I Smell

A majority of the decisions I make on a daily basis are at least partially the result of the “smell test.” Maybe it’s because I have a big nose, but my first instinct when given something—be it food, a puppy or even a candle specifically labeled “unscented”—is to smell it.

I’m just a “smelly” person.

Example A: My bedroom dresser.


As you can see from candles and reed diffusers to lotions and perfumes, there are various vehicles for delightful scents (and a lovely shot of my bed in the background.)

Other rooms in my house have more subtle touches —a Glade Plug-In in the bathroom, a candle in the living room, room spray throughout, etc. Now before you go making assumptions, let me point out that I don’t stink and overcompensate for that fact with these things. I smell just fine, even delightful at times.

But I’m still a “smelly” person.

I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. When I was just a little one with issues, I had a white blanket  with fringe on the end and I would wrap a clump of the fringe around my little finger before pulling it off and smelling it while I sucked my thumb.

We apparently called this “Nonny Nose,” although I don’t remember that part and surely would have come up with something more clever had 3-year-old me been given the option.

But here’s where it gets interesting, as after the blanket, there was Bun.


Trust me. He did NOT start out looking like this.

Instead of bringing the fringe up to my nose when I sucked my thumb, it was his left ear—almost always the left one. Why? Because I slept on my right side—always facing the door in my room—and so his left ear was closest to me.

He slept on his back.

I can’t tell you exactly what it was about that first in a series of OCD rituals, but I can tell you I remember thinking that his (snot and spit-covered ear) smelled different with my thumb in my mouth. Also, the left ear was superior to the right and if I didn’t suck my thumb and smell his ear, I wouldn’t be able to sleep.


Notice the color difference between the two ears despite many washings.

When we traveled up north to our trailer in the summer, I would sleep on the top bunk of our triple bunk beds. Because I often fell out, we had a bed rail. Because Bun often fell out, we tied a shoestring around his neck noose-like and secured him to said bed rail.

A bit dark, yes, but it did the trick.

Bun went everywhere and did everything and his body showed the wear and tear of being loved a little bit too much. It was a sad day when I finally let go of his scrawny little neck, but my dates were getting uncomfortable with the fact I let him keep his side of the bed.


Bunny porn

I’m kidding, of course. But from blankets and Bun to other things that don’t start with “b,” I’m just a “smelly” person.

I see, I touch, I smell—even delightful at times.

But most certainly better than Bun.

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43 responses to “I Smell

  1. I had a Mon Chi-Chi…it’s a monkey with thumbs and toes you could stick in various holes…that came out wrong…anyways you could stick the thumb or toe in his mouth or in his ears which was weird but I was a kid so that was cool.
    Anyways my name is Kimberly and I am a smeller.

    • I also had this monkey, he was a gift from someone when I was born. He was called ‘suck-a-thumb’ – very original. My sister was incredibly jealous of me (after 5 years of being the only child), and so she shoved a sticky sweet into his mouth and promptly jammed his thumb in.

  2. I also like ‘smelly things’. When I go to the supermarket, I stand in the laundry aisle and smell all the fabric-softeners. ALL OF THEM. I’ve done this since I was a child, everyone used to laugh at me back then, and I guess they still do. I just LOVE the smell of clean laundry. When I take my clothes out of the dryer, I sometimes just curl up in them and breathe in their heavenly scent.

    Judge away….

  3. Aww bunny. I’m not a smelly person (you know what I mean), but I have a stuffed animal similar to that. Shhhh don’t tell Boyfriend.

  4. I love that little bunny! I had a blankie with satin on the edge that was my “lovey”..and to hear you sucked your thumb too is making me happy that we have something in common.

    I too am a “smelly” person. I layer lotions, I have tons of shower gels and I sniff hairspray in the aisle of Walmrt before I buy it. Bath and Body Works in is business because of me buying their plug ins and I will walk by one over and over again just to get a whiff…:)

    Smell is one of my favorites “senses”

  5. My name is Alexis, I’ve been a smeller since i was born. Sadly I also find many commercial fragrances nauseating and wheeze inducing… including glade so i have wax melters, oils, perfumes and, assorted body stuff so that I can make sure everything smells just the way i want to. My husband says it makes me special and put all the stuffed toys in the blanket box. 🙂 they are allowed out lol. he and my mother always thought i was weird for sniffing things to make sure they smell right 🙂 nice post

  6. Bun is beautiful and makes me want to cry. His purpose in life was to be loved hard. I say job well done.

  7. Many of my memories are tied to smell. I remember what specific boyfriends smelled like, how the theater I saw A Christmas Carol smelled when I was in elementary school, what my puppy smelled like when I first got her, etc.
    So, I guess I’m saying I’m also a “smelly” person!

    • Agreed. Smell is a HUGE trigger for me when it comes to memories. I associate so many things to certain colognes, perfumes, foods, events, etc. for better or worse. And there’s NOTHING like puppy smell.

  8. I am such a smeller. I have to smell things before I eat or drink them, always. And there have been so many times I worried i was with child because my sense of smell was so sensitive. I had to throw out perfectly good flowers once bc they were making me sick.

  9. I slept with 3 stuffed Unicorns. THREE. My friends never wanted to sleep over because I would always force them to share the bed with 3 stuffed animals, one of which was half the size of an actual person.

  10. I like smelly things, I just never buy them. I don’t know why. I should just go to the store after work and buy all the smelly things. All of them.

    I had a stuffed elephant as a kid. I had to throw it out one weekend when I came home from college, picked it up and under it’s trunk were maggots. I KNOW! WHAT?! So gross.

  11. Melanie The Spork Lover

    Part of my obsessive issues which I fondly call “quirks” is not being able to stand overtly perfumey things. I can do Febreze air, and I spray my couches and such with the other Febreze stuff, but otherwise I can’t deal with anything that changes the smell of stuff. Okay, I lie, I love the smell of Pinesol also, ’cause it reminds me I just mopped. For the most part I just have to open up windows to let fresh air in often, or it feels stale in my house. I wear perfume maybe once every month because I constantly overthink “Can people too far away smell this? Did I put on too much?”

    I had a stuffed lion, and a stuffed leopard, that I alternated sleeping with up until my teens. I had to wash them once a week. I actually used to apologize to the one I didn’t sleep with every night and say, “I’m sorry Roar, but its Sleek’s turn. Your turn is tomorrow.” This is how I knew I was crazy.

    • Not crazy, but quirky. Remember? I also don’t wear a lot of perfume either, despite the collection I shared in the janky photo. It’s more lotions. As for my house, there’s nothing that beats opening the windows for fresh air. However, in Michigan during the winter, this is not possible. Couple that with the fact that I steam broccoli and Brussels sprouts daily and the need for incense is justified.

  12. I used to own a Felix the Cat doll that was my ever-present toy. He didn’t make it after clinging onto him for so many years. –.–

  13. I’m pretty smelly, too! I had Blankie, a blanket (I know, that probably wasn’t your first guess) whose edges I would sniff while sucking my first and middle fingers (it couldn’t just be the thumb – a weirdo from the start). I even had a section of the edge that I claimed smelled best; my mom tried to tell me the smell came from dirt and saliva. LIES!
    The only smell I truly hate (besides the obvious – kids, I’m looking at you) is vanilla, because my college roommate used to douse herself in Vanilla Fields perfume, and she turned out to be a pathological lying psychopath. I’m not saying her mental issues were caused by Vanilla Fields (although… maybe?) but I can’t smell vanilla without thinking about her and her pathological psychopathic lies. That seems like a lot of baggage for one odor to carry, but thereyago.

  14. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    Aw, I love Bun! I had a similar stuffed friend named Ballerina…who was a Ballerina bear.
    Smell has always been my particular sense of choice. Every once in a while I get a whiff of who knows what that immediately reminds me of specific person. I associate smells with people more than anything else.

  15. OH. MY. GOSH.
    we are so so similar. i smell everything. my nose is exceptionally good, too.
    and i had a blanket growing up (ok i still have it, its just stored at my parents house because kyle said once we were married i couldnt sleep with it anymore) and i smell it as i go to sleep.
    and i can pretty much pinpoint most smells to most memories. they’re such strong associations for me.
    so glad there are others who share this trait 🙂

  16. Omg… I just had visuals of poor Bun hanging from your bunkbed. I really hope whoever was in the lower bunk doesn’t have severely traumatic childhood memories… you know, something that would make them have nightmares similar to Donnie Darko or twitch every time they watched Bugs Bunny on Saturday mornings.

    Am I the only one to be concerned about this?

    • That could have provided some emotional scars, but none more so than when I actually fell out of the triple bunk myself–necessitating said bed rail. Fortunately, I was never tethered to the bed rail and no other bunk bed inhabitants were subjected to Buns quasi-Bungee jump attempts.

  17. I love you, and your willingness to share all of this with us. Gotta dig Bunny Porn.

  18. I’m constantly afraid my house smells. We’ve had so many animals come through it, when people visit I say, “please tell me if my house stinks.” But, I’m not a big scented candle/air freshener type, which is why I’m always afraid my house smells.

  19. I am also obsessed with smelly things. My house is loaded with Fabreze, scented candles and glade plugs-ins. My favorite aisle in the grocery store is the Laundry & Cleaning section – because it smells so freaking good!

  20. I had a girlfriend who had a teddy bear that had to be on the left side of the bed. That was my preferred side, but thanks to that damn stuffed animal I had to move.

  21. I feel like a bloodhound compared to the rest of the world. I guess that makes me a “smelly” person too. One reason I loved mhy husband early on was that he just smelled fresh and clean—no cologne, no aftershave, just clean. Ahhhhhhh. Erin

  22. This was incredibly enlightening. So many rituals! I never had anything after a blanket which is completely boring.

    Love the array of scented products on your dresser and the fact that you’re an equal opportunity smeller.

  23. I used to smell my adoption doll’s thumb…and I’m so embarrassed by what I used to call said thumb…”stiff thing”. Ha! Why didn’t my parents invent a different name. My daughter has a little lamb blanket and smells its ears. I guess we’re both smelly people too. 🙂

  24. My whole family smells things before they do anything else with it.

    We’re probably related. 🙂


  25. Hahaha, he’s so cute!!!!!! I can’t say i smell everything. But I love lovely smells! 🙂

  26. i had a raggedly blankie named silkie and after it wore out or i was too embarrassed to drag it to sleepovers, i adopted bunz. he was a big, scratchy rabbit and he looks disgusting now, but he sleeps on my daughter’s bed, but i’m slightly jealous and almost wish my husband would let me keep him in bed with us. almost.
    i smell stuff too. but more like i’m on the hunt for stinky things. like i always smell the dish sponge and towels before i can use them. because i want to make sure i don’t use them if they’ve grown the funk.

    • Me too! It’s almost always because I’m on the hunt for funk and not just because it smells good. The dish sponge is a huge one for me…

  27. Bun! He’s adorable. He’s not even mine and he still made me nostalgic for childhood.

    I think one of the most comforting things about my blankey from infancy was its smell. (Certainly not its look, which got to be seriously, seriously tattered.)

  28. kelleysbreakroom

    Love how you smelled things in an particular order. Funny! I’m a smelly person, too, by the way. I need a bath something fierce. Thanks for linking up with #findingthefunny!

  29. Wait. Go back. That’s your dresser? I’m so jealous.

  30. I think I have a pretty weak sense of smell, and maybe that’s why I didn’t have any childhood attachments to blankets or stuffed animals. My niece had a blanket she’d hold up to her nose until she was about ten or so. I love the smells of food but I’m not big on perfumes or scented sprays. A sample size of body spray lasts me months. The smells I really love are used books (the older the better) and popcorn. It’s interesting to think about how important smell is as a sense. Great post!

  31. I’m a smeller, too. If you were to send me a letter, you might catch me surreptitiously taking a whiff to see if I could get a… glimpse(?) of perfume/hand lotion/cooking smells/whatever. Yup. I’m weird.

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