what is that horrible smell

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a thread for times when you walked into a room, asked "what is that horrible smell?" and what the smell was

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:14 (ten years ago) link

i asked "what is that horrible smell?" and it turned out my coworker had a backpack full of old canteloupes she bought for a dollar

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:14 (ten years ago) link

more recently, i thought something was rotting in my desk, but it turned out that my neighbor was eating eggs

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:15 (ten years ago) link

mystery smell in my apartment kitchen circa '05 (whole thread devoted to this mystery) never properly explained.

dr. strongo, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:16 (ten years ago) link

smelled like a bunch of mice were re-enacting the 120 days of sodom behind the sink.

dr. strongo, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:16 (ten years ago) link

OMG i was gonna start a thread on this the other day!!

about once a week a smell permeates my workspace that is so revolting i almost can't stand it. it's a unique blend of:
burnt dog feces
close-up skunk
a container of wet clothing you have just opened up, which has been closed for months

i've got no idea what it is, but i am pretty sure that the wall it emanates from is the dividing wall between my workshop and a meth lab.

smoove operator, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:17 (ten years ago) link

historically, the best example of this was when i was getting picked up for a date (in high school) and i asked him "so i guess you just finished cleaning the bathroom?" (he told me on the phone earlier that he had been cleaning the bathroom) and he said "no, it's fahrenheit" (a notably foul-smelling cologne -- do people still wear this?!)

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:17 (ten years ago) link

a container of wet clothing you have just opened up, which has been closed for months
oh god this is a terrible smell

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:18 (ten years ago) link

not really related but this just reminded me: i had no idea till i moved to the US that "skunk" is called that because it actually smells like a skunk... i always thought it was just because it was strong-smelling, LIKE a skunk.

smoove operator, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:19 (ten years ago) link

;_; Fahrenheit was my cologne of choice

now I go with Moulton Brown black pepper

OH NOES, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:19 (ten years ago) link

ew that also reminds me of meeting boys when i was younger who would always smell slightly damp bc they were fucking useless at doing laundry

smoove operator, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:19 (ten years ago) link

there's this female perfume/scent or something that's supposed to smell 'fierce' or 'mature' or something but just smells awwfuuull

does anybody know what I'm talking about

dayo, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:20 (ten years ago) link

sorry oh noes
it smelled like lysol

i thoroughly like good smelling people, but this was not a good smell

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:21 (ten years ago) link

there are lots of scents like that dayo

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:22 (ten years ago) link

OPIUM?!

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:22 (ten years ago) link

ELIZABETH ARDEN'S RED DOOR?

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:22 (ten years ago) link

idk it just seems like the smell that a girl wears when she doesn't wnat to smell like flowers

just smells awful tho

dayo, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:22 (ten years ago) link

*goes to smelltube.com*

dayo, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:22 (ten years ago) link

there was a customer i used to deal with on the reg, who was a perfectly normal-seeming human being, but she had the WORST WORST MOST AWFUL personal smell i've ever encountered. sort of a bizarre mixture of mustiness and mildew.

it was so overpowering that i would have to wash the clothes she tried on bc they were too revolting to return to the rack.

smoove operator, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:23 (ten years ago) link

all three incidents i mentioned were all times when i said out loud "what is that horrible smell?" and it was someone in the room

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:24 (ten years ago) link

yeah it's the really rich, mildew-y, damp smells that are the worst.

dayo, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:24 (ten years ago) link

the kind that you can feel coating your face

dayo, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:24 (ten years ago) link

again dayo there are lots of different types of perfumes other than flowers and stank -- there are orientals, chypres, etc.

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:25 (ten years ago) link

my wife went through a phase where she was all into Clinique everything including their perfumes/colognes and she tried to get me to start wearing Happy! For Men, which basically smelled like a citrus Renuzit air freshener cone; that was horrifying

also just recently we had so much bad food shoved way in the back of our refrigerator that waves of what could be charitably described as "period smell" used to waft through our kitchen at random times until we cleaned that bad boy out

OH NOES, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:25 (ten years ago) link

i am talking about having to confront the source of the horrible smell face to face and be like "oh...sorry"

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:26 (ten years ago) link

but a catalogue of horrible smells is ok too i guess
i prefer to catalogue good smells though

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:27 (ten years ago) link

xxp That reminds me of the time that I had to clear out what was practically compost from the salad draw at the bottom of the fridge, armed only with a single rubber glove with a hole in one of the fingers. Ah, shared student houses.

yes this is the real (snoball), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:28 (ten years ago) link

the fridge thing was a total "what is that terrible smell?" situation complete with forensic investigation and dawning horror at what was in the back of our fridge, likely plotting to break free in the middle of the night and murder us

OH NOES, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:29 (ten years ago) link

once i smelled a terrible smell, and i blamed it on my elderly neighbor for a while but it turned out to be a dead mouse beside my fridge

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:31 (ten years ago) link

September/kitchen/rotten potatoes

William (C), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:33 (ten years ago) link

even worse than the fridge smell is when you have a stack of dirty dishes that haven't been done in days and days, and there is no apparent smell until... you lift one off and suddenly the trap of nastiness starts seeping into the air.

smoove operator, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:35 (ten years ago) link

i kinda wish there were a smelltube.com but only for good smells
that would make me really happy, in fact

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:37 (ten years ago) link

oh i have another one

went camping for the weekend, came home and smelled a terrible fermented fart smell. is it my dirty clothes? no, it is the water from the pot of beans and rice i rinsed, but neglected to wash

uuuuuuuuuuuuughhhh so gross

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:38 (ten years ago) link

the actual worst worst is when you are by yourself in a room and you fart, and then you leave to get something, and then you walk back in and realize that an entire colony of dead mice is in your ass

OH NOES, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:41 (ten years ago) link

Or if you fart in the car and the lock it up and later when you return to the car with another person and open the door, there it is, waiting for you.

Or so I've heard.

thejenny, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:53 (ten years ago) link

dyao another contender for the perfume of which you speak is CINNABAR by Estee Lauder. Full dIsclosure: I love that stuff and wear it occasionally but I think it smells okay on me and I know lots of people hate it.

Also maybe Clinique Aromatics Elixer.

thejenny, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:56 (ten years ago) link

I mean to say I know lots of people hate Cinnanar out of the bottle but like the way it smells on me. Or maybe they're just being nice and start uncontrollably retching when I leave the room.

thejenny, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:58 (ten years ago) link

coworkers' reheated leftovers

uhh (ok), Friday, 2 December 2011 19:58 (ten years ago) link

I walked into the front door of my house once and said aloud "what is that smell?" and it was my roommate, hiding behind the door to surprise me. That was awkward.
TBF he was once given the nickname "old pizza" (he kind of smells like that)

Mr. Farmer, Friday, 2 December 2011 19:59 (ten years ago) link

September/kitchen/rotten potatoes

― William (C), Friday, December 2, 2011 2:33 PM (24 minutes ago) Bookmark Permalink

This has happened to me twice. The second time it smelled enough like vomit to cause me to bring up my lunch.

hmm next time I smell this perfume I will try to capture it in a bottle and give it to you guys irl, to confirm.

you know what's a great horrible smell? fish sauce

dayo, Friday, 2 December 2011 20:01 (ten years ago) link

a variation of this:

I was talking to a college roommate one night, sitting on his bed, just about nonsense. I asked him when he had gotten brown sheets and he told me that these were the same blue ones he had at the beginning of the semester, he just never washed them

I never set foot in his room again

OH NOES, Friday, 2 December 2011 20:01 (ten years ago) link

hahaha
oh old pizza and brown sheets now that is what i am looking for

recently deposed application inspector for the (league of women voters), Friday, 2 December 2011 20:01 (ten years ago) link

smelled like a bunch of mice were re-enacting the 120 days of sodom behind the sink.

― dr. strongo, Friday, December 2, 2011 2:16 PM (45 minutes ago) Bookmark Permalink

also just recently we had so much bad food shoved way in the back of our refrigerator that waves of what could be charitably described as "period smell" used to waft through our kitchen at random times until we cleaned that bad boy out

― OH NOES, Friday, December 2, 2011 2:25 PM (36 minutes ago) Bookmark Permalink

dying at both of these

cad, Friday, 2 December 2011 20:05 (ten years ago) link

my kitchen sink smells fucked up right now. i guess i need baking soda or something?

cad, Friday, 2 December 2011 20:06 (ten years ago) link

I bought my house in 2009 from an old widow who had lived there alone for 4 years or so, but who had moved into the house in the 1940s. It had a very particular smell of dust and decomposing chemicals from the upholstery and 40 years of greasy cooking and booze and whatever.

So I'm on the commuter bus heading home yesterday and a guy sits down next to me who smells just like my house before we cleaned it up and renovated. It wasn't "horrible" like rotten potatoes but it was pretty unpleasant to be rubbing up against him on a bus seat.

iirc the sheet revelation cued me into to some sensory clues that my mind was busily deflecting in order to preserve my sanity, like how the sheets felt vaguely wax-papery and how his bedroom smelled faintly like old ham

OH NOES, Friday, 2 December 2011 20:07 (ten years ago) link

xp: my math is somewhat off there. She got the house in the late 50s.

There's a water treatment plant a couple miles from our house which, thankfully, only smells when you are directly next to it. But sitting at the stoplight adjacent to it is pure torture, even with the windows rolled up tight and the vents shut. I've gagged many a time sitting there.

I left my login in El Sandboxo, Friday, 2 December 2011 20:11 (ten years ago) link

not really related but this just reminded me: i had no idea till i moved to the US that "skunk" is called that because it actually smells like a skunk... i always thought it was just because it was strong-smelling, LIKE a skunk.

― smoove operator, Friday, December 2, 2011 7:19 PM (50 minutes ago) Bookmark Permalink

I don't understand at all. You thought that skunks were called that b/c they smelled strong like a skunk, not b/c they actually smelled the way a skunk does? I'm trying to understand but there's something I'm not getting.

Sandbox Jesse, Friday, 2 December 2011 20:15 (ten years ago) link

if I'm honest with myself I'll say it smelled like halfway poop - food that's halfway to becoming poop

dayo, Friday, 9 December 2011 23:03 (nine years ago) link

wow yuk

OH NOES, Friday, 9 December 2011 23:04 (nine years ago) link

that's super gross
congrats!

league of women voters, Friday, 9 December 2011 23:51 (nine years ago) link

Throw that fucker out, dude, thats salmonella central you got there.

Leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it. (Trayce), Saturday, 10 December 2011 01:35 (nine years ago) link

My stinky odessey: y'all recall I had a very sick cat for quite a long time (RIP yampy). She had been peeing all over the living room rug over and over and by the time we realised it was too late to save the carpet beneath. I got it cleaned and then laid down some plastic rug protectors under the rug but she kept on peeing til her end days, and now, six months later, i've peeled up the rug and plastic and OH GOD THE STENCH :(

I am so not getting any bond back :/ I've febreezed the shit out of the carpet but i doubt its gonna do much.

Leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it. (Trayce), Saturday, 10 December 2011 01:37 (nine years ago) link

lol I sprayed it with comet and washed it

dayo, Saturday, 10 December 2011 01:41 (nine years ago) link

Impt questions: is comet bleach, and also is the borad wood or plastic? If wood *chuck it*. If plastic thats ok. Bleach and boiling water'll fix it (tho it may still pong)

Leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it. (Trayce), Saturday, 10 December 2011 02:23 (nine years ago) link

plastic. it wasn't the cutting side that was gross it was the side underneath it. hmm

it was just some kind of general purpose cleaning stuff. the water that comes out of my tap does get to boiling though so I'll run it under that for a few more mins

dayo, Saturday, 10 December 2011 02:25 (nine years ago) link

That should see to it I think. wood borads are great but they do have more germ risks. lol says me who has been using a wooden board with splits in it and a mouldy taint to it for far too long now haha. :/

Leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it. (Trayce), Saturday, 10 December 2011 02:27 (nine years ago) link

Ugh this cat piss smell is the worst, and its hot and muggy which is just adding to the horror.

Leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it. (Trayce), Saturday, 10 December 2011 02:38 (nine years ago) link

I DONT EVEN HAVE A CAT ANY MORE :( Yampy, effin' things up even beyond the grave.

Leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it. (Trayce), Saturday, 10 December 2011 02:38 (nine years ago) link

The landlord had to replace the carpet in our den-type room because of a ceiling leak and the floor under place where the previous tenants, who moved out more than a year ago, kept their cat box still smelled like pee.

thejenny, Saturday, 10 December 2011 02:46 (nine years ago) link

It is a very irremovable smell, I realise :( I feel bad, cos all her life my cat was fastidious about her loo habits, but when she got sick she just stopped being careful. Sigh.

Leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it. (Trayce), Saturday, 10 December 2011 03:03 (nine years ago) link

aw :( sorry you have to deal with that trayce

dayo, Saturday, 10 December 2011 03:04 (nine years ago) link

Aw its ok now, I've come to terms with it, tho I do miss her muchly.

Leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it. (Trayce), Saturday, 10 December 2011 03:06 (nine years ago) link

There was a kid who went to my middle school named Guy (pronounced the French way, etc) who, unbeknownst to me, came from a really fucked up situation and was actually an amazing person whom I befriended as a more *mature* 19-year old.

Anyway: Guy smelled like a mixture of unwashed feet and puke. Just...raw. Nasty.

We were in computer class one day, and some kid mentioned Guy, and I'm just all typing at my computer and I say, "Oh, you mean that really smelly kid?" And there's this silence. And then I look up and Guy is looking right at me. I don't think I've ever felt more like an asshole in my entire life.

Oh also, he didn't smell bad when he got older. Mostly because his schizophrenic mother who kept 50 cats in the house died when we were both 15.

souslatablelaplage, Saturday, 10 December 2011 03:58 (nine years ago) link

Last year around this time, there was an awful smell in the kitchen of our former house. It was a nasty winter, and we had decided to smoke cigarettes in the house anyway, so for a few weeks, we just covered it up by smoking.

But then it got worse. It migrated. This awful, burning death smell. Like someone else above, it smelled like we were in meth country, somewhere out in the Alpine area of San Diego or something.

Anyway, it started taking up the whole house.

Then one day I came home and my housemate Jaime said, "WE FOUND THE SMELL!!!" while running up to me. And then she described, in intimate detail, how she and our other housemate SCRAPED A BURNT AND ROTTING RAT CARCASS OFF OF THE BACK OF OUR FRIDGE.

Glad I moved out.

souslatablelaplage, Saturday, 10 December 2011 04:03 (nine years ago) link

i mean yeah, i've lived in collective houses/punk palaces/squats for many years, but that story actually takes the cake. the rotting rat carcass cake.

souslatablelaplage, Saturday, 10 December 2011 04:05 (nine years ago) link

oh! and i second that 'soaking beans and forgetting about them' smell. when i lived in a co-op in college, i was preparing lunch for a mess of people and was like, "wonder what's in this metal tub that's been here for two weeks" and when i opened it....ugh, molded....chickpeas.....of....doom.....

souslatablelaplage, Saturday, 10 December 2011 04:06 (nine years ago) link

we had a carousel of roomates the first couple of years I shared a house, and a lot of them smoked and kept grabbing cups or w/e from the kitchen and using them as ashtrays, and then leaving them outside for us to find later. the worst was a cup that was full of cigarette butts, water, and had been sat just inside the laundry room door at some point and stayed there for...well, godknows.

it smelled like fermented evil vomit and it made me want to die

VegemiteGrrrl, Saturday, 10 December 2011 04:28 (nine years ago) link

Man even as a smoker I will say icky ashtrays - esp ones full of water and left for a while - are the worst thing ever. Nothing worse than waking up with a hangover and coming out to a room with ashtrays in it and smelling them :(

Leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it. (Trayce), Saturday, 10 December 2011 05:26 (nine years ago) link

I've always wondered why people don't dump out ashtrays more often than they do.

Christine 'Green Leafy Dragon' Indigo, Saturday, 10 December 2011 06:40 (nine years ago) link

Me too! Especially when the old cig butts catch fire off the fresh ones & it's a big smokey gross mess.

VegemiteGrrrl, Saturday, 10 December 2011 07:02 (nine years ago) link

Like someone else above, it smelled like we were in meth country, somewhere out in the Alpine area of San Diego or something.

lol

rusty flathead screwdriver, Saturday, 10 December 2011 11:22 (nine years ago) link

once in the summer the freezer in my flat somehow became unplugged, i don't know how this happens without someone moving it.

a smell had begun to rise through the flat, and when i confronted it, it was because my flatmate had a lot of fish wrapped in tinfoil in there.

i wanted to cry it smelled so bad, and almost laugh at the same time, i was screaming.

SandboxGarda (HI IT'S RONAN), Saturday, 10 December 2011 11:37 (nine years ago) link

one time I entered the house during the blistering heat of the summer to an overwhelming aroma that made me nauseous and wanting to vomit.

as I got closer to my bathroom, it was enough to make me keel over. and I realized on entering what it was.

Someone, presumably from my roommate's family, had taken a shit, clogged the toilet and let it sit for 9-10 hours. I was so fucking pissed. had to plunge it while holding my nose and trying not to throw up.

if you ain't gonna wash it, i ain't gonna eat it, Saturday, 10 December 2011 12:56 (nine years ago) link

also the scent that emanates from really spoiled food? last house. roommate had fucking mayonaise from 2010 in there....all kinds of shit past expiry. it was like he just had no clue.

if you ain't gonna wash it, i ain't gonna eat it, Saturday, 10 December 2011 12:57 (nine years ago) link

just spilled half a litre of milk onto the floor of my car fuck fuck fuck

delonge and winding refn (p much resigned to deems), Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:04 (nine years ago) link

Lucky it's winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

Dermot O'Leary is playing some beats/at night he's a TV presenter (snoball), Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:08 (nine years ago) link

when you have the heat on and the windows up

delonge and winding refn (p much resigned to deems), Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:09 (nine years ago) link

How did you spill milk all over the inside of your car? Hydraulics acting up again?

Dermot O'Leary is playing some beats/at night he's a TV presenter (snoball), Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:11 (nine years ago) link

there was a horrible smell in the grocery store yesterday and i think it was because they'd set up a propane bbq (for free samples of some sort) and something was amiss. five minutes after i walked by, i went by again and it was gone. half the store smelled so weird, the kind of smell that is bad yet hard to place, so i was both trying not to breathe deeply and yet trying to figure out what the horrible smell was and so, breathing deeper. eesh.

rrrobyn, Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:12 (nine years ago) link

xp Actually I remember when the windscreen on my old car leaked and rainwater got in, pooling in the passenger side footwell, and that stunk bad enough. I can't (or at least don't want to) imagine how bad milk would stink up a car.

Dermot O'Leary is playing some beats/at night he's a TV presenter (snoball), Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:13 (nine years ago) link

way to humour a deems jeez

awesome to have a clever englishman zinging yr enemies (nakhchivan), Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:14 (nine years ago) link

the only logical thing to do is to find something even smellier to mask the milk smell

OH NOES, Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:15 (nine years ago) link

Just don't wash, like, ever again.

Dermot O'Leary is playing some beats/at night he's a TV presenter (snoball), Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:19 (nine years ago) link

Also, put used burger wrappers all over the floor of the car to soak up the milk.

Dermot O'Leary is playing some beats/at night he's a TV presenter (snoball), Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:20 (nine years ago) link

one (1) full tin of baking soda brushed in through the carpet, have to vacuum in the morning. fingers crossed

i sold a car before because i spilled milk in it. shit is the worst

delonge and winding refn (p much resigned to deems), Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:24 (nine years ago) link

Stop drinking milk in the car.

wore glasses and said things (thejenny), Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:28 (nine years ago) link

i was transporting it from the shop this time tbf

the last one, yeah ok fair enough

delonge and winding refn (p much resigned to deems), Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:29 (nine years ago) link

There was an episode of Car Talk from a while back in which a guy called in to ask how to get rid of the smell of rancid butter that had melted into the heating ducts in his car. It was pretty funny.

wore glasses and said things (thejenny), Wednesday, 21 December 2011 03:44 (nine years ago) link

!!! haha wtf

VegemiteGrrrl, Wednesday, 21 December 2011 08:04 (nine years ago) link

lol car talk gets bad smell q's all the time. iirc the answer is to take it to a body shop.

nice catch cuauhtemoc blanco niño (dayo), Wednesday, 21 December 2011 12:18 (nine years ago) link

there was one where a guy's buddies pranked him by hiding a fish in the vents or something

nice catch cuauhtemoc blanco niño (dayo), Wednesday, 21 December 2011 12:19 (nine years ago) link

ta!

No smell as yet i've the soda left on it and will hoover tonight before checking status

twice banned gabbage is death (p much resigned to deems), Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:01 (nine years ago) link

why are you putting coke on it? gross

nice catch cuauhtemoc blanco niño (dayo), Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:09 (nine years ago) link

simpsons

all i'm sayin

simpsons

twice banned gabbage is death (p much resigned to deems), Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:31 (nine years ago) link

The odor that you may smell on the 9th floor is due to an oil delivery to the building early this morning. I have spoken to the building security and they have checked our floor and now that the ventilators are running – the odor should be eliminated shortly.

If you have any problems, please see me at once.

Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:15 (nine years ago) link

parents are boiling seaweed again

nice catch cuauhtemoc blanco niño (dayo), Saturday, 24 December 2011 17:22 (nine years ago) link


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