Biodegradable bags reek of formaldehyde


I took my dogs over the our neighborhood dog park and pulled a couple of bags from the dispenser to pick up their poop. The bags are dark green and have the word "biodegradable" printed in large block letters on one side. There are also small arrows printed above the letters so dog owners know which … [Read more...]

Signs of an olfactory comeback

I have all but given up on my fierce olfactory sense returning. But then something strange happened. I was on an airplane a few days ago, and I could smell that a woman seated a several rows behind me was wearing Herbal Essences shampoo. I could also smell that the toddler seated in the aisle across … [Read more...]

Scentinelle, where are you?

Dear Scentintelle, I'm back from vacation, but you're not. Where are you? Are you coming back? Without you, life is dull. There is so much that I miss. All of those smells! So much complexity and surprise - truly a gift. I am changed because of you. I no longer judge smells as harshly, and … [Read more...]

Happy Holidays!

Dear Readers, I'm going to do the blasphemous for a blogger: unplug and take a vacation. I hope you enjoy the holidays, however you celebrate. I'll be back the week of January 3, 2011 to report new olfactory adventures. Aloha, The Scentinelle … [Read more...]

You’re beautiful just the way you are


I was in the car stopped at light. A black Honda Fit pulled up alongside me. The passenger, a middle-aged white man, rolled down his window and flashed me a big grin. He extended his hands toward me, palms up, and shouted, "You're beautiful just the way you are!" He caught my by suprise. I was a … [Read more...]

Fake Christmas scent tree leaves a waxy coating


I've been on smellcation for almost a week now, and I'm starting to wonder about what else I want to do while I can't smell a darn thing. Last night my husband needed to run an errand at a nearby retail chain store that sells bedding and bathroom stuff. I normally avoid the store like the … [Read more...]

Sofa reeks of beach dogs and corn chips


I know my couch stinks like wet, sandy dogs. I've needed to wash the cushion covers since before Thanksgiving. I could smell the accumulated wet fur and sand from outside. But then family arrived, we celebrated the holiday and there was no time for that level of house cleaning. So instead of pine … [Read more...]

Questionable leftovers in the fridge


It's unnerving not to be able to smell if the soup leftover in the fridge is spoiled or not. I don't remember how long it's been in there. Maybe since last week. It looks okay, but I can't smell for sure. What to do? … [Read more...]

Surgical mask smells like burnt sleeping bag


Before leaving the surgery center yesterday, the doctor gave me a surgical mask to wear at home to keep the dressings clean. Breathing in and out of my mouth through the mask, I could taste/smell something strange. At first I thought it was the remains of anesthesia on my breath, but when I took the … [Read more...]

Fresh vanilla beans inspire new tradition


Vanilla beans grow on orchids, something I didn't know until a dear friend showed me the budding plants in her yard. Each year she pollinates the orchids by hand using a small paintbrush and hopes for a crop. Last year she collected about … [Read more...]