Flyby Smells: Uniquely Harvard Scents

By Ashley E. Bryant

Smells are an important part of the human experience, and since most Harvard students are human, also the Harvard experience. Yet between the masking-up and the Zooming, our noses have been severely underused this past year. Tough. For those who haven’t lived in Cambridge yet, let me complete your mental picture of campus by introducing you to the various scents Harvard has to offer. And for those who have been on campus before, here’s a reminder of everything you (and your nose) love about Harvard.


Smelling notes: brewed coffee with a tinge of stress

Mass Ave by Tatte

Smelling notes: warm bread and eggs with a hint of money-I-don’t-have

Warm Vent by Canaday

Smelling notes: warmth, fart

Science Center Bathrooms

Smelling notes: tourists, trauma, also fart

Science Center Plaza When The Zinneken's Truck Is There

Smelling notes: butter, sugar, happiness

Widener Stacks

Smelling notes: paper, ancient history, ghosts of psets past, fornication

MAC Weight Room

Smelling notes: rubber, metal, and a bit more than a hint of “watch this, bro”

Warm Insomnia Cookie

Smelling notes: everything good in this world

HUDS Sweet Potato Fries

Smelling notes: sweet potato, fries

Dhalls At Sunday Brunch

Smelling notes: maple syrup, salad dressing, hangover

Pfoho Igloo Post-Party

Smelling notes: freshmen, alcohol, angst

Escalator Into The T:

Smelling notes: metal, pee, and — when a train is approaching — panic

This Official Smell Check is comprehensive, but it’s only a fraction of all the scents at and around Harvard. To give you the satisfaction of discovering your own Harvard smells, I’ve left a few for you to sniff out on your own. Who nose (sorry I had to) what you’ll find? Happy sniffing.

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