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Old 02-17-2003, 09:06 AM
Texican Texican is offline
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Why do so many vegetarians have a funny smell?

I'm not ripping on vegetarians, first off. However I have noticed that many of them have a particular smell to them. Theother day I was at the grocery and I smelled that particular smell. I knew that there was one right behind me. Sure enough there was a couple with the "look" of vegetarian. Now don't hijack my thread with "how do you know they are veg just from looking?". I am wondering if there is something that a particular group of vegetarians eat that gives off that smell, because not all vegetarians smell like that. However those that do have an odor all have the same one.
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:15 AM
wolfstu wolfstu is offline
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Beans are a very important source of protiens that many dieticians urge vegetarians to eat to replace the protein they miss out on by not eating meat.

As you may know, beans have a distinctive effect on the lower gastrointestinal tract.



(Actually, I have no idea what the OP is talking about, and even if this question makes any sense. )

I lived with a vegetarian for a while. The only distinctive smell I recall came from the kitchen when he was making curry... the dish contains a critical mass of tofu and exotic (to my taste) spices.
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:20 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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I may be completely misinformed here, but I understand that this phenomenon has been observed between groups whose diet differs generally on a national level; "Europeans find that Asians smell of curry, Asians find that Europeans smell of dairy products" is how I heard it.
Although I realise that this is at best probably a vast overgeneralisation, we are what we eat; some foods (and particularly those that have stongly flavoured volatile components) make us smell, both because the odour adheres to ourselves and our clothes when we cook, but also because the volatles (or their components) end up coming out of our pores.
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:27 AM
aahala aahala is offline
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Beans, beans the musical fruit. . . Well that certainly could explain the smell and "that look".

Actually, I have allowed my honorary international membership to drop, so I've missed the last several annual veggie conventions, and therefore haven't recently been around crowds of celery bitters recently.

I believe the OP has his arians mixed up. Perhaps he means veterinarians or even octogenarians. A vanload of those type folks won't make a fun weekend that's for sure!
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:52 AM
Grapes Grapes is offline
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Humph.

Shortly after I was inducted into the society, I was told by a member in good standing that I should prepare myself for routine olfactory assaults from proximity to meateaters. Go figure.

Alas, I've allowed my membership to lapse after my free one-year trial. I never smelled anything peculiar. *shrug*
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:58 AM
Texican Texican is offline
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I was thinking that perhaps there is something that vegans or vegetarians eat in significantly larger quantities that could cause them to smell different. Notice I didn't say smell bad.
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:56 AM
FranticMad FranticMad is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Texican
I was thinking that perhaps there is something that vegans or vegetarians eat in significantly larger quantities that could cause them to smell different.
I am convinced the answer is spices and herbs. Especially garlic and curries, which can be redolent for 3 days, and seem to be more prevalent in vegetarian diets. Vegetarians, I think, tend also to take herbal supplements, such as goldenseal, echinacea, St. Johns Wort which can have subtle, distinct smells.

I had a friend who said vegetarians smelled and tasted better. However, maybe that was just an urban myth. Anyone have direct experience with intimate relations with vegetarians versus carnivores?

And it could be that they all wear patchouli perfume, or have a lingering aroma of incense. Just brainstorming here folks.
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:35 AM
Tangent Tangent is offline
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Could it be B.O.? Vegetarians may be more likely to live a "natural" lifestyle. This could mean not bathing every day, wearing clothes multiple times between washing, not using deodorant, etc. This was my observation with many of the vegetarians I have known, but it certainly doesn't apply to all of them.
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Old 02-17-2003, 12:10 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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If you are referring to the counter-culture hemp-wearing earth-first variety of of vegetarian, it was probably Patchouli Oil, or some product containing patchouli. It's been a signature scent of the hippy set for decades.
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Old 02-17-2003, 12:56 PM
Texican Texican is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tangent
Could it be B.O.? Vegetarians may be more likely to live a "natural" lifestyle. This could mean not bathing every day, wearing clothes multiple times between washing, not using deodorant, etc. This was my observation with many of the vegetarians I have known, but it certainly doesn't apply to all of them.
No, because the smell would vary more between individuals and probably much more offensive. The smell I'm thinking of is not necessarily a bad smell, but a distinctive one that I have only smelled on certain veggie types.
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Old 02-17-2003, 01:03 PM
Futile Gesture Futile Gesture is offline
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Can we please redefine the question?

"Why is it that some people that Texican thinks looks like vegetarians don't smell like other people who Texican thinks looks like vegetarians."

I think that makes it a lot clearer that the answer lies not in comparing and contrasting anyone's diet but in Texican mind.
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  #12  
Old 02-17-2003, 01:04 PM
Texican Texican is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fear Itself
If you are referring to the counter-culture hemp-wearing earth-first variety of of vegetarian, it was probably Patchouli Oil, or some product containing patchouli. It's been a signature scent of the hippy set for decades.
That may be it, as the smell is usually associated with "those types". Unfortunately I have no idea what patchouli smells like. I hate using the word "smell" as it sounds like it is offensive, when it really is just a peculiar scent.
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Old 02-17-2003, 01:25 PM
kiz kiz is offline
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I've heard the same thing, Texican, but so far I haven't been able to find a cite...if I do, I'll be sure to post it.

FWIW, I had a good friend in college who was vegan. She said that she could tell who was a carnivore and who wasn't by smell alone, and that the carnivores always give off a "strong" smell.

At the time it didn't occur to me to ask her more about it...*sigh*
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  #14  
Old 02-17-2003, 01:39 PM
prisoner6655321 prisoner6655321 is offline
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Have you ever smelled the smell on anyone that didn't "look" like a vegetarian? I used to wear patchouli. Of course I am a vegetarian, but I dress pretty conservatively.

You can smell patchouli by purchasing, or just smelling patchouli insense, which you should be able to find at any grocery store. You can find the perfume oil at certain natural food markets. Ask your hippie veggies if they are wearing patchouli. You should ask them, in a very polite way of course, why they smell differently. Don't be shy. Most hippie people are very boistrous about their beliefs and would love talk about their dietary habits.

[slight hijack]
It's a funny thing. I was talking with a couple of Mexican friends of mine about how different cultures smell differently. He brought it up actually. He said Asians smell like fish, Mexicans smell like burritos or beans, and I asked what Caucasions smell like. His wife said, "sandwiches." We still bust a gut with that joke.
[/hijack]
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2003, 02:14 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Texican
That may be it, as the smell is usually associated with "those types". Unfortunately I have no idea what patchouli smells like.
It smells like vegetarians.
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  #16  
Old 02-17-2003, 02:53 PM
KidCharlemagne KidCharlemagne is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fear Itself
If you are referring to the counter-culture hemp-wearing earth-first variety of of vegetarian, it was probably Patchouli Oil, or some product containing patchouli. It's been a signature scent of the hippy set for decades.
Funny, I was going to say Patchouli before I even opened this thread.
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  #17  
Old 02-17-2003, 03:11 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Diet certainly does affect body odor. If they people in the OP were vegans, the difference might be due to a LACK of a dietary item, rather than something they're eating.
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  #18  
Old 02-17-2003, 03:45 PM
Felonious Mink Felonious Mink is offline
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I've been a vegetarian for 20 years and nobody's ever said I smell funny. Mind you, I have a bath every day with that lovely Lush stuff....and I'm well aware of what deodorant's for! Come to think of it, people should be telling me how gorgeous I smell!
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  #19  
Old 02-17-2003, 04:47 PM
owlofcreamcheese owlofcreamcheese is offline
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stupid... that smell is called "pot" damn dirty hippies!

(I'm kidding, I'm kidding)
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  #20  
Old 02-17-2003, 07:52 PM
susan susan is offline
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I notice this difference at times. I think because I eat meat, I don't notice the "meateater" smell, but do notice the "vegetarian" smell. I had to cut back on dairy several years ago and noticed that I was then able to smell a "spoiled milk" odor from many people. I have recently cut my protein and animal products way back, and my partner says my kiss tastes different.
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:01 PM
samarm samarm is offline
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Vegetarians smell? News to me! I can honestly say I've never noticed this.
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:05 PM
cdhostage cdhostage is offline
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and what about those old people?
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:17 PM
The Scrivener The Scrivener is offline
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[High Fidelity]"...And take your patchouli stench out of my store!"[/HF]

The first thing I thought of was boutique, counter-culture soaps, like hemp and tea oil. Nasty-smelling stuff.

Aside from certain rancid add-ons, though, and assuming good hygiene otherwise, most vegans probably smell (and taste) very nice.

Supposedly, people on the Atkins diet who lose weight by staying in the no-carb state of "ketosis" have terrible breath and b.o.
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:55 PM
jack@ss jack@ss is offline
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I thought about patchouli at first too.

When you say they had the "vegetarian look", do you mean they had dreadlocks & wore Tevas, or they were thin and had clear skin? If it's the dreadlocks & Tevas, I'm sticking with patchouli & pot. If it's just thin & clear skin, I really don't have any idea.

I dated a vegetarian girl and she tasted nice. She had a very subtle flavor and body odor which I enjoyed.
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:02 PM
IrishRideGirl IrishRideGirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by FranticMad
I had a friend who said vegetarians smelled and tasted better. However, maybe that was just an urban myth. Anyone have direct experience with intimate relations with vegetarians versus carnivores?
Yes and it is not an urban legend. I have been Vegan for 17+ years and we do smell different. We both smell and taste better

I can smell a meat eater from a block away. Don't even ask what it is like to smell them sweating.

P.S. I would not be caught dead wearing or smelling like patchouli. Or curry.
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:19 PM
FranticMad FranticMad is offline
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"Old people" do have a distinct smell, IIRC, which is a byproduct of how they metabolise arichadonic acid -- or something like that. Yeah yeah, I'll try and find a cite for this offtopic note.

So we have a few votes for patchouli, followed by weed. Quite plausible.

The we have the lack of a rotting meat and milk odor which is emanated by carnivores.

Then we have some people who notice no difference -- but I must wonder how large their sample size is, and how close they have been to the primary data source.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:30 PM
vege person vege person is offline
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Raw Greens

Juiced or blended, raw greens, especially Kale just smell green. I was asked if I was around pot after I had raw Kale. So part of what smells like pot is the smell of greens. Whatever we eat comes through our skin. I have noticed Indian food, onions, garlic, dairy. Green doesn't smell that good.
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  #28  
Old 07-14-2011, 12:33 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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G-r-a-a-i-i-n-s.
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  #29  
Old 07-14-2011, 12:38 PM
lieu lieu is offline
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You people keep breathing when you pass near others at the grocery store?
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  #30  
Old 07-14-2011, 12:49 PM
Yaxche Yaxche is offline
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Originally Posted by IrishRideGirl View Post
Yes and it is not an urban legend. I have been Vegan for 17+ years and we do smell different. We both smell and taste better
I would suspect you are self-selecting on that. Totally subjective, and likely more to do with having similar diets than the vegan diet.

I'm going with either patchouli or curry. He may be misidentifying hippies as vegetarians, and hey, there's a large crossover. On the other hand (as mentioned), curry is likely to be more prevalent in vegetarian diets as well.

...all this talk of curry is making me hungry, though.
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  #31  
Old 07-14-2011, 12:53 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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vegetarians, zombie or otherwise, only use free range soap which is very expensive so they use it less frequently.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:19 PM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
G-r-a-a-i-i-n-s.
Vegetarian zombie resurrection gag o' the month
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  #33  
Old 07-14-2011, 02:27 PM
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:38 PM
geneb geneb is offline
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Deleted.

Last edited by geneb; 07-14-2011 at 03:39 PM..
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  #35  
Old 07-14-2011, 03:48 PM
Unstable Unstable is offline
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Texican: You are definitely not alone in wondering about this, it's been bugging me for years!

It's very hard to describe this smell, it's definitely not from a spice (i.e. curry) or anything close to patchouli. The closest I can come to describe it is: greenish smell (as in leafy greens but not fresh), it emanates from breath and general body odour, but it is not due to lack of hygiene.

I've encountered this smell from a large percentage of both vegans and vegetarians but not all people of these groups necessarily carry this scent. When it's present, it's often pretty intense (to me anyways). I have used it many many times to "guess" that a person was a vegetarian, all of which were apparently mistified that I could smell this off them.

Personally, I have a hard time with the smell. It really does not appeal to me, in fact I find it quite unpleasant.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:03 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Garlic and onions give a distinctive body odor and breath odor. I could see the scent overwhelmed by meateaters and being more clear in vegetarians.
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  #37  
Old 07-14-2011, 05:43 PM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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Everybody has a smell. The difference is that your brain edits out the smells you are used to and alerts you to new smells. Hasn't anyone noticed when they go on vacation that their house smells when they come back? Guess what? Your house always smell like that, but you brain stops editing it out after a few days.

Of course, some smells are better than others. I can still remember a bakery I used to drive past in the afternoon. Women also tend to smell pretty good. I've noticed that there are a lot of people that smell okay, but you don't want to stand too close to them when they talk, because their breath is disagreeable. I suspect a lot of diet smells mentioned have a lot to do with breath and not so much with body odor. Some foods can change your body odor, but practically all foods will change how your breath smells.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:50 PM
Rusalka Rusalka is offline
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I bet it's Patchouli too. I didn't know what that smelled like until a few years ago, when I finally made the connection. Please Mr. OP can you go to Whole Foods and smell some patchouli and report back to us if that is the vegetarian smell you were referring to? I'm dying to know.
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  #39  
Old 07-14-2011, 05:52 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusalka View Post
I bet it's Patchouli too. I didn't know what that smelled like until a few years ago, when I finally made the connection. Please Mr. OP can you go to Whole Foods and smell some patchouli and report back to us if that is the vegetarian smell you were referring to? I'm dying to know.
As Mr. OP hasn't posted here in over six years, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a reply.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:10 PM
Rusalka Rusalka is offline
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ROFL oops.
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  #41  
Old 07-15-2011, 03:54 AM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is online now
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I think it's garlic. I think a lot more vegetarians and vegans are more likely to have recently eaten something with garlic in it than to have worn patchouli.

As an aside, I had a particular shirt on when I cooked chana masala the other day. The shirt wasn't dirty, so I hung it on the back of the bathroom door where I hang stuff that can be worn again. I went to put it on this morning and it reeked of the masala from Monday night. I put it in the hamper instead. So it's possible I walk around smelling like that a lot, and I'm a vegetarian!
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  #42  
Old 07-15-2011, 01:18 PM
Gymnopithys Gymnopithys is offline
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Funny how many SD oldtimers whose names I have never noticed before showed up in this thread. Is it just me ?
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  #43  
Old 07-15-2011, 01:25 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is online now
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You mean after the last post from 2003?
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  #44  
Old 07-15-2011, 04:06 PM
XT XT is offline
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Interesting resurrection here. I've always heard it the other way around...that people who eat a lot of dairy and meat tend to have a distinctive smell (usually defined as 'bad') to people who are vegetarians. A lot of Asians make this claim about Europeans/Americans who have a meat/dairy based diet, but I've heard Vegan's say similar things (my brother in law says this). I never noticed a distinct odor coming from vegetarians, per se, except as another poster up thread commented that some Vegan/Veg types also go in for a more, um, natural lifestyle, which seems to mean washing less and not using deodorant.

-XT
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  #45  
Old 07-15-2011, 11:54 PM
typoink typoink is offline
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Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap is common amongst the veggie set and leaves a fairly distinct smell, but the smell doesn't "travel" much so I doubt that's it.

Patchouli is the obvious suggestion, as mentioned.

If it was actually food-related, garlic and spices can leave a lingering scent. Vegetarians tend to use it a lot, and it definitely gets in your clothes if you cook with it a lot.

Edit: D'oh! Zombie thread. Well...my answer stands!

Last edited by typoink; 07-15-2011 at 11:55 PM..
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  #46  
Old 07-17-2011, 04:30 PM
chaoticbear chaoticbear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent View Post
Could it be B.O.? Vegetarians may be more likely to live a "natural" lifestyle. This could mean not bathing every day, wearing clothes multiple times between washing, not using deodorant, etc. This was my observation with many of the vegetarians I have known, but it certainly doesn't apply to all of them.
Although we tend to use a lot of onions and garlic in the house, this is true of my vegan roommate. (I'm a fervent meat-eater, for the record, but we do cook a lot of vegan food together.)

Wears the same shirt every day for a week, and will wear the same pair of shorts for the entire season that it's warm enough for shorts. And doesn't trust that awful aluminum-containing antiperspirant.
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  #47  
Old 07-17-2011, 04:39 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is online now
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I don't know what anyone here is talking about. I lived with a vegan for four years (and I am not a vegetarian) and I never noticed any smell associated with her other than the pleasant, fragrant odors of a woman and her various scents.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:49 AM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
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Well since this is a zombie thread, I'll ahead and post the first answer that came to mind when I saw the thread title:

It's the smell of ... death.
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  #49  
Old 07-18-2011, 08:58 AM
Living Well Is Best Revenge Living Well Is Best Revenge is offline
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It's the patchouli and hemp.
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