#3 (2) – Journey Entry 10.13.10

Some people just don’t appreciate what it is that I do.  I suppose it is odd, but Mother always says that it’s important to follow your passion.  And smells have always been my passion.  [note #18998:  does passion have a smell? research project 3.3 under Emotions.] [note #18999:  is passion an emotion? also research project 3.3]

A man at the post office began asking me what I was doing, and I described the goal of project 1.0 (leaving out the romantic details of course).  I suspect he thought that I was joking.  He laughed. [note #19000:  breath smelled of stale coffee, ginger, garlic, and a mild degree of bacteria from gingivitis.  start profile for man #422]  I explained that not only was I proving a theory that American post offices (pre-1980s construction) have a universally common smell, but that isolating that smell was of great sentimental value to me.  Or perhaps he suspected I was mentally ill and not in fact a life-long devotee of the collecting of smells.

Since the school board banning of my presence on elementary school grounds, I have been forced to continue my work strictly by memory.  This has proven to be a challenge.  Although elementary schools have many materials in common with a U.S. Post Office, they are not identical by a long shot.  The presence of children and the materials that they use in school complicates the matter many-fold. [note #19001:  Make a timeline of the history of the use of floor wax and cleaners grouped by school district within county]

I saw woman #374 again at the library today.  I suspect that she knows that I’m observing her.  She gave me a very queer look.  It was in the form of a smile, but I suspect that it must have been something else entirely.   I still do not know her name.   But I have gathered one more component for her smell profile.   Her sweater smelled faintly of cedar wood [#374 smell component #4].  I suspect that she must be storing her winter clothes in a cedar chest and has just now begun bringing them out because of the cooler weather.  It’s a lovely addition to an already lovely profile.  I hope to encounter her again soon.

Mother [profile #2] is calling for her chamomile tea and ginger snaps.


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  1. Dear Smell Collector, your olfactory eye for detail makes me realize that I have long under appreciated my own sense of smell. Until I read your blog I considered smell the least of my 5 senses (or a joint last with taste maybe?). My question to you is: could one reverse this negligence through training and dedication or am I damned to an existence of nasal retardation?

    1. Dear Mr. Coggins,

      I appreciate your inquiry into my work and into the possibility of bolstering your OAQ (Olfactory Acuity Quotient). First, let me say that I pity you and your nasal retardation. And second, I offer you a glimmer of hope. Begin with a bottle of Laphroaig 10 Year single malt scotch. When it stops tasting like iodine and tar and more like sweet, salty sea air, you have increased your OAQ by 5 or 7 points (taste, as you may know, is strongly related to smell). When you’re thoroughly intoxicated, spray yourself with Channel #5 and apply Maybelline Shimmery Rouge to your lips and head for the busiest intersection in your neighborhood where you will call “Love for sale! Yummy love for sale!”. Then, we’ll just hope for the best.

      Yours in Scent,

      The Smell Collector

  2. I’m hooked. The use of little links to profiles is very clever. I know someone who is strongly olfactory and this would be a perfect description of them. Tone and style is intriguing.
    Adam B @revhappiness

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