Fumes in the News: New York City Smells

Today’s New York Times (August 30, 2009) features an olfactory map of Manhattan by illustrator Josh Logan entitled “Scents and the City”. Logan nasally navigated the borough neighborhood by neighborhood to create his nose-scape. Highlights include:

Washington Heights - onion mixed with cough drops; ripe plantains; rose soap.

Hamilton Heights - shellacked church pews; pineapple Popsicle; stinky Laundromat.

Lennox Hill - musty, metallic phone booth; cookies mixed with bus exhaust; mildewy towels.

East Harlem - freshly shaved men; black locust blossoms; deep-fried Oreos.

Central Park - runners' sweat; mown grass; pungent Chihuahua.

Midtown - flip-flops; touch of vomit; rotten-oats horse breath.

West Village - Italian cologne; feet; blood.

Almost as good as being there, right? I’m thinking Bond No. 9’s Laurice Rahme should tap Logan as a consultant to lend her Manhattan scent series a little verisimilitude.

Fumeheads - what does your town smell like? I can tell you that right now, Los Angeles smells of forest fires and dusty air-conditioning.

“Dog” by Elliott Erwitt


  1. Miami - Botox; silicone; flip flops; Cuban coffee

  2. allofthis - don't forget the dusting of sea-salt on that silicone!

  3. LOL - oops - sorry. How could I forget that!

  4. San Francisco: Eucalyptus, saline fog, head shops on Haight (patchouli and pot)

  5. Scott, that actually seems like a pretty interesting blend!

  6. Katie: Okay, let's create the damn thing and make a million! Where to start....