#977 The smell of gasoline

Put a few drops on your wrist and neck

Tell me something: Have you ever rolled down your window at a gas station to catch some hot whiffs? While pumping gas have you ever spilled a few drops on your shirt for some free take-out smell? Baby, I know you’re with me. Because you know that the smell of gasoline is one of life’s simplest pleasures.

Now, I know a lot of people out there seem to think the smell of gasoline ain’t great for your brain. They insist you’re fritzing out all your head circuitry with these evil airborne hydrocarbons, the equivalent of releasing a sack of rats into the restaurant kitchen or pouring a can of Coke into your laptop air vent. And you know what? Maybe they’re right. I do fully agree that huffing gas fumes is really bad for you. That’s really not debatable. But the regular ol’ smell of gasoline just lingering around the fillup station? I say the jury’s still out on that one.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I have no idea why, when my dad pulled our old wood-paneled station wagon up to the Shell pumps, I’d love to get out and take a giant sniff of that hot, gassy air. But I know I did. Maybe I felt a bit like a woodsman stepping out of his cabin holding a cup of coffee, a baker pulling a tray of fresh, hot croissants out of the oven, or a wine tester swirling a big fat glass of Merlot before the big sniff. Maybe for a kid growing up in the suburbs the smell of gasoline at the local pumps was the same sort of deal. Just one of those great smells of life. A smell that says something about who you are. Something about where you come from. Something… about what you believe in.

AWESOME!

115 Comments

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115 responses to “#977 The smell of gasoline

  1. My grandfather used to own a cabin on a lake up in Maine, where I would spend my summers on a small motorboat, fishing, sunbathing and diving into a glacier that had probably melted only a week beforehand. The air up there was pure and clear, save for the pungent fumes that wafted from a relatively small gas can in the back of the boat.

    Some people have their “comfort smells,” like apple pie or pot roast. But to me the insistent aroma of gasoline brings back memories of the happiest days of my young life.

    • ya guys are sorta disgusting.

      Did you ever hear about the word Dangerous or Dont try this at home?

      I do have to agree is smells great but still it gets annoying sometimes.
      Personally, i dont see why coating your lungs with gas is so good..

      • DeAndra Modeste

        OK, the purpose of this website is to allow those who would like to, to come and find some positive/awesome things that will brighten up their day. He said the smell of gasoline is good, he didnt say to sniff it until you DIE. Cake is great but no one is suggesting that you eat it everyday. If you dont want to sniff gasoline ALOT then DONT.

  2. Nail polish and varnish are also nice

  3. jdurley

    I don’t know if this is true or not, but it seemed like the old leaded gas used to smell more strongly than the cleaner stuff we get these days. Gasoline has never done it for me, but my sister used to hang out the window and pant like a dog whenever we filled up.

    Another nostalgic gas station memory: my Dad always laid the same line on the pump attendant: “Fill’er up, or $20, whichever comes first!” Which was a joke, because it would never be as much as that. We’d always give the gas guy a look of sympathy that meant, “yeah, we’ve heard that one a hundred times, too.”

  4. I agree with you in theory. However, if you’re ever in a cramped space (say, an small bookstore) with somebody who’s been working at a full service station all day, you will quickly change your mind.

  5. Nice post (again)

    As a kid, my parents would sometimes stick me on a Greyhound Bus to travel to see family. I remember changing buses at the big station in St. Louis and the smell of all the big diesel engines spewing out their exhaust was intoxicating.

    To this day, if I smell a diesel engine, I am taken back to that memory.

  6. Tess

    I love this, too. When I was pregnant, I actually had to stay away from filling my car because I would just stand there and inhale the smell.
    I agree that it’s probably a comfort smell from my childhood – my dad and fishing in our boat.

  7. Tom

    You do not advocate huffing gas? I disagree with your belief. There were a few kids in my middle school who huffed gas frequently. One died four years later, but the other became the 43rd president of the United States. Not bad.

  8. Nick

    Gasoline is by far the greatest smell of all time. They should make a perfume/cologne from it.

    That is…if they haven’t already.

    • moegan

      You’re post made me think of this commercial, maybe itll make you laugh too!

    • sunil singal

      The smell inside a shoe store is also liked by many, mainly children and the persons having fond memories of shopping during childhood

      • quazzie

        Ahhh I love the smell of new shoes, I rarley go shopping but when I do one of my guilty pleasures is to buy a pair of shoes, keave them in the box until I get home, then just sit there smelling them until that amazing special smell wears off :P

  9. I always loved that smell too. Nowadays, the pure gasoline that I remember does not come past my nose too often. I smell a “type of farty” smell at the cheaper gas stations. Sometimes the expensive ones too. So what is that? Are they diluting it…or putting more “CORN POWER” in the gas pump or what? I do not inhale too much for fear of illness….but I do not get that genuine GASOLINE smell that I remember as a kid growing up in the sixties…Yea, that’s right….I am a “Baby Boomer”!!!!!!!!!

    Another not so favorite thing I remember the smell of, was my doctor’s offce smell when I was a kid. It had the “medicine and alcohol smell”—YOu do not smell that smell in a Queens Long Island Medical Group Office—doctor’s office. I do not smell anything….just floor wax…and the doctor’s assistance pizza for lunch or tuna sandwich odor….! Gone are the”good” old days…when you could identify a location or medical area by the smell. Gone are the good old days when GASOLINE was gasoline. What is here is the HIGH PRICE OF GASOLINE…AND THE HIGH PRICE OF HEALTH COVERAGE….WITHOUT THE BEDSIDE MANNER!!! Oh, Woah, is Me, Woah is Me!
    LOL!—riveroflifelisajoy~!

  10. Sarah

    I also like the smell of gas… but one thing tops it for me…. I love the smell of auto parts stores/garages, I know it sounds like a weird one, but my dad (a mechanic) raised me and I was always around garages and auto parts stores. The smell is like a second home smell to me.
    Added bonus: As a single mom, I can work on my own car and save $$!

  11. Jesse

    Yeah Sarah….I hear ya! Brake cleaner does it for me:)

  12. Alex

    The only thing better than gas is Diesel Fuel.

  13. Pingback: #909 Bakery air « 1000 Awesome Things

  14. Will

    Anyone love the smell of WD-40?? I grew up in my Paps garage taking apart anything that he would let me. I swear I must have sprayed WD on anything and everything that my young hands though was “stuck”. Nothing like the smell of Paps garage. 25 years later I still go in there and get a whiff whenever I can.

  15. I agree. that is cool. but, one of my father’s classmates dropped dead in the hall from gas poisoning. it might have been the old, leady kind, but it’s still dangerous.

    Visit my site!
    avidanthesane.lefora.com

  16. MDethGuy

    You guys haven’t lived until you’ve smelled race gas.

  17. Corey

    The absolute ultimate smell is of an old snowmobile firing up for the first time that season. The smell of that exhaust from the filthy two-stroke engine burning the oil and gas cannot be beaten.

  18. Lauren

    I too love gasoline fumes…other favorites are rubber cement and those big black metal permanent markers…those are good for on the go sniffing.

  19. Austin

    TO wake up… go outside and cut the grass… the combination of the fresh cut grass in the morning is not complete with out that smell of gas that was just used to trim the grass on your lawn… love it

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  21. Brian

    A couple of other great gas smells are the exhaust of a jet ski or the smell of a snowblower on a crisp winter morning when all is still and white!

  22. Niamhaill

    I have a friend and when she was pregnant the smell of petrol made her womanly bits all tingly… When I get pregnant, that’s the craving I want to have… petrol orgasms!

  23. Amanda

    Sorry. This one doesn’t jive. I HAAAAAYTE the smell of gasoline. Just the other day the shut-off sensor didn’t work and my gas tank actually overflowed when I was filling it!
    Besides DANGEROUS, that was REALLY disgusting once I got back into my tiny car and was blessed by the oily au de parfum.

  24. Jake

    My 1#
    Gasoline smells good :D
    I’m not crazy for building or tuning cars or whatever they call it
    but it smells gooooood

  25. this one should be NUMBER#1 !!
    the smell is heavenly ..
    i just wonder HOW it actually tastes !!
    im jokingg :P

  26. It seems to smell never leaves your car for a long time if you bring home a gas to cut your lawn.

  27. Pooja

    Gasoline, or as we call it here, petrol sure smells good anytime…so does freshly brewed coffee,..or nail paint…but have any of you ever tried smelling the breeze from an airconditioner….i used to sit in front of the aircon quite often when i was a kid, but i still enjoy it even now…:)

    • Mitch

      Dude A.C. breeze is awesome, I used to hog the seat next to it and block the air from every one, because I used to press my nose against the vents and that was the best feeling in the world when it was above 95 degrees!

  28. Chantal

    I love the smell of gas as well, but to a certain extent. Another smell I love is the smell of a ski-doo. It all brings back memories!!

  29. Just noticed this entry for the first time in a while. LOVE this smell. One of my favorites, right up there with a fresh bag of marshmallows.

  30. I love the smell of gasoline. I always savour the smell whenever I go by a gas station or when I start up the lawn tractor. I used to love the smell when I was walking to my bus after school. Aw yeeeah!

  31. B

    AMEN! I am addicted to the smell of gasoline.I remember being a little kid and biting my tongue everytime i smelled gasoline.ans i still do it! i have no idea why?

    i wish they made gasoline perfume… :]

  32. L

    http://www.demeterfragrance.com/

    They unfortunately don’t have gasoline. However, they have a million other ones, including, grass, dirt, leather, and laundromat…all of which smell exactly like that.

    Anyone like new tire smell? And new car smell?

  33. Kristin

    In the mid-sixties I used to walk — over a mile! — to school with my friends. I usually ended up standing and waiting for them to appear for them on the corner of a really busy road. The smell of those leaded fumes was truly awesome.

  34. vickey

    And I thought I was the only one who enjoyed the smell of diesel.

    • Mema

      It’s nice to know I’m not alone out there. I would put diesel on a rag an smell it but it would leave a film on the roof of my mouth.

  35. Kunal

    I work in a petrochemical firm, a fortune 500 at that. I smell it everyday for last 1 year, and i still love it

  36. Rachana

    Ooooooooooooooh yeah!
    That’s the good stuff.
    And to the guy who said I haven’t lived until i’ve smelt race gas. Thank you. That’s now a goal in my life.

  37. A

    I drool just thinking about it.

  38. When I go to a gas station, I roll down the window, and WHOO. It hits yah right then and there. My sister says that it smells good.Im like no it dosent and then we start a fight.

  39. Jason

    Big fan of Sharpie markers, myself. Just like gasoline, I’m sure the smell kills brain cells, but I always take more time than I should when I’m using them…

  40. Tara

    Aaah…. I’m totally with you on this one… It’s my absolute favourite smell in thw whole world…
    Okay, popping out to fill up the tank now…

  41. Canadian Bacon

    WD-40

  42. Mitch

    I don’t get it! Gasoline makes me nauseous and car sick! Everyone I know loves that smell but me, it makes me insane!

    • Ana

      Mitch, I’m with you! The smell of gasoline is actually one of my least favourite smells. This was the first thing in this list of awsomeness that I completely disagree with.

  43. gregor

    gasoline smelllllllls sooooogood!especially diesel fuel and heavy black smoke,exhaust from a bus.

  44. Gabriel

    I realized recently that cars don’t smell like they used to. They’re far more efficient and the exhaust is far cleaner than it used to be in the 80s and farther back. There’s a bit of nostalgia from my childhood of smelling all the leftover gas in the exhaust of cars that went by.

  45. michelle

    i LOVE the smell of WD40 i dont know why i just do lol

  46. Charlotte

    Oh my gosh! Yes, yes, one thousand times YES! I absolutely love the smell of gasoline! it completely makes my day. I remember when I was a little kid I would always get out of the car when my mom would get more gas just to smell it. And the little window clearer things that are always at the gas station, best days ever as a child.

  47. Just Some Guy

    The sweet smell from Gasoline is Benzene, a known carcinogen, and although I agree there is something about the smell, eventually when the environmentalists and safety cops have their way, you will have to be transferring fuel breathing supplied air.

  48. Chloe

    I for one, have always loved the smell of gasoline. As a kid, I would love stopping to fill up on long road trips. Whenever I mentioned this to fellow children though, they insisted that it was disgusting and that I would surely grow up to be a junkie.
    Well, I’m all grown up, I am not a junkie, and I still love that sweet smell of transportation.

  49. Neha

    I have always loved the smell of gasoline. I never told anyone since I thought people might think I am crazy, since it is considered bad and all ;) But I “confided” in one of my friends some years back, and there hasn’t been any looking back ever since!
    I am amazed by the number of people who love the smell of gasoline! I guess I shouldn’t have been a “closeted” gasoline smell lover for so long :)
    Another little detail in my confessions, I start breathing faster whenever I am at a gas station, so that I can get as many whiffs of the amazing thing, as possible ;)

  50. Christine

    What about the smell of freshly photocopied papers that the teacher would pass along in stacks! We’d smell the whole stack, then take our paper and pass the stack to the next kid.

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