Smells Like Teen Spirit

Smells are important: primal, even. Anyone’s who has smelled an infant’s scalp knows this. My daughters smell like roses and ice cream.

I take the bus to and from work each day, and I can tell you more about how my bus-mates smell than what they look like. Yesterday a chap parked next to me and smelled like he’d spent the night sleeping in his car buried in cigarettes.

You can smell when someone’s been drinking; it’s like the scent of decayed lettuce hanging like a balloon in the air.

Sometimes teenagers fill the bus in the morning on their way to school. They smell like candy and a combination of corn chips and raspberry licorice.

Last night a young woman sat beside me and I thought she might be an artist or school teacher. She smelled oddly familiar, and it took a few minutes before I pinned down the scent. She smelled like Play Dough.

If you decided to market the smell I figure you’d have to invent a toilet water and call it something like Play D’eau.


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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