Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 2 July, 2022

11 smells that are inexplicably delicious

Dettol anyone? Perhaps the scent of library books?

THERE’S BIG MONEY in fragrance these days, and everyone and their mother seems to be bringing out perfumes.

It’s hard to stand out, but new company Commodity are doing just that with scents based on everyday things.

Want to smell like whiskey?  No problem.  Gin?  That’s there too.  Or perhaps wool is your scent of choice?

It all seems a little strange, until you stop to consider the fact that there are lots of things that aren’t really meant to smell nice that people often find absolutely delicious.

Here are eleven smells which are inexplicable delicious.

Library books

There is something about smell you get as you turn the pages of an old library book which is just delicious.  Maybe it’s that it conjures up old memories, but it’s certainly a favourite for many.

Flickr/CCAC North Library


Nothing like the smell of you get on the forecourt of a petrol station.

Flickr/Images_of_Money/Creative Commons

Warm paper from a photocopier

Possibly the only bonus from standing at a photocopier for ages.

Flickr/quinn.anya/Creative Commons


For some people, it’s the smell of home.


Hot tar on a road

You get it if they’re repaving a street near you, or on an especially sunny day.


Permanent marker

Especially if it’s a fresh one.  Delish.


Pipe smoke

Sweet and distinctive, you don’t get it very much anymore.

Flickr/Keith Williamson/Creative Commons

Wood varnish

It’s the scent of odd jobs at home on a Summer’s day.


Garlic on your fingertips after cooking

You’re not meant to like this, but if you find yourself surreptitiously smelling your fingers at work the day after cooking a garlicky feast, you are not alone.

Freshly sweaty skin

We’re not talking stale B.O. here, we mean that hot salty smell you get after exercising.


India rubber

We’re talking about the smell you get just after rubbing some pencil out.

Flickr/Hometown Beauty/Creative Commons

Not all of these will be everyone’s bag, in fact a lot of them are divisive.  What are your favourite smells?

What would all of 2012’s perfumes in one bottle smell like?>

Want to smell like Pizza Hut? What about Supermacs or Zaytoon?>

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