Toby Knapp

Toby Knapp

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Delving into the Olfactory: The Scents of Manliness

As I was going through my daily internet trawl, an intriguing post on the Art of Manliness caught my eye. The blog had posed an interesting challenge to its readers - to come up with a list of smells that they thought epitomized manliness. This piqued my curiosity, and I delved into the list, eager to see what these collective noses had to say.

The list kicked off with the smell of a Hardware Store. I found myself nodding in agreement. Who can resist the intoxicating blend of wood, metal, and a hint of oil that engulfs you as you walk into a hardware store? There's something about it that screams utility, practicality, and a can-do spirit.

Next came Shoe Polish. Ah yes, the scent of shoe polish, an aroma that takes you back to Sunday evenings spent prepping for the week ahead. It's the smell of diligence, of taking pride in your appearance, of self-discipline.

Then there's the scent of Cut Grass. It immediately brings to mind a sunny afternoon spent mowing the lawn, taking pride in a job well done, feeling a sense of accomplishment that comes from hard physical work.

Sawdust is another scent on the list that immediately strikes a chord. It's the scent of creation, of turning raw materials into something useful or beautiful.

Then, the smell of Scotch, the smoky, peaty aroma that tells a story of aging and maturity, a reward at the end of a long day.

Gunpowder, the sixth on the list, has a bracing, metallic smell that reminds one of history and, to some extent, a sense of danger and adventure.

Original Old Spice, the time-honored aftershave, is up next. This smell brings a wave of nostalgia and a sense of tradition.

Campfire. Now there's a smell that speaks to the primal instincts - the crackling of logs, the dance of flames, and the smoky smell that permeates everything around.

The list then ventures into the nostalgic realms of a Barbershop - a blend of hair products, aftershaves, and warm conversations.

Leather made the list too - a smell that speaks of durability, of age and wisdom, of journeys taken and stories lived.

An interesting addition was the scent of Your Grandpa's Chair - a blend of age, wisdom, old books, and stories untold.

Then there's Charcoal - the harbinger of cookouts and summer evenings, full of promise and camaraderie.

The list ends on an intriguing note with the smell of a Bowling Alley. This smell is a mix of wax, old leather, and a hint of beer - an ambiance of fun, friendly competition, and a sense of community.

In essence, this list is a delightful exploration of the masculine olfactory landscape. It speaks to nostalgia, hard work, creativity, and a sense of community. It makes you appreciate how integral these scents are to the essence of manliness, as seen through the eyes of the readers of the Art of Manliness. So, next time you come across these scents, take a moment to appreciate the manly vibes they exude.

Here's the list of "manly smells" according to readers of the Art of Manliness:

Hardware Store

Shoe Polish

Cut Grass




Original Old Spice




Your Grandpa's Chair


Bowling Alley

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