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Why do some people find the smell of gasoline pleasant?

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What crash and Hildago said. Most people I know who find the smell of chemical fumes pleasant usually associate it with memories of a father or grandfather or other relative. Same as making an old recipe of your mom's does. My grandfather was a carpenter and a farmer, so I positively adore the smells of cowshit, turpentine, mineral spirits, and sawdust. Open up a can of poly around me and suddenly I'm five years old again and "helping" him in his shop. I still have (and use) the miniature carpenter's toolbox he made for me when I was six. I like gas too, but only when it's on my hands mixed with the smell of grass clippings. Then I think of my dad, and I realize that I'm a man now. It is, to me, the smell of honesty. That woodstain-and-poly smell is the smell of art. more
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My WAG is that, much like taste, different people smell differently. I know that might seem painfully obvious to some, but it is likely the case. To wit: When I was in High School we did a test in biology class. We were all given different strips of colored paper (much like litmus strips) and told to taste them and write down what each color tasted like. The answers were typically sweet, salty, bitter, or nothing. Then the teacher put up a matrix on the board and said "All right, who tasted the sweet on the blue strip?". I was amazed that I was one of the only few who did. He went through all the colors and there was no consensus on what any one color tasted like. The gist of the experiment was that we can't all pick up on all chemicals in what we taste. The strips had been treated with two specific chemicals that were mutually exclusive to a particular gene. So, if you had the correct gene you would taste blue as sweet, but if you had a different it would be bitter or taste like ... more
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I'd disagree with the 'associative' answers here. I don't disagree it may be the case for some people, but I think it's more to do with it being a solvent smell. The same people tend to also like the smell of things like creosote, paint, glue, and paraffin, etc. more
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Not sure why. Theory: I think it's linked to childhood memories. I like the smell of gasoline, and when I smell it I remember going on car trips. On a related note, I don't huff exhaust fumes or anything, but the smell of certain trucks idling makes me think about going on camping trips in the summer. I also link the smell of chlorine to the swimming pool we had when I was growing up. Another summer memory. These are all horrible smells that don't bother me. more
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I kind of like the smell, I think it's not so much that it's plesant but that it's cool. The smell makes us think about gasoline and all the stuff you can do with it, like burn stuff, or make cars go fast, that sort of thing. more
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I've always loved these chemical scents. Some have strong association (2-stroke engines = Fun-at-the-lake!). But I liked them as a kid, too. Funny though, today I can't stand the fumes, they choke me. That isn't the same as the scent. But I'm very subject to associative pleasure. Creosote and horse manure take me back to my childhood. I have a sewing kit that belonged to my grandmother. She died about '93. I can still put my face inside the box and draw out the scent of the house she lived in when we gave her that very box, when I was a little kid (and she sold that house in the 80's). As a child, I could identify the coats of the neighborhood kids by the scent (ie, smelled like their house). more
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I don't think it's associative; at least it definitely isn't for me. I don't drive, nor do I particularly like cars. I've just always found the smell really pleasant in a physical, visceral sort of way (as opposed to, for example, the smell of subways, which I like for its evocative qualities, rather than its body). Nobody in my family was an automotive enthusiast, either. FWIW, tho, my, my older brother and my younger sister all like the smell. There are plenty of trades and hobbies that come with their own set of idiosyncratic smells, none quite so popular as gasoline. Therefore, I don't think it can be fully explained by evocation and reference. more
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I like the smell of gas a lot. I even remember having a gasoline scratch and sniff sticker. I think the memory I associate it with is being at the lake with my parents and their friends, watching my dad gas up his motorcycle. Or maybe I just like it because I like it. I also LOVE the smell of skunks...in passing. I think skunk smell = country, outdoors, road trips. more
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Do you mean actual gasoline, or exhaust fumes? Because while I loathe the smell of gasoline, I adore the smell of exhaust fumes. Being stuck behind a bus in traffic....mmmmm. About 10 years ago I got a drop or two of gasoline on my skirt while pumping gas, and I got sent home from work because the smell was making everyone in the office sick. I got some gasoline on me earlier today when I was throwing a rototiller in the back of a jeep, and it's still nauseating me. I've washed my clothes twice and I can still smell it....guh. more
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I can't answer why, but if it's just disbelief that some people do... I've always liked the smell of gasoline. Diesel, too. As far as I know, it's just the smell itself, not the association with cars. I wouldn't want to BATHE in the stuff, but in limited amounts, it's quite nice. more
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