Friday, April 1, 2011

Bad smell relativity

Clearly I have productive & pivotal trains of thought during shower time, as this morning I found myself pondering bad smells. Why is it that what smells really bad to one person isn't nearly as foul (or may actually not be minded at all) to someone else? For example, I'm not really bothered by the smell of DD's poopy, pee-filled diaper wet bag but Chris finds it uber stanky & bothersome. By contrast, I find it hard not to retch when I attempt to empty the compost bucket, but hubby can do this quite readily. I also don't mind / kinda like the smell of skunks, chlorine and gasoline, none of which are typically considered to be "good" smells.

I wonder if there's more of a physiological or psychological component to this? Do I detest the smell of rotting food because the offending smellicules (woot, just made up a word!) physically clash with my system? Or do I know that, for example, rotting food means that the food is Not Good and would wreak havoc in my system if ingested, and therefore it turns me off? A little of both? I feel like there's gotta be at least a li'l psychological stuff going on, as babies don't seem to mind bad smells, nor do animals. (If they did, you wouldn't see dogs going around eating poo and rotting carcasses, but I digress.)

So what stereotypically bad smells do you detest? Which ones don't you mind? Are there any smells generally considered GOOD which you find bothersome?

Oh, and apologies to those reading this who are easily nauseated. Hope I didn't spoil anyone's dinner!


  1. I also don't mind the wetbag smells, but a lot of other smells bother me. My sense of smell got really acute while I was pregnant, and it never went away, so a lot of "good" smells nauseate me - many air fresheners and perfumes, and star anise.

  2. Uck, I know what you mean! Some smells totally turn me off, but not hubby! Like the smell of cooked eggs, ever since pregnancy with my 3rd baby. Unfortunately my family loves them, so I have to gag through it 4 times a week!

  3. I was lucky enough not to get turned off by any new smells during pregnancy. We'll see if this changes during preg #2 and beyond (assuming we go there :)