Top 10 Smells

–Douglas Bennett

The sense of smell is the least practical of all human senses. There is no reason we need to smell, there is no easy way to describe a smell, and there is no easy way to remember a smell other than smelling it again. To add to the confusion, no two smells can ever be the same. Because we smell billions of smells each week, we’ve focused our top 10 smell study on smells from last week. To distinguish between smells, we used the standard smell criteria of the 5 T’s (Taste, Touch, Time, Temperature, and Tangerine).


we all know what this one is. The amount of Taste a smell has is directly proportional to its potency. Taste is rated on a scale of salty, sour, or neither, where neither is everything that is not salty or sour.


: easily the most obvious to distinguish. Touch is related to the weight or thickness of the smell. We’ve all been in that blazing chemical fire where the smoke is unbearable and every breath feels as if it weighs a 1000 lbs. This type of smell completely engulfs your eyes, mouth, ears, nose, and throat leaving no room for anything else like oxygen or light. Measured in pounds 0 to 1000 lbs even though it isn’t really 1000 lbs it feels like it. A rating of 0 indicates no smell at all; without touch a smell simply does not exist.


: this is the amount of time it a smell has been around. Many smells linger for days, even years. Like a good wine, smells age with time. Time is our measurement for the number of minutes a smell has been around since the time it was initially discovered.


: Three temperature states are possible: Cold, Room, or Hot. Depending on where a smell comes from, it can feel cold, room temperature, or hot. Smells from the freezer are cold, just like smells from the oven are usually hot. Smells from a library are room.


: Does the smell smell like tangerine yes or no.

Our top list is comprised of the top 10 smells from last week that have the highest aggregate rating of the 5 T’s. The rating is always given in the order of (Taste, Touch, Time, Temperature, Tangerine)

1. The smell of freshly brewed coffee as smelled through my full face wool slightly damp ski mask (Monday 5:35 AM) – Rating: neither, 50 lbs, 20 minutes, Room, no

2. The smell of burning strawberries from my dream on Monday (Tuesday 2:22 AM) – Rating: neither, 200 lbs, 360 minutes, Hot, no

3. Fish’s Fish Market Fish Case (Tuesday 3:30 AM) – Rating: salty, 10 lbs, 10 minutes, Room, no

4. The smell of coffee as smelled through my new motorcycle helmet (visor down) (Wednesday 8:00 AM) – Rating: sweet, 30 lbs, 1 minute, Hot, no

5. Paper (still in the printer) (Thursday 2:11 PM) – Rating: sweet, 22 lbs, 550 minutes, Hot, no

6. My hands (Friday 2:45 PM) – Rating: neither, 1 lb, 5 minutes, cold, no

7. Unknown smell (Friday 10:34 PM) – Rating: sour, 1100 lbs, 4 minutes, hot, no

8. Wind (Saturday 3:10 AM) – Rating: salty, 32 lbs, 2 minutes, cold, no

9: The Shoofly Pie I saw on TV (Sunday 8:24 PM) – Rating: neither, 0 lbs, 0 minutes, room, no

10. Freshly peeled tangerine (7:35 AM continuous) — sweet, 1000 minutes, hot, yes

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