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Popcorn, Cocoa, Dryer sheets

Old 12-21-03, 11:11 AM
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naisme
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Popcorn, Cocoa, Dryer sheets

I have come to really enjoy my Friday commute. I get the oportunity to cut through the University of MN campus, the bike path runs right beside the arena where they have hockey games, usually on Friday and Saturday nights. Well, about the time I get to the arena they've been popping popcorn and the aroma fills the street, makes me hungry, all that buttery smell in the air. I think they do it on purpose like subliminal messages in movies.

The only other place on the commute that has an interesting scent to it is this building, I don't have a clue to what they manufacture, but there is often the aroma of chocolate pudding or hot cocoa mix, real chocolatey flavor to the air. As I catch these different smells along the route I secretly hope I'm not breathing in some sort of chemical that will kill me, or I'll find out I'm allergic to. I know I get sort of asthamtic around the heady scent of dryer sheets. I ride by an apartment building and the laundry vents are on the bike path side of the building. Do those things actually make your laundry smell "Spring fresh?" I don't know, as I usually break out in rash if I use them.
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Old 12-21-03, 12:00 PM
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There are a number of restaurants along my favorite route to and from work. Nothing like the aroma of Mexican and Italian cuisine to whet the appetite! There's also a dairy plant nearby, and the scent of it at times reminds me of potatoes. I don't know why.

Passing the Ross Island gravel yard I smell tar and asphalt, which I always equate with hot West Texas summers. And on a warm day the smell of tap water coursing through a garden hose (a humid, somewhat metallic odor) reminds me of Roswell, New Mexico.

'Olfactory memory', it's called, and mine has always been sharp.
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Old 12-21-03, 12:12 PM
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'Olfactory memory', it's called, and mine has always been sharp.
There's a truck shop I pass on my way home, always has the aroma of "hammertone" spray paint a la Grade 10 metal shop. Grade 10 was over 30 years ago, but that aroma brings it back like it was yesterday!

The apartment laundry dryer vents always smell nice, as do the wood stoves burning along my route. I only notice these on the way home, though, not much in the way of aromas in the air at 6:00 am in the winter!
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Old 12-21-03, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by pinerider
...The apartment laundry dryer vents always smell nice, as do the wood stoves burning along my route...
Ahhh, wood smoke on a crisp autumn or winter day! Nothing finer.
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Old 12-21-03, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RobCat
Ahhh, wood smoke on a crisp autumn or winter day! Nothing finer.
Agreed! My new route to work runs mainly along the Missouri River until I get into downtown. The wood stoves along the way are the only odors that I have really noticed. The wind is normally blowing pretty hard so most odors are long gone..
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Old 12-21-03, 04:11 PM
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When I was employed and commuting, my afternoon route home took me past a commercial bakery. The smell of fresh baked bread drove me crazy for about 2 blocks.
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Old 12-21-03, 04:24 PM
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Speaking of olfactory memory:

The first time I got drunk was on Seagrams7 when I was 16. The next day my dad made me help him in the shop- my job was scrubbing engine parts in deisel fuel. To me the deisel fuel smelled just like the Seagrams7 and about every 5 minutes I would have to go outside and puke.

Today, almost 20 years later I still cannot drink any dark whiskey. It all smells like deisel fuel to me.
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Old 12-21-03, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH
... past a commercial bakery. The smell of fresh baked bread drove me crazy for about 2 blocks.
My grandmother used to get up early and bake a loaf of bread every morning. No one in that house ever needed an alarm clock. The smell of bread would have you wide awake and RAVENOUS by 6 am.
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Old 12-21-03, 04:48 PM
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My favorite ride is when I leave work at night. The Florida air is cooler and less humid, the various trees and shrubs give off an aroma that for some reason doesn't seem as strong during the day...

And I begin to drool when I pass a neghborhood house and the smell of a BBQ grill with good-eats cookin...
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Old 12-21-03, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by prestonjb
My favorite ride is when I leave work at night. The Florida air is cooler and less humid, the various trees and shrubs give off an aroma that for some reason doesn't seem as strong during the day...
I've noticed that too. When it turns dusk and the temperature begins to drop, suddelly everything is more fragrant.

And I begin to drool when I pass a neghborhood house and the smell of a BBQ grill with good-eats cookin...
Okay, now I'm ready for warm weather!
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Old 12-21-03, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by naisme
..there is often the aroma of chocolate pudding or hot cocoa mix, real chocolatey flavor to the air. As I catch these different smells along the route I secretly hope I'm not breathing in some sort of chemical that will kill me, or I'll find out I'm allergic to. I know I get sort of asthamtic around the heady scent of dryer sheets. I ride by an apartment building and the laundry vents are on the bike path side of the building. Do those things actually make your laundry smell "Spring fresh?" I don't know, as I usually break out in rash if I use them.
I always catch the chocolate-chip-cookie smell at the same spot. Fuggetaboutit, I get the jollies for free just smellin' 'em.



(Spring-fresh? I always double-rinse my bike-stuff to get that nasty harsh detergent out of them. That stuff is designed for cagers and desk-jockies. Chafe-city.)

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Old 12-21-03, 11:05 PM
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The ride from my house to the local coffee shop, a common ride indeed, passes a Chinese restaurant, an Italian restaurant, and a donut shop. On warmer days the door to the kitchen of the Chinese restaurant is open, and I can smell various savory delights being brought to life within. The temptation would be terrible if I wasn't already on the way to get something delicious at the coffee shop I'm sure.

Most of my longer rides are on the back roads in the country, which means an altogether different smell, that of the cow. Although they are fun to watch, and get very excited when a cyclist rides by crushing numerous acorns, their smell is not exactly the most pleasant.
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Old 12-22-03, 12:49 AM
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aroma therapy

My highlights now are Roasting coffee from a small operation in downtown Olympia, breakfast & dinner smells along the way. Then I pass several restaurants. Don
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Old 12-22-03, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by cycletourist
Speaking of olfactory memory:

...Today, almost 20 years later I still cannot drink any dark whiskey. It all smells like deisel fuel to me.
Sorry to hear that...
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Old 12-22-03, 09:38 AM
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I take a route by a Heinz ketchup plant. Always smells like mama's Italian Lasagna cooking. In college I rode by the Little Debbie snack cake plant. Nothing like smelling those cholocate brownies cooking. Mmmm, mmmm, goood.
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Old 12-22-03, 11:20 AM
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Great thread!

After I've completed about 3/4 of my evening commute and have just crested the last hill, I encounter a Thai restaurant. The smell of ginger wafting through the air makes me ravenous. I practically sprint home hoping dinner awaits!
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Old 12-22-03, 12:03 PM
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Great post ChezJfrey,
The only benefit I can add to yours is that my wife is Thai and she does have dinner waiting when I get home. Life is good all the time and all the time life is good.
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Old 12-23-03, 12:51 PM
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My commute from my old apartment took me past a food/candy flavorings company. The smells were so intense, watermelon, sour apple, cherry, etc... The route from my new place takes me past a hostess fruit cake bakery (cherry filled pies), a commercial bakery (fresh bread) and the Blommer Chocolate Factory, which takes up whole city block right near downtown. When the wind is just right you can catch it 5 blocks away, that's the best, I am weak for chocolate. I pity the people who live right near it.
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Old 12-23-03, 05:45 PM
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My commute takes me past a McDonalds. I don't know how they do it, but it sure doesn't smell like they're making food in there.
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Old 12-23-03, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Allister
My commute takes me past a McDonalds. I don't know how they do it, but it sure doesn't smell like they're making food in there.
That's pseudo-food your smelling, but gods help me, I love the nasty stuff anyway. I very rarely indulge anymore, but the aroma of frying polysaturates and salt is nigh siren-like at times. I swear my blood pressure rises a few points just catching a whiff.

Speaking of scents both pleasant and un-, a couple weeks ago I passed a hobo on the bike path (he was walking but yes, he had a bike; they all do here) and as I drew close behind I entered his sphere of influence. Make that effluence. The man could knock down satellites. The very air about him had a yellowish tinge. If an odor could warp space, this was it. Unluckily, I had to spend some few (eternal) seconds hovering behind as a couple of joggers passed in the opposite direction. From their pinched expressions I deduced that they were equally as stunned.

Fortunately I passed the gravel yard very soon afterward and the aroma of freshly-laid tar scrubbed my traumatized nostrils.
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Old 12-24-03, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RobCat
That's pseudo-food your smelling, but gods help me, I love the nasty stuff anyway. I very rarely indulge anymore, but the aroma of frying polysaturates and salt is nigh siren-like at times. I swear my blood pressure rises a few points just catching a whiff.

Speaking of scents both pleasant and un-, a couple weeks ago I passed a hobo on the bike path (he was walking but yes, he had a bike; they all do here) and as I drew close behind I entered his sphere of influence. Make that effluence. The man could knock down satellites. The very air about him had a yellowish tinge. If an odor could warp space, this was it. Unluckily, I had to spend some few (eternal) seconds hovering behind as a couple of joggers passed in the opposite direction. From their pinched expressions I deduced that they were equally as stunned.

Fortunately I passed the gravel yard very soon afterward and the aroma of freshly-laid tar scrubbed my traumatized nostrils.
I nominate RobCat for the "Outstanding Prose" Award.

(I already knew you should be writing, since I love your Haiku.)

Biking winter air
Popcorn, cocoa, dryer sheets
Spring fresh gives me rash


Ahh, fresh air, sunshine
Humaniod stench warps space
Fresh tar smells good, now


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Old 12-24-03, 09:29 PM
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When I commuted (gettin back into it!) the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Shop was right next to the bike shop, and they always had fresh doughnuts cookin! Just gettin done with a nice ride and it makes ya want to take home a dozen doughnuts!

John
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Old 12-25-03, 12:19 AM
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Mmmm dough nutz.

I had a commute that took me by a bakery that always had their doors wide open, winter, summer, didn't matter, and the aroma Oi Vey! There were some nights I had to stop by the convenience store and grab a couple. And there were nights when the smell was almost noxious, and it was the last thing I wanted to put in my mouth.
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Old 12-25-03, 01:04 AM
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RobCat: You just brought back a couple of memories from my car & bike commuting days in Portland: Parking on the Eastside of the Willamette river then climbing the steps up to the bridge & stepping over those who chose to sleep on the landing. Also a hot summer evening approaching the Burnside bridge on my Raleigh Sports & being forced by traffic to pass way to close to a fellow half on the curb & half in the gutter, in process of losing his hard won beer. Time to go wash the bike!
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Old 12-25-03, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I nominate RobCat for the "Outstanding Prose" Award.

(I already knew you should be writing, since I love your Haiku.)

Biking winter air
Popcorn, cocoa, dryer sheets
Spring fresh gives me rash


Ahh, fresh air, sunshine
Humaniod stench warps space
Fresh tar smells good, now


Thanks very much! Excellent haiku there, by the way!
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