Fumes in the News: Trashy Perfume

A new perfume has just been launched at an exclusive location in New Jersey, hailed by those in attendance as “soapy, slightly citrus-scented” with “a pleasant, showery smell.” Guests at the event carped about the setting, however, calling it “a real dump.”

The Middlesex County Landfill, to be exact. The Star-Ledger reported yesterday that the East Brunswick dump is the site of the latest in cutting-edge olfactory technology: flatbed trucks loaded with vats of industrial-strength perfume, sprayed pesticide-style over the garbage and rat corpses.

Bigger than six football fields, the landfill is one of the largest active dumps in the country, with 1,000 tons of rubbish arriving daily. All that garbage means a non-stop fiesta of fetidness for nearby residents, who have complained about the stench for the last five years.

A sprinkling of baking powder wasn't going to cut it, so Richard Fitamant, executive director of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority, brought in the big guns: glorified body spray to freshen up the 200 square acres of rotting crud.

"It’s not offensive and it’s not overpowering. It’s a light scent.” Fitamant said. "It’s a neutralizing agent. The spray attaches to the odorous particles in the air and drops them down."

But drops them where? Landfill neighbor Alicia Edwards says all she smells is "garbage," no deodorizer.

"I understand it’s there, but please," she said. "(The landfill operators) should come and sit and have a barbecue with me. Then they’ll know what its really like. It’s a shame."

Fumies, what garbage dump perfume might we smell at Ms. Edwards' barbecue? I vote for one of those aggressively sudsy ones from the Clean line. Warm Cotton, perhaps.

Photo: Patti Sapone/The Star-Ledger


  1. Wrong approach! Fight fire with fire, I say. On the next pass-through, they should try a good soaking of a heavy-duty Opium/Cinnabar-type perfume from the late seventies/early eighties. A good dose of cinnamon, clove, carnation, patchouli and vanilla (the latter to calm things down a bit) might do wonders to eat the stench, rather than simply attempt to "neutralize" it.

    I mean, really. Neutralize? Nope. Destroy.

  2. I know that China is doing the same thing with a dump in Beijing. Talk about layering your scents! Its a light scent, oh that is just too much. Sounds like BP saying, they just had a small leak!

  3. The "light scent" clearly wasn't cutting the mustard, so I am with Melisand61 on sending in the heavy hitters!

    During a heatwave in the mid-90s (that's the year and the temperature) a research project on stationary compacting equipment took me to a number of German landfills, whose "fiesta of fetidness" still haunts me. It doesn't pack the same alliterative punch in German, mind:

    "eine Gestankfestlichkeit".

  4. Scented garbage doesn't sound like a good idea to me... I mean, at the end of the day, you will probably end up with a pile of garbage soaked in perfume. Unless they use something similar to those room sprays that mask food or smoke scents, that could actually work (in massive quantities, of course):)

  5. i say since it is NJ it needs a big can of AXE body spray..:)

  6. I'm with Melisa on this one. They need to go in with all their tanks filled with an overpowering scent from the late 70's to early 80's. Heck, fill that tank with Estee Lauder's Beautiful. They touted that perfume as being made from the oils of over 600 flowers. Then, spray the garbage down with the real thing. I know, it's going to cost them, but hey, a light scent just isn't doing the job. After that, they will need to repeat the process on a weekly basis--perhaps using a different potent 80's perfume each go round. Don't stop NJ, until all parties involved can go to a barbecue at Alicia Edwards place--and eat without wanting to throw up. I'm assuming Ms. Edwards make some mighty good barbecue. {*_*}

  7. The last sentence should read::

    I'm assuming Ms. Edwards makes some mighty good barbecue. {*_*}

  8. See, New Jersey needs to bring y'all in to consult on this matter. Thanks for breaking it down, Sabrina: a rose by any other name is still "garbage soaked in perfume". Although the "neutralizing agent" is supposedly the masking chemical here.

    You're funny, Moonchime! Good idea, let's make "barbeque at Alica's without throwing up" the success test for the dump perfume.

    flittersniffer, "Gestankfestlichkeit" could be Jersey's version of "Oktoberfest."

    Too right, Gojira - "just a light scent for a tiny stench."

    melisand61 - yep, this is no time for pussyfooting around with "your skin but better" fragarance.

    onesmalldog, I am wondering which fragrance company created the dump perfume. Axe certainly have the "technology" for masking the ripeness of teenage boys...