GQ magazine has just honored Los Angeles by naming it the smelliest city on the planet.
Should we be offended or flattered?
It turns out we should be a little of both -- GQ means it in a good way, but attributes a lot of questionable scents to our unique essence. According to GQ, we smell like a mix of eucalyptus balm, jasmine, car exhaust and hot asphalt -- a strange, beautiful and industrial scent he compares to "the jolt of a drug." From GQ:
L.A. is one of the most bizarre places on Earth, and it has an equally singular smell. The clear, alluring track of its scent is arresting. There's the ocean breeze from Santa Monica that can travel as far East as Silver Lake; a dry desert air that comes West over Downtown and South Central; the astringent balm of eucalyptus, pine, honeysuckle, and jasmine from the hills; and car exhaust from catalytic converters, which is, in its strange industrial way, beautiful. It's like the jolt of a drug: shifting, comforting, cool like a blanket. The lonely smell of the marine layer burns off and you get this flashy perfume of hot asphalt, engines, and sun block that you can find nowhere but in L.A.
We'll take the compliment, but would like to suggest some other smells: the skunk that rises up from the Hollywood Bowl during Reggae Night, the smell of flowers and fresh things at the Santa Monica farmers market, the sharp dog urine smell at Runyon Canyon, bacon-wrapped hotdogs outside the Staples Center, orange trees in the Valley and taco trucks everywhere. That sounds about right.