Other than hope
October 7, 2008 3:52 PM   Subscribe

What does Barack Obama smell like?

Despite the creepy and irrelevant nature of this inquiry, I am genuinely curious to know. Pine? Pencil shavings? I want a composite scent based on hard facts. It cannot be an impossible task; he is extremely famous and daily comes into contact with thousands of people who have functioning aural facilities.

- Is his choice of cologne known publicly?
- What about detergent?
- Does he enjoy onions on his sandwich?
- Does anyone have a first-hand account?

I tried a search to no avail, but it's likely I am missing some relevant article (I can't be the first person to wonder. Um. You know?)

posted by boy detective to Grab Bag (22 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Aural facilities are very important, but what I meant to say was olfactory senses.
posted by boy detective at 3:59 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Some of the people over at Kos thought he smelled like smoke after he claimed to have quit smoking. Someone said his shirt smelled like fabric softener. This dog says he smells good. There are these idiot air fresheners which they describe as "much-needed fresh air". Some say new carpet.

I met him in 2004 and he smelled like nothing, nothing at all.
posted by jessamyn at 4:05 PM on October 7, 2008 [9 favorites]

I have met plenty of politicians, although not Obama, and none of them smelled, regardless of their ideology. I think they are smart enough to take showers and avoid scents.
posted by beagle at 4:18 PM on October 7, 2008

What Beagle said.

I would think politicians would be careful to avoid colognes and strong soaps that might offend the nostril - or worse upset someone's allergies.

Sometimes all it takes is that one thing to create a bad association with an event or person. Poor cologne choice is a hardly worth the presidency.

Or something like that.... :)
posted by Kimothy at 4:36 PM on October 7, 2008

I've met him a few times, once in a small room, but I never noticed a particular odor.
posted by lunasol at 4:36 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

He smells like B.O.
posted by Frank Grimes at 4:44 PM on October 7, 2008 [42 favorites]

I have met Senator Obama twice. I discerned no odor.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:04 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

He smells like a breath of fresh air....seriously though, I've met him once and didn't detect anything, but then of course I was too busy being completely awestruck as I shook his hand ...and there were like 20,000 other people around at the time as well....
posted by SoulOnIce at 5:40 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: according to Michelle, he's snore-y & stinky, at least in the morning
posted by jammy at 5:43 PM on October 7, 2008

Mod note: a few comments removed STOP with the hope and victory comments
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:49 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

jessamyn and East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 - no odor like nothing worth noticing, or no odor like freakishly without one? Because I've heard that about Gore, which is shocking becaues he looks sweaty on the TV.

Also, why are we asking this?!?!
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:20 PM on October 7, 2008

I've met him too; he smelled like nothing in particular. The old NH banquet hall where the event happened had a stronger smell itself than any people there, including Obama.

The hell....? What's the purpose of asking this? It's an asshole-magnet of a question.
posted by Miko at 9:22 PM on October 7, 2008

I'm volunteering at a rally for him on Friday, if he comes anywhere near me, I'll take a big sniff and let you know.

And I can't believe the B.O. comment stayed, either. The comment smells like B.S. to me.
posted by HopperFan at 10:00 PM on October 7, 2008

I'm sure part of the reason it stayed is because it prevents the mods from having to endlessly delete a B.O. comment every time the joke occurred to somebody. That is to say it's true, answers the OP's question accurately, is well-intentioned, light-hearted and lastly, damn funny.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:12 PM on October 7, 2008

A friend of mine just met him on Sunday, and said he smelled 'good'. Like what, I do not know. Perhaps I will ask. But apparently he has very soft hands.
posted by greta simone at 10:56 PM on October 7, 2008

I think the "B.O." comment was a play on his initials, which is why it stayed.
posted by PFL at 7:08 AM on October 8, 2008

When I met him, he didn't smell like anything.
posted by rmless at 10:25 AM on October 8, 2008

Echoing what others have said, I shook his hand in February, and noticed no smell at all.
posted by Quidam at 1:07 PM on October 8, 2008

Best answer: Apparently his plane doesn't smell very good: "The McCain campaign plane is better than Obama's, which is cramped, uncomfortable and smells terrible most of the time."
posted by k8lin at 5:19 PM on October 8, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you for the links and input, all very enlightening. HopperFan, please do!
posted by boy detective at 10:46 AM on October 9, 2008

Sorry, I ended up on the outskirts of the crowd, since I took tickets/directed people until just before he came on. I can say, though, that he looked very fresh - ie. shirt pressed, no sweat stains, etc... Here's a video.
posted by HopperFan at 7:47 PM on October 13, 2008

i've been in the elevator with him twice during the primaries. he smelled like cigarette smoke.
posted by anthropomorphic at 10:28 AM on September 23, 2009

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