    1. Gas stations

    2. Fresh paint

    3. Freshly baked bread

    4. Coffee

    5. The inside of my guitar

    • #23
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    @NoesisNoeseos

    I’ll assume you don’t want us to include metaphors, so I’ll leave off “the smell of a tyrant’s defeat,” which I expect to enjoy this November, but more concretely:

    A glass of well aged La Tache,The California redwoods in a light morning’s mist,Smoked lamb with garlic and rosemary,A glass of Rockpile Zinfandel,An herb garden (with or without garlic and rosemary).
    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Inactive
    @JohnMurdoch
    1. Fresh wood shavings in a stall;
    2. A newly-brushed horse;
    3. A field of timothy and clover at dawn;
    4. Cinnamon;
    5. Oatmeal
    • #25
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    @Percival

    1. Fresh air, with maybe a hint of damp canvas.

    2. A campfire.

    3. Fresh caught fish frying for breakfast.

    4.  Coffee brewing.

    5.  The four above, all at once.

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Contributor
    @GeorgeSavage

    Ben, thank you for a great thread.  The rest of the world can thank you for a great trending Twitter hashtag–I missed it.

    My favorites:  1) freshly cut grass, which always takes me back to my Florida childhood; 2) The smell of the ocean, which for some unaccountable reason takes me back to summer Boston afternoons during the 80s, to the very moment when the sea breeze really sets up and the blistering heat abates; 3) the moisture-laden, deliciously cool, ozone-tinged outflow from an approaching thunderstorm–Florida again; 4) Running most anywhere in the West and, while approaching water, smelling the moisture before seeing its source; and 5) [gotta go with Diane E. here] the smell of a baby’s head, which always reminds me of my three boys.

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Inactive
    @EThompson

    1. Gardenias.

    No comparable # 2-5. :)

    • #28
  29. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Natalie

    Not one person said “new car smell”. 

    • #29
  30. Profile Photo Inactive
    @EThompson
    Natalie: Not one person said “new car smell”.  · 2 minutes ago

    You’ve inspired me; perhaps the waft of a crisp new dollar bill?

    • #30

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