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News

GQ Calls L.A. Smelliest Place on Earth

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Photo of a jasmine flower by snopek via Flickr
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No doubt you woke up this morning, threw open your front door to inhale the scent of jasmine, like in a Joan Didion essay, then closed the doors and reached for your bottle of whiskey, the fumes going straight up your nose like they once did to Charles Bukowski.

According to GQ, it's these types of scents that make Los Angeles the smelliest -- not the stinkiest, but the smelliest -- city in the world. And it's these romanticized literary notions of L.A. that inspire our dubious distinction. Writer Chandler Burr opines:

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.

Are we one of the most bizarre places on earth, or does something about the juxtaposition of the city that's home to both the Oscars and Skid Row just make writers want to wax poetic? That's a question for the ages. In the meantime, why don't you get out there and stick your face right under your tailpipe, knowing that you are inhaling the most intoxicating fumes on the planet.