Friday, February 29, 2008

Austin, Tx

My city is this kind of city:

This city is my kind of city!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

the Daily Special

I thought I would provide the reader with a brief report of my daily fragrances:

8:45 Breakfast. User-defined.

9:25 Walk to bus stop, pass construction site two houses down. Pine dust, usually. A rounded aroma, like being wrapped inside of the tree itself.

9:26 Next block, corpse-rot. Coming from the garbage can? Buried in the yard? Inside of the house, God forbid?

9:37-9:48 The "'Dillo" is Austin's free downtown shuttle, which conveniently operates in a straight line from my street to the front stoop of the restaurant in which I work. Being free, emissions from clientele typically swing from one end of the palette to the other. Depending on one's location within the tram, one may encounter the sickly residue of a night spent behind a dumpster, or the test-tubed, panel-approved cologne of a young professional. Tarred in bile and feathered in Toucan Sam's plumage, staring out the window.

9:49 The front of the restaurant typically smells great. Customers' plates steam like isolated little volcanic vents of maple syrup, egg, and hashed brown. I walk past, through the swinging steel door, and into

9:50 the back of the restaurant, which smells exactly like the cocktail that one would expect when combining those plates of food, plus a 5-gallon bucket of coleslaw, pickles, and ranch dressing, plus a multitude of cleaning detergents and topped with a dripping tube of hanging salami.

2:00 pm. Repeat process in reverse.
Of course this list is highly truncated, as a full report would take ages to compose.
Am looking forward to yours,

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Unfortunately, a chilly cold front combined with a brief yet convictive thunder-and-lightning storm made today less than ideal for outdoor scentsmelling. However, the indoors time allowed me to catch up on a few of my favorite emerging technologies. Simulated aroma, a notion which laid its roots almost a century ago, has been all but dormant since its introduction. The practice enjoyed a brief moment in the limelight with 1960's Scent of Mystery, the first and only film to ever make use of "Smell-O-Vision," a system that synced with the movie and released corresponding odors into the audience (the killer smokes a pipe). Its execution was filled with flaws, however, and its lackluster first impression sealed its fate. Thankfully, a few companies are now wielding the tiny torch left behind.

One of these companies is ScentTv. Giving a winked nod to every sci-fi movie in the"dystopian future" genre, they've adopted the slogan, "making you healthier, happier, and smarter." When you sign up with ScentTv ($27.95/mo), they will send you their Scent DomeTM and provide you with complimentary Scent DomeTM cartridge replacements and tech support, not to mention access to their three channels of Scent Enabled Content. Under the "MagicLoon" channel, a show titled "Don_t Touch My Bone" (sic) is available. The check is in the mail, friends!

Another fine company, DigiScents, is currently pursuing a blog-only business model powered by Google AdSense. However, their ownership of the domain name will surely prove to be a wise investment.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Unfastidious Sedentation

I was thrilled to come across this passage while reading on the way to work today. It exhibits a shared passion for the unadulterated scents of humanity. Its Masculinity is stolen from Eden, before corrupted even by pachouli and Nag Champa. Within its precedent, pheromones act not as messengers from a future sexual act, but as seeds in one's own guilty conscience.

The temperature began to rise Monday. On Tuesday, the night, the darkness after the hot day, is close, still, oppressive, as soon as Byron enters the house he feels the corners of his nostrils whiten and tauten with the thick smell of the stale, mankept house. And when Hightower approaches, the smell of plump unwashed flesh and unfresh clothing--that odor of unfastidious sedentation, of static overflesh not often enough bathed--is well nigh overpowering. Entering, Byron thinks as he has thought before: 'That is his right. It may not be my way, but it is his way and his right.' And he remembers how once he had seemed to find the answer, as though by inspiration, divination: 'It is the odor of goodness. Of course it would smell bad to us that are bad and sinful.'

- William Faulkner, from Light in August

(pgs. 298-299)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Farewell to Mouth-Breathing

Well, friends, the time of year has finally passed when icy respiration is necessarily detoured through the mouth, when aromatic data is lost, either trapped outside of the impenetrable wall of frozen mucus lining our nasal cavities, or forced to endure the recycled, humid, humanbiosphere inside of a scarf. We can once again allow our collective sinus to thaw and balloon our nostrils like two parachutes opening in unison.

  With Valentine's Day just around the corner we can all expect the typical barrage of saccharine "pop smells" sweating out from the backrooms of our neighborhood markets and panaderĂ­as. In fact, just last night I found myself in one such shop that was producing treats at such a pace that one was able to SEE THE SMELL IN THE AIR. A fine mist of sugary perfume hung, a thin veil of imitation-synesthesia. Over the past days and weeks, vacant lots have secreted flower-stands in a desperate frenzy of boomtown logic, frothing at the mouth, escalating into tomorrow's nectareous climax. But let's not constrain our attention to the hackneyed topics of flora and pastry counters!

  Some of our most beloved and important smells are those which go unnoticed to all but the most astute proboscis. While "wet cement after a rain" and "right outside of the laundromat" are clearly well-balanced and favorable "heritage odors," I encourage my readers to conduct their own field experiments. One must not become discouraged simply because they do not possess an expert whiffer, or even a Nasal Ranger. No, the pleasures of smelling are open to all, and, as one practices and develops their sense, one is bound to find greater and greater enjoyment in the activity. I would like to extend a warm and sincere welcome to all, and will now provide the reader with a fun and informative list of trivia:


In some prosimians, such as the Red-bellied Lemur, scent glands occur atop the head.

In women, the sense of olfaction is strongest around the time of ovulation, significantly stronger than during other phases of the menstrual cycle and also stronger than the sense in males.

As of yet, there is no theory that explains olfactory perception completely.
For more on the Nasal Ranger, please visit their website.