Oh, what's that smell?

Oh, what's that smell?

My column this week is about smells and how we’d describe Ottawa with our noses. 

I offered a few suggestions and asked readers to submit their own. We had some fun on socials — with many picking up on exhaust pipes, pets, the smell of pet waste in the spring and manure from the Experimental Farm.

Several people emailed with Thurso which, as reader Elizabeth explains, “usually means that bad weather is coming with that east wind bringing the pulp mill smells!” 

Rakesh wrote in to describe the experience of being on the bike path between Gladstone and Somerset bridge and smelling the fragrance of coffee roasting from the nearby Happy Goat. 

Brenda contributed two: “the odour that permeates the southern, more rural parts of Ottawa. Growing up in Russell (which is just outside the technical city boundary) on summer nights, or mornings, when the temperature, air pressure, and wind direction were exactly aligned we would be overwhelmed by the stench of the Metcalfe mushroom farm.” Would that be Muskroom? Fungus Fragrance? Fungi-Roma? Perfungi? 

Brenda also suggested Bouquet de Bluesfest, “a combination of trampled grass, broken lawn chairs, crushed empty beer cans, porta-potty line-ups, and over-priced everything….”

I also heard from Billy, who makes unique candles and gives proceeds to local kids’ mental health programs. Customers have often tried to nail down what Ottawa smells like. The current iteration is The Royal Ottawa, with “notes of cedarwood and musk, and undertones of sweet cherry, clove, and plum.” 

I’m going to declare Nona the winner with “Eau de Guts” for a citizen stand-off should the freedom trucks return to Ottawa. 

Thanks everyone for playing!