5 Surprising Scents Used in Body Fragrances

Ambergris, historically (and currently, on the gray market) a highly valuable fragrance ingredient, forms in the intestinal tract of whales, the result of ingesting indigestible animal parts. The stinky ball exits from the rear, at which point it begins its years-long, salt-water-fueled transformation into a substance that runs roughly one-third to two-thirds the price of gold.
Ambergris, historically (and currently, on the gray market) a highly valuable fragrance ingredient, forms in the intestinal tract of whales, the result of ingesting indigestible animal parts. The stinky ball exits from the rear, at which point it begins its years-long, salt-water-fueled transformation into a substance that runs roughly one-third to two-thirds the price of gold.
Photo courtesy Flickr | Peter Kaminski

A waft of flowers is typical. Cedar, citrus and spices, too, characterize plenty of perfumes, body sprays and colognes. Fruit cake, margaritas and roast beef? Somewhat less commonplace.

While most fragrances lean toward the traditional, there are some rather unique scents out there that challenge the perfume paradigm. Perhaps fruit cake makes sense at Christmas time if you're really in the spirit of the season, but others boggle the mind: Who would want to walk around smelling like deli meat or alcohol? (Wouldn't the latter make coworkers wonder?)

Apparently, enough people to create a market for some meaty, sweet or just plain strange body fragrances. Here, five scent categories you just don't see every day, beginning with one you should probably avoid if you're on a diet ...

5
Baked Goods
Your cinnamon bun scent might have people asking you where the nearest bakery is.
Your cinnamon bun scent might have people asking you where the nearest bakery is.
Annabelle Breakey/Photodisc/Getty Images

There's certainly nothing offensive about the smell of baked goods. Smelling like you just ate a cinnamon roll is kind of a good thing. But there's something a little odd in smelling like you rolled around in a pile of them when you haven't been anywhere near the yummy treat.

Baked goods make up a surprisingly large portion of (what we'll call) the alternative-fragrance market. Cinnamon rolls and fruit cake are just the beginning. You'll find such mouth-watering scents as birthday cake, angel food cake, cupcake, brownie, almond biscotti, apple pie, carrot cake and peanut-butter cookie, too.

Sexy? Often not. But you could do worse than smelling universally delicious (and really, anyone claiming to hate the smell of cinnamon buns is lying).

The next fragrance, however, has a bit less mass appeal ...

4
Alcoholic Beverages
Are gin and tonics so delicious you'd like to smell like one?
Are gin and tonics so delicious you'd like to smell like one?
Bill Boch/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Outside of bars and restaurants, you don't find too many people smelling like liquor -- or at least not many who want to. There are fragrance companies, however, have come to a different conclusion.

There are a bunch of sprays and lotions in the alcoholic-beverage category. Margaritas, bourbon, gin and tonic, beer (both regular and light!), sake, cosmos, whiskey and absinthe are just some of the varieties of drink you can apply on purpose. Seems a risky way to go, with the frequency of traffic stops, but that's just us.

Now, for authenticity's sake, you might try layering this fragrance with the next one ...

3
Tobacco
The character Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) comes by his whiskey-tobacco scent naturally.
The character Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) comes by his whiskey-tobacco scent naturally.
Dave J Hogan/Contributor/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Considering how many people go out of their way to avoid smelling, and smelling like, tobacco products, this scent seems counterintuitive. Gum, breath fresheners and air fresheners are all used to get rid of the smoky smell, and there are fabric-softener sheets that apparently get the smell out of a smoker's clothes ...

How surprising, then, to find body fragrances in flavors like cigar, pipe, tobacco-vanilla, smoky tobacco and, for those looking to smell like two vices at once, whiskey-tobacco.

Oh wait, that last one smells like Don Draper. We like that one.

And speaking of scent-of-man ...

2
Meat
In 2009, a study by scent-research company Firmenich found that men prefer the smell of bacon to that of a newborn baby, ranked 7th and 18th, respectively. (They also prefer gasoline to the baby, with gas coming in at No. 12.)
In 2009, a study by scent-research company Firmenich found that men prefer the smell of bacon to that of a newborn baby, ranked 7th and 18th, respectively. (They also prefer gasoline to the baby, with gas coming in at No. 12.)
bhofack2/iStock/Thinkstock

OK, this one has gag-gift appeal: For the vegetarian in your life, give the unmistakable scent of red meat.

Actually, not just red meat -- this fragrance category boasts pork and ham, as well, along with a simple mesquite scent that could probably conjure any protein cooked in or around Texas.

If it were just Whopper cologne, it could be brushed off as fun in advertising. That there are also body fragrances that make the wearer smell like pork barbecue, beef jerky, bacon (both regular and hickory), roast beef, pot roast and baked ham is more difficult to explain (and raises some reasonable concern about dog attacks).

And finally, incredibly, for those who use "stinky" as a compliment ...

1
Cheese
A Stilton cheese is checked for veining at the Cropwell Bishop Creamery near Nottingham, England.
A Stilton cheese is checked for veining at the Cropwell Bishop Creamery near Nottingham, England.
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

In the world of fine cheeses, if it stinks, it's really good. Thus, we suppose, Eau de Stilton.

Introduced by the Stilton Cheese Makers Association in 2006, the fragrance mimics the pungent bleu cheese produced in England. While it was never mass-produced, samples of the perfume were sold via the SCMA Web site.

More surprising, though, than Eau de Stilton is that Eau de Stilton isn't the only cheese fragrance on the books. Cheez-It crackers, too, has its own scent (though not one produced by the cracker's manufacturer), and you'll find at least one variety of ham-and-cheese perfume, which also comes as a body oil.

Perhaps, in the end, there's something logical at work here. Cheese, on its own, is an odd way to go; however, viewed as a whole, what you've got is cheese, beer, burgers, apple pie and a smoke ... sounds like a meal that might kill you, but not before it deeply, naughtily satisfies. Maybe this "alternative perfume" thing is not that mind-boggling after all.

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Sources

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