Category Archives: Smells

Stink Think


Stink Think

Scotch broom makes me nauseous. Roses make me sneeze.
I abhor the scent of jasmine on an evening breeze.
Room deodorants should be banned, as should scented candles.
I’d rather smell my brother’s sneakers or a vagrant’s sandals.

Now that we want each thing to smell like something it is not,
there’s a different odor on everything we’ve got.
There’s perfume in detergent, in dryer tabs and soap.
Scented toilet paper makes we want to mope.

Unscented’s getting almost impossible to find.
It leaves allergic folks like me in a real tight bind.
Gardenia in my hand lotion or chamomile or peach.
Hairsprays  smell as fresh as air or like a summer beach.

Floor cleaners smell like forests of freshly gathered pine,
as though without this pungent scent our floors would smell like swine!
These odors leave me gasping and running for some air.
Their vapors make my eyes run, causing much despair.

I do not want my table waxed with lemon or “fresh scent.”
I believe that everything should smell as nature meant.
I’ve done a lot of research, and  I’m fairly sure
that perfumes out-stink everything they’re meant to obscure!


The prompt today was fragrance.  I found at least five old poems about fragrances and odors.  Here’s another one that goes waaaay back. Image of Scotch Broom from the internet.

Sweet Clover

Sweet Clover

Before our dad told us its real name,
we used to call it wild mustard.
What did we know about sweet clover except for its color
and that summer smell, cloying in its sugared perfume.
It filled the air and smothered the plains—
bright yellow and green where before
brown stubble had peeked through blown snow.

On these dry lands, what flowers there were
tended to be cash crops or cattle feed.
Sweet clover or alfalfa.
The twitching noses of baby rabbits brought home by my dad
as we proffered it to them by the handful.
Fragile chains we draped around our necks and wrists.
Bouquets for our mom
that wilted as fast as we could pick them.

Summers were sweet clover and sweet corn
and first sweethearts parked on country roads,
windows rolled down to the night air,
then quickly closed to the miller moths.
Heady kisses,
whispered confessions, declarations,
unkept promises.
What we found most in these first selfish loves
was ourselves.

The relief of being chosen
and assurance that all our parts worked.
Our lips accepting those pressures unacceptable
just the year before.
Regions we’d never had much congress with before
calling out for company.
That hard flutter
like a large moth determined to get out.
Finding to our surprise,
like the lyrics of a sixties song,
that our hearts could break, too.

Hot summer nights,
“U”ing Main,
cars full of boys honking
at cars full of girls.
Cokes at Mack’s cafe.
And over the whole town
that heavy ache of sweet clover.
Half promise, half memory.
A giant invisible hand
that covered summer.


The Prompt: The Transporter—Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood.

Popsicles and Tuberoses


Popsicles and Tuberoses

A fresh whiff of jasmine on the evening breeze
sends me off in paroxysms—sneeze on sneeze on sneeze.
Lilacs give me headaches, tuberoses make me ill.
Whenever dates wear aftershave, I have to take a pill.

Pinesol makes me nauseous. I’d rather smell the dirt!
And please do not use fabric softener on my favorite shirt.
I can’t believe so many folks enjoy a scented candle,
for they’re another stinky thing I simply cannot handle.

When friends bring friends to visit me, they eschew scented lotions
and tell their friends to do the same, ‘cause I have these strange notions.
What I like to smell is dill, and soil soaked by rain.
The kind of things I like to smell I’m hard-pressed to explain.

Who likes the scent of curry or cabbage in the hall?
But I admit, I like them! They don’t bother me at all.
I love the smell of Popsicles—my favorite is cherry.
It’s floral scents that I abhor, so weddings make me wary.

I hug the bride and kiss the groom, contribute to her trousseau.
But I must always hold my nose and hurry as I do so.
Orange blossoms are the worst, along with the carnation.
Even roses, I admit, are an abomination!

I really do like flowers, but only how they look.
My favorite kinds of odors are kinds that you can cook!
Chocolate cake or pudding and hot dogs on the grill
are smells that inspire ecstasy—that certain little thrill.

Vanilla poured in pudding, bananas mashed for bread—
swirl around my nostrils and end up in my head.
Such romantic odors. What stories they do tell
of culinary orgasms and itchings they will quell.

So if you want to pleasure me, please, for heaven’s sake,
leave the flowers at the shop and simply bring me cake!

Daily Prompt: Nosey Delights—From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?

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