London Smells

By London_Simon Last edited 140 months ago
London Smells

Londonist read with interest over at the fine Meme Huffer that a cosmetics company has decided to capture the very aroma of London. Now, we all know that London is a singular and unique, living, breathing entity that conjures up great thoughts of architectural beauty and awesome addresses, but great smells? We think not.

Sure, there are always oases of aromatic bliss like the Royal Parks in the spring or Kew Gardens pretty much any time of year. Overall, however, this magnificent city of ours is essentially an age-old entity that has been through wars, fires, plagues, pestilence and riots, and up until the 19th century Grand Old Father Thames was essentially an open sewer!

Victorian London had a “Great Stink” in 1858 partially due to the Cholera epidemics and such was the outrageous whiff that the House of Commons’ curtains were soaked with chloride and lime to protect the delicate noses of the Lords. This wasn’t a great idea and didn’t work but it essentially provided impetus for the funding of London’s famous and extensive sewer system and interestingly the recognition of the need for large public spaces, such as the Royal Parks, to act as lungs for the City.

Although London is a powerful brand with imagery that represents style and cosmopolitan élan, Meme Huffer spied the ad on the side of an idling bus chugging out exhaust fumes, forever linking the product with eye watering, lung clogging pollutants.

So knowing all this, and a lot more besides, would you pay to smell like London?

Image taken for Orhan's photo stream

Last Updated 22 May 2007