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.

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About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. She is enrolled with the Osage tribe.
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