I Smell A…Well, Nothing At All, Actually


The inevitable remake will not be shot in Portland.

You may want to go easy on the Brut if you work in one of Portland's city offices. The city's Fox affiliate reports

The Portland City Council approved a proposal Wednesday to make all city offices fragrance-free.The policy is designed to protect employees with health issues, such as asthma.

This means all workers will be asked to not wear cologne, perfume, aftershave or other scented products like hair sprays and lotion. Employees can now face disciplinary action for wearing too much scent.

For those who like to wear a scent—or even a mild-smelling hairspray—this really stinks. (Except, you know, not.) 

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  1. With the percentage per capita of smelly hippies in Portland this seems more like a punishment than anything.

    Deodorant people. Use it.

    1. No, the hippies are all in Eugene. It’s the fucking hipSTERS who run Portland these days.

      1. I have a tough time deciding what’s worse, hippies or fucking hipSTERS.

        One group smells like a camping trip that went too long, the other like a common dorm room after a weekend spent drinking PBR and smoking cloves.


        1. Why the “STERS” capitalization, btw?

          I live in alleged hipster-mecca; never come across this spelling innovation before.

          And FWIW, there is a subset of hipsters (now in decline, thank god) that is/was adamant about not using deodorant. Evaluating the relative noxiousness of hippy vs unwashed hipster would be challenging; I think it would take a refined olfactory sense to distinguish the composition of each’s relative bouquet. I think hippy tends to smell more like Indian cab drivers at times, given their penchant for vegan diets and occasional application of patchouli, fondness of incense, cloves*, etc. Basically, more like a body- odor cum hippy-lifestyle potpourri. When they fart, its tinged with something like lentils and wheatgrass juice on top of a poisonous scent engendered by complete physical sloth. Old woman farts.

          Whereas, Hipsters just plain fucking stink. like, “dude, you smell like chainsmoking bad feet wrapped in aging ball-sweat-drenched underwear infused with a hint of nachos-&-beer inspired flatulence.”

          What blew me away is that these hipster dudes had girlfriends who didn’t seem to mind at all. Then again, there may be a reason this particular element of hipster subculture has been on the wane.

          [* in my experience, cloves are strictly hippy. Hipsters smoke American Spirits, Marlboros or rollys(cheap). Cloves are useless to people whose idea of a good night out involves a lot of cheap cocaine & a case of PBR.]

          1. We have them in Kentucky now. That means the plaque might soon be over for our long-suffering Brooklyn brothers-in-arms.

          2. gilmore – i took the L train outta manhatten to brooklyn. my irish thug style didnt fit-in too well w the wall-to-wall hipsters. on the other hand i thought of stomping a few & boning-out their skinny lil GF’s. then i realized the cooze stank would overwhelm.

          3. The second-syllable emphasis seems simply meant to distinguish the two as in, “no dude, not hippies, hipsters.”

  2. We must stop the scourge of Axe Body Spray. By any means necessary.

    1. My son asked me to get Axe for him yesterday. I kid you not.

      I hugged him and we had a good cry.

      1. After you beat him senseless, right?

        The recent “even angels go dirty for Axe” campaign has made me so glad I have a TiVo. So glad.

        1. No, but the shock now will help lessen the blow later when he finally comes out as a guido.

          1. Or a New Yorker. God damn that shit is everywhere.

            1. They actually sell an Axe knock-off in the dollar stores in Queens where I work. It’s even more rancid than the original. Hangs in the air long after the wearer is gone.

          2. You did at least explain to him that hot chicks don’t lose their self control after smelling Axe, right? That they in fact hate that shit?

            1. It’s grand oppurtunity to dicuss the difference between causation and correlation with your kid.

              You can explain to him that women sleep with dumbshit assholes in spite of Axe, not because it it. That dumbshit assholes all wear Axe is part of being a dumbshit; the asshole part is what attracts women.

              1. I don’t understand. You’re an asshole, but women detest you. Can you explain this, please?

                1. I did alright before I was married. And all my success with women I chalk up to being a complete asshole.

            2. But Acqua Di Gio. . . mrrrowr!

            3. I’m really not sure where he’s getting the idea, since we’re an Old Spice? family.

              I blame the wife drinking while she was pregnant with him.

              1. Drinking too little or not enough?

                1. All that I know is that I need to be a moar scarier drunk.


          3. JW|3.14.11 @ 3:20PM|#
            No, but the shock now will help lessen the blow later when he finally comes out as a guido

            Or Gay. Or (most likely) a Gay Guido.

            It could just be a phase. These things happen.

            1. Not a gay giudo! Noooooooooo!

              1. How can you tell if a guido is gay? This isn’t a setup for a joke, I’m actually at at lost. Obsessed with appearance and clothes, tanned, highlighted hair, no visible means of support… what’s the difference between guidos and the sub-set of dumb gay guys?

                But they chase women, you say… Considering that most guidettes look like pre-op trannies, is sleeping with those kind of “women” really a sign of straightness?

              2. The Voice actually did a cover story on teh gay Guido phenomenon last month.


                It opens with the line, “Craig Austin calls his 18-man hot tub “a big bowl of cute boy soup.”

                uh… yeah.

                While I’m totally all, “live and let live”, if one day someone accidentally knocked the porta-tanning lamp into the tub… well, society would probably be none the poorer for it.

                (I think maybe I’m channeling a scene from Eating Raoul, now that I think of it…


                1. At least they are far less likely to reproduce.

                2. While I’m totally all, “live and let live”, if one day someone accidentally knocked the porta-tanning lamp into the tub

                  What do you have against George Hamilton, you monster?

        2. Fuckin’ Axe, how does it work?

      2. I had a roommate in college who would close himself into a small closet he had and “hot box” himself with the axe spray shit if he was going out. The girls I knew had a hard time not gagging around him.

        Disappointingly, he got way more girls then I did.

        1. See above.

          Axe: The Asshole Amplifier.

        2. The girls I knew had a hard time not gagging around him.

          Disappointingly, he got way more girls then I did.

          I learned this little trick a few years ago. Listen to a woman’s story about how big a prick some guy was, then ask her if she went out with him.

          Usually, without hesitation, they’ll say, “Oh yeah” without any sense of irony at all.

          I remember years ago a woman I know told an anecdote about how she went to go see a Doctor, and then later in the week he called her for a date after looking her home phone # up in her medical record. She went on and on about how violated she felt and how creepy and unseemly the whole thing was. One of the other women in our group asked her (and this was my first lesson in this strange behavior), “So, did you go out with him?” Without missing a beat, she replied, “Oh yeah!”

          1. Listen to a woman’s story about how big a prick some guy was

            There’s your first mistake. NEVER do this. It’s either a green light to lay all her shit on you whenever she feels like it, or like sticking a big “L” on your forehead if it’s somebody you’re interested in.

        3. The girls I knew had a hard time not gagging around him.

          Disappointingly, he got way more girls then I did.

          Well of course: if you can’t make a girl gag, why would you expect a second date?

      3. I hugged him and we had a good cry.

        Did your mascara run?

        1. Take that back or I’ll hit you with my European carryall.

    2. So Lizzy Borden wasn’t sure if she’d be allowed to have dinner with her friend, and the friend, who was black, said, “why don’t you go home and axe your parents”

      1. I’ve been wearing a lot of Axe bodyspray lately but since I live in a black neighborhood I call it Ask bodyspray. If you don’t get that joke then you’re not racist.

  3. The only scent I am wearing is the overpowering smell of my manliness.

    1. Yeah, about that – we’ve been meaning to mention it to you…

  4. Stink is organic and all natural.

    1. No wonder douchebag hippies stink it up.

      1. too much natural stink?

  5. I worked with a guy who chain smoked, passed gas whenever, was overweight, and lecherous, but if someone had on too much cologne or hairspray or whatever, would freak out because it gave him a headache or some other “complication”. It’s not like he stunk that bad or anything, but the sight of this rather disgusting looking individual yelling at people about their cologne or perfume was a little surreal.

    1. It’s all about intentions. It’s one thing to smell a certain way as a by-product, another to deliberately apply perfume. At least, that must be the way he and others like him think.

      BTW, no mass market soap that I know of is unperfumed, so it might not be easy to comply with this edict. Some people think Ivory soap is what soap smells like, not realizing that’s a perfume too.

  6. What about the stench of Failure? The whole government is permeated with it.

  7. The adult in me thinks this is a waste of time and resources…

    but the kid lil’ statist in me thinks it’s grrrrrreat!

    (warning: mixed cereal commercial references detected.)

  8. Great!

    No, seriously. This is not a coercive law, it is simply something the city of Portland, as an employer, asks of its employees. It is totally reasonable from a libertarian perspective.

    1. That won’t stop us from making cracks about smelly hipsters though!

      1. Portland is full of hippies and legacy 90’s free spirits… get your demographics right, Sean.

        1. No, as mentioned above, Portland is much more hipster than hippie.

          1. SUPERVISOR: Yes, you are, I can smell it.

            EMPLOYEE: No, I’m not. I’m filing a grievance against you for harassment…..

    2. But how long until the delicate, wilting hot house flowers which are the City of Portland demand that the customers coming in also don’t over apply cologne?

      1. Scent scanners at building entrances….

  9. There’s a technological solution: clothespins.

    1. I find that these are ineffective at killing hipSTERS and their ilk. A noose works much better.

      1. The noose is too mainstream for hipsters.

        1. A n??se once bit my sister.

            1. I have a sudden urge to watch a Norwegian m?vie.

  10. Hey, wait a second –

    Since the existence of this law means that the city workers of Portland can no longer collectively bargain for greater rights to wear cologne, doesn’t this mean that these city council guys are WalkerHitlers and enemies of labor?

  11. Perfectly reasonable rule for an employer.
    Even better, since here the employer is the government, the more time it spent formulating the rule and the more time it spends enforcing this rule, the less time it will have to do other things.

  12. No Portlandia reference?

    1. I’ve had enough of that show from my lefty friends and college classmates and their constant “put a bird on it!” references. IT’S NOT FUNNY.

  13. Perfectly reasonable rule for an employer.

    Actually, its a perfectly unreasonable rule, but one which an employer is free to adopt.

    There’s a difference, encapsulated (aren’t they all) in an Iron Law:

    You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.

    1. It’s perfectly reasonable for a business owner, who happens to have either severe allergies or just a mild distaste of floral scents, to implement a rule like this. I’ve seen multiple job postings in the last few years that specifically mention that they do not allow noticeable perfume in the office.

      I get excruciating headaches when I’m around some colognes/perfumes. I find it funny that so many people on here are quick to reject such claims as frivolous. Is it too unreasonable to believe that some people have medically valid, physiological reactions to certain scents?

      That said, I don’t think the government has the right to do jack shit, banning perfumes included.

  14. The Portland City Council approved a proposal Wednesday to make all city offices fragrance-free.

    Smelly library bums rejoice!

  15. Beans and eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from that day on…

    1. I pray that I live upwind of you.

  16. Great, now when I leave with a hearty “Smell ya later”, it’s going to sound ridiculous.

  17. Whenever you run a story about Portland, it would be nice if you’d specify which one.

    1. No one cares about Portland, ME.

      1. I get no respect.

        1. Me either.

          1. Portland, ME 04101
            Portland, CT 06480
            Portland, NY 14769
            Portland, PA 18351
            Portland, TN 37148
            Portland, OH 45770
            Portland, IN 47371
            Portland, MI 48875
            Portland, IA 50401
            Portland, ND 58274
            Portland, IL 61277
            Portland, MO 65067
            Portland, AR 71663
            Portland, TX 78374
            Portland, CO 81226
            Portland, OR 97207

          2. No one knows you exist.

          3. I Hope you have Hot Springs in your bed.

  18. This is not a coercive law, it is simply something the city of Portland, as an employer, asks of its employees. It is totally reasonable from a libertarian perspective.

    While I agree in principle, I can’t help wondering what is so goddam “libertarian” about the tyranny of the lowest common denominator. I have it on good authority; “Life is not FAIR.”

    Will customers deemed excessively aromatic be expelled from municipal offices?

  19. Wrong thread for this, but I just ran across (via Arts & Letters Daily) an interesting article from The Chronicle of Higher Education:

    The Intellectual as Courtier

    What would it take to elicit servility from an intellectual? Money would help, of course. Just ask the Harvard professors who founded the Monitor Group?which for a time shilled for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in return for a quarter of a million dollars a month. And query the administration at the London School of Economics, recipient of a ?1.5-million pledge from a foundation run by Seif, the tyrant’s notably generous, charming, and debonair son and presumed heir, who earned a Ph.D. at the school with a dissertation alleged by some to have been at least partly plagiarized (LSE is investigating those allegations).

    But money is certainly not the only coin in which the modern intellectual likes to be paid. There is, after all, nothing quite like celebrity, and proximity to power can easily become for an intellectual in search of renown what a candle is for a moth. If, as they say, power corrupts, then lack of power corrupts absolutely. . . .

  20. How long until we start seeing “no-scent” areas of restaurants followed by legislation banning people from wearing scents inside restaurants at all, despite heavy lobbying from the perfume industry?

    1. Wait for it….

    2. You bastard! You just gave some statist trash an idea to help out an extreme minority in by screwing over the majority of the population!

  21. This means all workers will be asked to not wear cologne, perfume, aftershave or other scented products like hair sprays and lotion.

    I hate all that shit, and I can tell you, finding unscented soap, laundry detergent, et c requires extra effort.

    And, apparently, leaving off the perfume is so much work they are forced to charge extra for it.

    1. Which is why an unscented mandate needs to be issued by the federal government. Products that have scents may not be sold unless a comparable alternative product without scent is also sold.

  22. Won’t last, this is some sort discrimination against immigrants who use perfume/cologne instead of showering.

    1. Seriously! What’s up with that? I had to move across a movie theater last week when five Mexican kids, who had apparently just gone swimming in cologne, decided to sit right in front of me.

  23. What if I like to fart profusely in my office? Sorry, folks, put down that can of spray – no perfumes allowed! Instead, enjoy the cloying miasma of my flatus after a night of beans, broccoli and beer.

    1. Why do you hate sauer kraut, BSR?

      1. That just gave me an asthma attack. And I don’t even have asthma!

  24. Just wait until the patchouli vendors file a class action lawsuit.

  25. The right to swing my Axe ends where the other man’s nose begins.

  26. Oh, for a manager that would utter the immortal words:

    “I understand what you’re saying about co-workers wearing perfume. I just don’t care. Get back to work.”

  27. Ahh, from the annals of employment law, we learn how to properly deal with excessive workplace fragrances.

    You chase that perfumed whore around the office with a dead fish!

    On October 3, 1996, Levine was talking to a coworker who occupies
    the cubicle next to Jenkins’. Levine was wearing strong perfume
    which was offensive to Jenkins, who previously had complained about the perfume to Levine. In an effort to have Levine leave the
    area, Jenkins removed a package of dried fish from her desk drawer
    and showed it to Levine. Levine began backing up, shouting obscenities.
    A supervisor exited his office, told the women that their conduct
    was unprofessional, and broke up the confrontation. Levine allegedly
    became ill following this incident

    you may continue reading here:…..1905.U.pdf

  28. Since most colognes and perfumes make me physically ill (can’t even wear scented deodorant) I’m all for this one.

    1. Then do not pull my finger. It could be fatal.

    2. Translation = “Since I have an excessive sensitivity to something, I think imposing mandates on the entire population within an organization makes perfect sense”.

    3. Since bright colors hurt my eyes and give me a headache, I’m all for government forcing people to only wear dull, drab earth tones.

    4. Since most colognes and perfumes make me physically ill

      Not to be rude, but I am having a hard time envisioning how you even function in society.

    5. Since most colognes and perfumes make me physically ill (can’t even wear scented deodorant) I’m all for this one.

      Please, tell me you haven’t sired.

    6. Since nanny-staters’ proposals invariably make my blood pressure rise, I’m all for banning the nanny-staters.

    7. I’ve got your back, Scott. These people don’t understand the distraction that it can become. An employee who decided to scream incessantly throughout the workday would pose a clear issue that compromises the ability of others to perform their work…I wonder what these people would say about that. What if you literally held your ass an inch away from someones face and farted…would they have a problem with that? What does it take to get some libertarians to concede that someone else’s person has been violated?

      As I said above, though, I don’t like that this is in a government office…For a private company to choose to implement this policy would be fine, but most of these government offices shouldn’t exist in the first place.

      1. What if you literally held your ass an inch away from someones face and farted…

        What, you’ve never done that?

  29. All your stinks are belong to us.

  30. I dunno, how much do you want to bet that this policy was prompted by some breakdown in normal everyday manners where people who were confronted with wearing 70’s disco levels of Old Spice loudly proclaimed “well there ain’t no policy about that!”

    In an enclosed environment with others all day your smells are not just your affair…

    1. Rules: Is there nothing they can’t solve?

    2. I think it’s more likely that this was passed in order to prevent a rash of bullshit multiple chemical sensitivity worker’s comp claims.

      These aren’t cops you know–they have to do something besides shoot someone to get a paid vacation.

  31. I’m going to start having flower bouquets – along with burning Sandalwood? incense – delivered to random Portland city government offices.

    Starting tomorrow…

  32. Then there are “all natural” odors. The grocery store I usually shop at is on a direct line from the barn where my horse is boarded.

    I often stop by to pick up groceries on the way home from riding.

    I suppose I’m setting myself up for a lawsuit someday when one of the other shoppers goes into anaphlactic shock.

  33. What Portland is it?

    Portland Oregon or Portland Maine?

    My guess it it is Oregon.

  34. Awesome.

    Love it.

    How much suffering of stinky people will it take to make a bunch of these nannies realize that, just maybe, telling people what to do….

    …you know….

    …it’s not gonna change shit. [sigh].

  35. So, are scented douches allowed or what?

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