Your New Challenge: A Story in Smells

Hot dogs grilling on a Weber. 

Old Spice after shave. 

Aquanet hairspray and L’Air du Temps cologne. 

Bug zapper ozone. 

Newly mown grass. 

Wet Saint Bernard hair. 

Cedar fence gate.

Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds perfume.  

Coconut sun tan oil. 

Lancome foundation and face powder.

Estee Lauder lipstick.

Oversized woven straw purse.

Dove soap.

Lysol air freshener.

Leather belt and white cotton teeshirt.

Mennon Deodorant and underarm sweat.

Lady Mitchum antiperspirant.

Downy Fabric Softener bed sheets. 

Gun oil.

Cordite and sulfur smoke. 

Coppery blood.

15 responses to “Your New Challenge: A Story in Smells

  1. Tears.

    Barbasol shaving cream.

    Mommy’s wool lamb.

    Oil dripping under the car.


    Worms baking in the sun.

    Corned beef hash frying in a pan.

    Dead fish and pond scum.

    Folger’s freeze dried coffee and an old fashioned donut.

    Lye soap.

    Liver sausage on white bread.

    Fresh dog poop.

    Hot buttered popcorn in a brown paper bag.

    Soft-boiled eggs.

    Mildew breath.


    Hospital basement and soiled linens.

    Yellow death.

    Thick syrup of lilies.

    White roses in a wood basket.

    Fresh grave dirt.


  2. Coffee

    Fresh Fried trout

    Chimney smoke



    Cedar trees

    Spruce Pine

    Mountain air


    Snow Cream

    Brand new babies

    Bacon & Eggs

    Homemade Vegetable Soup

    Homemade bread

    Fire in fireplace


    Wet, steaming blacktop

    Blossoming lilac bushes

    Vicks VapoRub

    Handmade Cleopatra’s Secret soap

    Eucalyptus leaves

    Freshly baked bread

    Gasoline fumes

    Warm cornbread

    White Out at work

    Uncapped Sharpie pen

    Campfire logs burning

    Damp leaves underfoot

    Inside a new book

    Baby lotion on skin

    Scented candles

    Popped and buttered popcorn

    Moist upturned earth

    New car smell

    Bedsheets dried on the clothesline

    Warm chocolate chip cookies

    Toasted Southern Pecan coffee brewing

  4. The smell of fresh brewed coffee awakened him out of a dream. He arose and let the hot water shower over his hair as the Herbal Essence suds flow down his back. His towel smells as fresh as when Snuggles first dried it.

    He pours his first cup, holds it to his nose and let the steam penetrate his senses. The smell of the salty ocean breeze flows through the open french doors. A slight whiff of a passing skunk interrupts his thoughts.

    The exhaust of rush hour was especially strong this day. For once he was glad to pass the Chinese buffet as it masked the commuters. In the office, once again the smell of coffee filled the air. His day was good until he spilled his Old Spice on his new suit.

    That night he dined in the new “In” place with it’s special waffles sweetening the air. At the table next to him sat four young ladies, causing him to smile as he inhaled the scent of a woman.

    He slid into his bed and pulled the sheet up to his nose, Snuggles tucking him in. As he drifts off the ocean breeze pulls his dreams into the deep.

  5. Baked car upholstery.
    Old coffee,
    and, wait, vanilla air freshener? Where did that come from?
    Hay making time!
    Oh, cows…
    Who took off their shoes?
    Chanel No. 5 and lipstick.
    Old Spice.
    Sweet, sharp wintergreen gum.
    Livestock sweat. Ponies!
    Strawberry ice cream. No thanks, I like orange sherbet.
    Algae and fish.
    Damp air-conditioned car circulated air.
    Coca-cola with overtones of cinnamon
    Ug. Rotten cabbage! Yeah, some people call that sauerkraut.
    Mmmmm, brown sugar cookies and frosting made with butter and powdered sugar.

  6. Fragrance of sleep

    Old Spice

    Coffee brewing

    Bacon frying

    Cold bouquet of snow

    Tang of steel

    Cold that burns the nose

    Bracing coffee

    Papery scent of books

    Snow and steel – part II

    Salt dust stinging your nostrils


    Odor of wet concrete

    Musk of wet wool

    Stench of pain

    Husband’s musk

    Coffee’s soothing aroma

  7. Cat Breath
    Wet kitty litter
    Wet kitty litter
    Fresh kitty litter
    Cat food
    Body odor
    Bath Soap
    Tooth Paste
    Deodorant sample of the day
    Morning fresh sea air tainted with tide
    Car exhaust
    Deep fryers
    Toast, eggs, hamburger
    Fresh salmon
    Clam Chowder
    Fresh cut French fries
    Hot oil
    Cooked fish
    Burgers and fries
    Fish ‘n’ Chips
    Hot oil
    Soap and water
    Cold beer
    Late evening cool sea air
    Car exhaust
    Cat breath

  8. squishy black dirt

    wicker basket filled with:

    tomatoes, garden-fresh from the vine



    bay leaves


    onions sauteeing

    spaghetti sauce simmering

    rapidly boiling water bouncing pasta until it’s al-dente

    crisp arugula and endive drizzled with olive oil and apple cider vinegar

    crusty garlic bread


    Tira misu

    steaming bubble bath

    buoyant Ivory soap

    strawberry scented cadles

    fleecy terry-cloth towel

    lavendar sachet-scented nightgown

    sun-dried sheets


  9. Barbara Burris

    Viburnum in full bloom
    Warm, moist earth rich with peat
    Air heavy with approaching rain
    Slightly burned hazelnut coffee
    Johnson & Johnson baby lotion mixed with Snuggle fabric softener
    Freshly barfed up formula
    Dove soap
    Suave coconut shampoo
    Yellow brown diaper
    Johnson & Johnson baby wash
    Rubber duckie
    Snuggle fabric softener
    Freshly baled hay
    Warm milk in a pail
    Green chop
    Yeast dough
    Warm bread
    Concord grapes
    Hot bleach water
    Pot roast
    Mennen aftershave mixed with sweat
    Coffee breath
    Cinnamon apples
    Newly mown grass
    Irish Spring soap
    Freshly washed sheets

  10. Off topic, but unusual descriptions capture my attention. Lyrics to a song:

    When you came in, the air went out
    and every shadow filled up with doubt….

    If you don’t recognize it, it’s the theme song To True Blood, which I wtch on HBO because I’ve met Charlaine Harris and think her books are hysterical. Tv show’s a lot bloodier and darker, though, and not as much of the humor comes through.

    But, I do love those lyrics “shadows filled up with doubt.” Wow. Now, that’s what shadows do, don’t they?

  11. Thank you, Kathan. Now if only every day could be that tranquil!

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