You Smell Like A Boy

Boys smell ripe and pungent, like fragrant peaches with a hint of rot in them. They smell like sneaky creatures who could hurt you and will hurt you. But we’re not there yet, are we? They still smell like yummy peaches. In the beginning, they always smell like something you would eat and drink.

Boys smell like patchouli, sweat, and gardenias. They smell like hard work, taut muscles, and thick hairy legs. The aromas of a boy are all irresistibly disgusting, which I guess also accurately sums up boys themselves.

Boys smell like Axe Body Spray or maybe Tom’s deodorant or maybe like clean laundry. Maybe they smell like the worst body odor in the world or maybe they smell like their mom or they probably smell like dirty sex. Whatever it is, always know this: Boys never smell like nothing.

Boys smell unavailable, hanging on the corner of your bed with their naked back turned to you. They never did care about showing you their flesh but they did shy away from exposing their heart. You would plead with them, begging for them to take off just one more layer of clothing but they said no and lit a cigarette. That day, boys smelled like tobacco and petulance.

Boys smell like the whiskey they stole from their parents on a Saturday night in high school. You grimaced at the thought of touching their tongue because you felt everything much more at seventeen, but you did it anyway. Back then, you inhaled the smell of boys like they were a drug. You would do lines and lines of smelly hair, stained t-shirts, and bad breath because it made you feel like you were experiencing life and going places. You still do but now they’re just tiny bumps and don’t get you as high.

Boys smell like an unidentifiable musk. Each one comes with his own unique fragrance and the second you come in contact with it, it’s locked into your memory forever. Because even though it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is, you’ll smell it for years to come. You’ll smell the boy who used to love you in the summertime at a grocery store when you’re 25 or maybe even 30, and it will stop you dead in your tracks, temporarily paralyzed by a memory. You feel like you don’t have a right to sniff that smell anymore so you make a beeline for the exit and get the hell away from it. You go home and drown yourself in your own perfume and try to erase its mark.

Boys smell like fresh cut grass, firewood, and ash. They smell like security, which can often be scary. When a boy wraps his long arms around you, you soak it all in while knowing that you could eventually one day despise his smell. We all have the option to hate the things we once loved and the musk of a certain boy is no exception. Remember that in the beginning, boys smelled a delectable peach but that seemed like a long time ago. The peach has started to bruise and change colors. It’s collapsing like a souflee and being overtaken by rot. We’re at the end of the line now and you just smell like a dirty boy who hasn’t showered in three days. It’s no longer endearing or irresistible. You’re just another smelly boy. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Guest


  • JAC

    As a lesbian, I find the smell of boys/men absolutely repulsive. Must be biological. 

    • Scottie

      And as a gay man, I find the smell of women disgusting/fake. SCIENCE!

      • Hotmail

        As a bisexual, you haven’t really smelt enough women to judge have you? Statistics.

      • Mung Beans

        And as a person currently residing in a plastic bubble, I think the lot of you smell like germs and rot

      • Scottie

        Actually I was trying to make a comment against how we view men as only sexual subjects and never sexual objects, which our culture has a tendency to do, hence how we view female bodies as “naturally beautiful” and male bodies as “lumpy and gross”, even by people who are sexually attracted to men and not women.

      • Hotmail

        Well I agree to how yada yada males are sexual subjects, but they are increasingly made sexual objects too. Male female alike are “lumpy and gross” if they don’t meet the society’s standard of beauty(general assumption here). What I’m trying to say is, you don’t have to just lash out and generalise that all women smell disgusting and fake just to, I don’t know, prove your point in your second comment that I feel(correct me if I’m wrong) really has no link with your first comment.

      • NoSexCity

        This is true – I think the male body is a beautiful thing but straight guys use words like “gross” to describe the idea of looking at dicks. Personally, I can think of nothing better. (Assuming it’s a pretty one, obviously.)

  • Guest

    ah, the smell of the thickness of a leg

  • NoSexCity

    The scent of a man is a make or break deal. And the older I get, the more I want them to smell like meat/man/sweat/sex/oils/grease/days old second hand smoke than something sterile or, worse, Axe. (Death to all Axe and those that think Axe should ever be worn in public.)

  • Brandi

    this is probably the best thing you’ve ever written. thank you for this.

  • Guest

    You need to date dudes with better hygiene.

  • Becky To

    I’m impressed, Ryan :)

  • Hayden

    Sounds like a Taylor Swift song.I never even realised how much I don’t smell like rotting peaches.

  • Pete Pan

    Just reminded of a girl that would smell me every time we’d see each other. 

  • ..

    remember, you got some smelly bitches too

  • hunter ray


  • Kai

    I use a deodorant from the Body Shop that smells like a sexy dude stereotype. Kind of the way I imagine Axe wants to smell, but fails horribly at. I like being a lady who smells like a little like a dude.

  • Patchouliistherealdeal

    Much better to smell like a man than to smell like a fat sissy

  • Jason Ham


  • Sez

    Nothing like man smell in the summer, Lynx deodorants mixed with sweat and all those pheromones, oh my!

  • DaTruth

    Welcome back Ryan. Your REAL articles have been missed.

  • Sophia

    I smell my boyfriend every time I hug him. I always tell him he smells good, and when he asks “like what?” I always say “like boy.” This article is so spot-on. Ryan, I can’t give you enough props for all of your articles recently.

  • karyn

    omg you made me want a boy more than i already did *sigh

  • stefyania

    ughhh scent, the most powerful memory trigger. Some boys scents make me so nostalgic I could fall to my knees

  • Gregory Costa

    Your MHC smells incompatible with mine.

    • eros

      Nothing like a good biology reference to remind me to stop reading whatever insight Ryan O’Connell has and get the fuck back to my o-chem homework!

      • Gregory Costa

        Ah, how I do not miss the days of organic.  Organic lab was pretty cool.  I used to imagine I was a drug dealer during the caffeine extraction lab…a textile worker during the dye labs…a mirror maker during the Tollens’ test lab…but the fun just about ended there. 

  • righton

    This is awesome

  • Guesst

    You sound like the bottom-y type.

  • RicePaperPlant

    Interesting and relevant article number 590 by Mr. Ryan O’Connell.

  • Anonymous

    Whenever I smell degree deodorant I think of sex and then realize it is because an ex of mine wore it.

  • ashley

    i love this article almost as much as i love the smell of boys.

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