Your Casino Smells Like Desperation
“An old Vegas casino. The smell stings your nose when you first walk in–decades of stale smoke that has seeped into the carpet, the scratchy old chairs, the faded green felt, the walls themselves. It smells exciting, dangerous, desperate and hopeful; but mostly it smells honest in a way that the new gilded casinos never will. “- Jack R.
Your Leeks Smell Like Wine
“The smell of sliced leeks sautéing in butter immediately calls to mind the taste of cold white wine. I’d fry the leeks until they were crispy, then deglaze the pan with Pinot Grigio from a newly-opened bottle. I would then drink the whole bottle as I finished cooking.” – Kate D.
Your Hands Smell Like Gin
“Gin smells wintry, sarcastic — sharp and clear. Also like hand sanitizer, which makes me think of Zombieland (the characters push a zombie off a roof and then share some Purell). I wash my hands of gin and its mean, brisk scent. I will find a juniper tree to sniff instead.” – Dorothy H.
You Smell Like Methadone
I used to have a problem with opiates, but especially methadone. Years after kicking opiates, and on my way to developing a problem with alcohol, I found a bottle of the cologne I was wearing at peak methadone usage. Instantly, the smell took me back. I remember telling someone that I had to throw out that cologne because it smelled like those odorless white pills. I believe it was a Stetson cologne. I guarantee that if I encountered someone wearing that scent today, my first thought would be, “Oooooh, methadone!” The brain is fucking weird. – James M.
You Smell Like Cocaine
Year two of my sobriety I had an obsession with colognes, lucky for me a friend from Recovery worked in the fragrance department at Bergdorf Goodman. She was my straight connect, discount included. My first time there we were making the rounds, when we stopped at the Tom Ford fragrance table, I put Tuscan Leather to my nose and BAM it was like I stepped back in time. I was standing in that graffitied single bathroom at my local dive bar, line of coke, cut and trimmed, on the blueish glass self next to the sink. I snapped back to reality looked at my friend “That smells like cocaine,” I said. She put her nose to my wrist where I applied it and agreed. I considered buying it but left with the Vetiver instead. – James S.
Stinky Carpet Smells Like Boys
Nerd camp summers in a Duke University dorm common room–the odor of a carpet soaked with the spillage of a thousand keg stands will always evoke kissing boys and playing cards and starting to find myself, even if I lost myself for a while to those same keg stands shortly thereafter. – Hannah S
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