Nov 142011

Fresh as a daisy?

I don’t know why, but recently it occurred to me that Brian Eno may give off the most pleasant odor of all rock ‘n rollers. Although early photos of him find him in poses worthy of Channel and other great perfumiers, I doubt early Eno smelled anywhere near as fresh as I imagine modern-day Eno to smell. By some accounts I’ve read young Eno was living on the edge. Despite a likely liberal use of artificial fragrances that would rival those of the protagonist of HuysmansAgainst Nature, he probably reeked of smoke and groupies’ sweat.

It’s the early ’80s Eno, the ambient Eno, the Talking Heads‘ producer Eno, who I imagine developing advanced bathing techniques, extracting herbal oils, and even modifying his diet to ensure an around-the-clock, seasonal blend of pleasing, understated aromas. A morning ritual of, say, a rosewater bath, a dab of rosemary oil behind each earlobe, and a light brunch of fennel and braised squid before heading off to a day’s recording with U2 may have added as much to the magic of the band’s sessions for The Unforgettable Fire as Eno’s Oblique Strategies deck of cards. Eno probably kept a pot of chamomile tea steeping at all times to help drown out the more, uh, pungent odor of engineer/coproducer Daniel Lanois.

I bet Chris Martin of Coldplay appreciates the ambient scents that Eno brings to a session. A dank, musty studio is no place for Gwyneth and the kids to drop in. The girls love it when Eno smells like a chai latte.

So, I’ve made my case for Brian Eno as the Rocker Most Likely to Give Off a Pleasant Odor. Can you think of any other rocker who may smell even more delightful?


  22 Responses to “Which Rocker Probably Gives Off the Most Pleasant Odor?”

  1. The dude has in fact gone on the record about his interests in the olfactory arts. Without Eno there, however, I have to think Coldplay would be on a patchouli end of the spectrum. I imagine Gwyneth to be given to that kind of thing.

  2. Cool, I had no idea! Now folks may think twice next time they jump on me for one of my hair-brained opinions…

  3. machinery

    I picture Brian Wilson to smell like a combination of sea air, a freshly washed bed comforter and just baked bread.

  4. 2000 Man

    I bet Chrissie Hynde smells good.

  5. tonyola

    Eno used to smoke cigs, but I don’t know whether he still does or not. If he still smokes, all the sandalwood, patchouli, and rosemary in the world won’t help.

  6. misterioso

    I have no idea, but I am pretty sure this is the first allusion to Huysmans I have seen on a rock-oriented blog, so that counts for something.

  7. hrrundivbakshi

    I imagine Ray Davies smells pretty good, in a natural, freshly-washed kind of way. I bet he places a high premium on basic — but thorough — personal hygiene.

    Paul Weller, when he’s not face-down in a gutter, probably indulges in a splash or two of some refined Parisian scent.

    You gotta believe Prince smells like sandalwood or something.

    Billy Gibbons probably smells like barbecue.

  8. misterioso

    Oh, you decadent devil, you.

  9. sammymaudlin

    I’d be willing to find out.

  10. mockcarr

    I have the same hopes for Susannah Hoffs.

  11. mockcarr

    No, Billy’s been wearing that hat for decades…

  12. I don’t know, I bet she’s all perfumed up, like she’d spent the day working in the makeup department at Nordstrom’s.

  13. I’ll bet Neil Finn smells like sparkly aquamarine mouthwash.


  14. mockcarr


  15. pudman13

    Kim Shattuck of the Muffs offered her armpits for any member of the crowd to sniff at the end of the concert I saw. That was thoughtful of her.

    Most rockers smoke, and most of them get really sweaty on stage, and those who don’t have multi-million dollar advances probably sleep on floors, re-wear clothes for a week, and only shower every other day, so most of them probably stink, but for some reason Richard Bush of the A’s (mod—a Philly band!) strikes me as someone who might smell pretty good. I really don’t know why he came to mind.

    Oh…and Clare Grogan of Altered Images. I bet she smells like a meadow.

  16. cliff sovinsanity

    I don’t know why but Art Garfunkel and Melissa Auf der Maur immediately sprang to mind.

  17. bostonhistorian

    A(xl) Rose by any other name would still smell as sweet….

  18. Woman’s Got the Power!

  19. sammymaudlin

    Mrs. Maudlin told me that Jerry Hall said in her autobiography that among the reasons she dated Bryan Ferry was that he smelled good. Don’t shoot the messenger.

  20. pudman13

    And she smells better than us too. Reminds me of one of my favorite lyrics (points to anyone who can name the song): “A lady gets a lotta things/She gets a 20 carat ring/She gets the alimony too/She gets to look good in the nude”

  21. I don’t think I can cite those lyrics, but there is some wisdom in there.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube