Gifts with an edge: The scent of old ashtrays


As the holiday season approaches, we thought you might appreciate some gift suggestions with a twist, appropriate for those on your list who aren't satisfied with the same old, same old.

As soon as we caught the first whiff of the holidays in the air, our thoughts turned to aromas. In particular, those of the innumerable bottles of cloying, gagging colognes that we've been gifted with, that we've been storing away against the day we decide to open our own whorehouse.

As I considered how I might return gifts in like, I also chanced upon a report that Dale Air of the U.K., purveyors of scents for industry, had managed to duplicate the smell of an old ashtray, and was making it available to anyone in need of such. And that would be...?

While Dale has some restrictions on the sale of its products, some of the available scents sound perfect for my purpose. I'm having trouble choosing among

  • Phosgene gas

  • Pencil shavings

  • Cuban cigar smoke

  • Sweaty feet

  • Urine

  • Vomit

  • Jaguar spray

Who to gift and why? Really, the possibilities are endless here. Whichever scent I ultimately choose, however, I plan to pour it into a Jade East bottle and regift...and hope for the best.