Jingle smells are an assault on the nose

The smell of the Christmas lunch itself, however, can be better than the consumption

Share
Related Topics

With our average intake estimated by the BBC at 6,000 calories, the alimentary canal is in for a lively time tomorrow but spare a thought for that (literally) overlooked organ: the nose. Christmas Day and its aftermath is an olfactory roller coaster ranging from pleasing and appetising to embarrassing and downright noxious. You can get them all in the morning with the first squirt of newly opened scents and aftershaves.

The odd thing here is, as Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez point out in their acclaimed reference work Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, those that look the tackiest are often the most effective. It comes as no surprise that Salvador Dali’s Laguna Homme earns the critique, “If you drive a Moscow taxi at night, this one’s for you”, but the female version of the same scent gets a rave review: “immediately memorable, fiendishly clever”.

Anyone – well, anyone over 18 – ploughing through the Christmas wrapping to discover David Beckham’s Instinct would inwardly groan but it turns out to be “proof that snobbery in perfume is useless… a solid handsome piece of work”, while the ostensibly elegant Burberry London is damned as “chav spit”.

The smell of Christmas food, from the startling freshness of your first clementine to the exotic spiciness of a mince pie, is probably better than the consumption. Sometime before the great feast, there arrives a fragrant moment that, no matter how robust your breakfast, produces an agony of salivary anticipation. The supreme bard of yuletide perfectly captured the moment when the aromas of roast goose and freshly boiled Christmas pud billowed in the Cratchit household, “A smell like an eating-house and a pastry cook’s next door to each other, with a laundress’s next door to that!”

Sadly, the equal and opposite reaction to the anticipatory nasal cocktail occurs after the great feast. This mortifying topic was delicately tackled in yesterday’s Sun: “Wind-inducing sprouts are the reason most of us won’t have a Silent Night this year.” This seems unfair to the small, if undeniably potent brassica. The sheer scale of the meal, particularly the roast potatoes, chestnuts and chipolatas, is liable to induce repercussions.

Boxing Day used to provide one of the most distinctive yuletide aromas. Not too long ago, football terraces throughout the land would be redolent with the smoke from small, cheap cigars. Maybe the disappearance of Wills’s Whiffs is no great loss but like Old Spice after shave and the sour electrical smell of a Triang model train set, it is among the pongs of Christmas past. Though the young of today are incomparably better served in the present department, it is unlikely that they will look back nostalgically on the aroma of a freshly opened iPhone 5.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager - £70,000 OTE

£35000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager (Vice President...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Marketing Executive i...

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: We Are Not Syriza; and the riddle of an imitation Sphinx in China

John Rentoul
Labour and the Liberal Democrats would both end winter fuel allowances for pensioners with enough income to pay the 40p tax rate  

Politicians court the grey vote because pensioners, unlike the young, vote

Andrew Grice
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable