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What is the Official Smell of N.J.? [POLL]

By: Spencer Platt Collection: Hulton Archive
By: Spencer Platt Collection: Hulton Archive

New Jersey has an official animal, an official flower, but no official song (yet!)

However one group is working to describe New Jersey’s “official” smell in an art exhibition in San Francisco.

Many smells come to mind right off the top of the head.

To me, the smell that best describes Jersey can be found at the foot of the Goethals Bridge at Interchange 13 in Elizabeth.

According to this:

A San Francisco art exhibit is allowing people to experience something many New Jersey commuters deal with on a daily basis — the smell of the Turnpike.

The “Urban Olfactory” art exhibit at the SPUR gallery in downtown San Francisco is a history lesson made entirely of smells, according to a report from The Atlantic.

The exhibit features a line of lidded glass jars filled with different smells from all different time periods: Paris 1738, air pollution in San Francisco, Sir Robert Borden (former prime minister of Canada) and, of course, New Jersey Turnpike during a rainstorm, among others. Visitors get to experience each smell, then breathe into a glass of coffee beans to clear their noses, the report said.

The scent of the Turnpike “combines the smell of ozone, concrete, petrichor and geosmin to collapse a rainstorm into a single moment, bring country to city & join pavement with sky,” according to the label on the jar.

“One point of the exhibit is to think about how odor is a historical force…how smells in cities can motivate transformation,” curator David Gissen told The Atlantic.

Smells not only motivate transformation – they motivate one to close the windows and crank the air.

If New Jersey were to have an official smell, it would be what?

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