10 o’clock List: Kenyon Smells I Miss

Perfume, for bathing.

Any layabout can buy nasal delight candles like “Autumn,” “Freshly Mown Grass,” and “Library (?).” But the Kenyon College olfactory landscape is much more nuanced than that. There are some smells that, no matter how hard you try, simply cannot be recreated:

  1. Peirce eggs. They’re definitely not just eggs, because my mornings lack the tangy, sharp, metallic smell that only a plate of New Side scrambled can provide. Ketchup helps.
  2. Post-Community Feast Musk. It’s about the time of year when the Kenyon community has one of those nights where we’re not allowed in the dining hall so that we have to eat hot dogs together as the sun sets. The event itself smells quite delightful, but it inevitably rains the next day, and that cousin scent of wet dog—wet hay—settles thickly over Gambier. Might muck around and spray a bale with a hose just to feel something.
  3. That one bathroom in Ascension with hand lotion. If you have any information about this, PLEASE contact me. Did I hallucinate this bathroom? It’s one of the side hallway women’s restrooms and there was always a not small bottle of hand lotion next to the sink. Anyone? Either way, the fog of the bathroom mixed with the cucumber lotion to create…wet cucumber fog. I’m noticing dampness as a theme in this list. Seriously though, can anyone vouch for the existence of this bathroom?
  4. The Manning hallways. If you’re on campus right now, please do this one thing for me. Go into Manning Residence Hall, one hallway at a time. Take a deep breath. Inhale. Savor it. Then go to the next hallway. Inhale. Savor it. Last year I discovered a phenomenon: every hallway in Manning has a DISTINCT fragrance. Like a snowflake, each odor is unique, except for the fact that they all smell a little bit like socks, and that they all are VERY vocal scents. I hope this is still a true fact of Manning’s curious existence. Please.
  5. You know how you wake up sometimes? and Kenyon just…smells? According to a reputable source, this mysterious blanketing of earthy fragrance occurs when a farm down the road lays down manure and the wind carries it up the hill. A tasty aromatic gift for the Lords and Ladies. Yeah, I miss her too.

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