Why do some smokers smell more "smoky" than others?

A co-worker and I were discussing how a few of our co-workers reek of smoke at 10 feet and yet others, who smoke as frequently, don’t smell even when you are standing right by them. Assuming that they all shower and change clothes at the same intervals, which given the even distribution of stinky and non-stinky, seems likely, why would this be?

My thought, those who reek smoke in their own houses so everything they own is infused with the nastiness. And those who only smoke outside only get surface stink? But I can’t ask the stinky ones why they stink:D

Those who smoke in their homes smell worse. Unlike those, like me, who smoke but detest the smell. We steer it away from ourselves and others as best we can.

I personally think menthol smells worse than non-menthol, too.

I’ve wondered the same thing myself. There were two people in my class who smoked the same brand of cigarettes, but one of them I couldn’t stand to be near, but the other one wasn’t so bad. I’m guessing that the guy I couldn’t go near smoked more, but I’m not entirely sure.

Maybe some change or wash their clothes, or brush their teeth, more often. I would assume most of any lingering odor is in clothing. Some people wear the same coat, sweater or pants for days on end. That is probably OK as regards body odor, but not as regards smoke.

It’s not okay for body odor either.

What Samantha said. People who smoke in their homes and in their cars don’t have much time outside the cloud. And even laundered clothes will smell if they’re hanging in a closet in a home with a smoker.

Also, some smokers chain smoke, lighting one after another. Constant smoke infusion. Some smokers stub the cigarette out when they aren’t actively smoking.

Even in my previous life as a smoker, I could tell which co-workers smoked in their cars. In the winter they’d have their heat on and A/C on in the summer, so they’d get blasted with old smoke smell from the vents in addition to new smoke from their cigarettes.

How often do you (or anyone) really wash your winter coat? Maybe once, twice a year. And if it’s dry-clean only, fuhgeddaboutit.

So do smokers know that they reek or do they just become desensitized to it?

If they know that they stink, do they just not give a fuck, or do they enjoy the smell as a badge of being a smoker?

They have become pretty immune to it. My FIL chain smokes in his house - he and the house stink but he’s not aware there’s a problem.

I used to smoke - not heavily and usually outside, and whilst I could smell it on me when I had just finished a cigarette, I wasn’t really aware of any lingering smell otherwise, when presumably there was one.

I got a new jacket for Christmas a few years ago, I love the jacket but for some reason if I am anywhere near a smoker the jacket will wreak of smoke for days afterward. It will smell so bad that an entire room will be aware of it even if they are smokers. So I am certain that certain fabrics will exacberate this problem.

  Not all smokers wreak of smoke. For many years I dated and tried to hide my smoking by sneaking outside. They would eventually pick up on it but were always surprised they didn't smell it sooner.

Some brands smell and linger worse than others. I can always tell when my husband’s run out of the ones he rolls himself (using preformed tubes with filters and pipe tobacco for filling them) and gone to the store for a pack of Marlboros. Marlboros linger on him much longer and more unpleasantly. And gods help him if he goes through another Kool phase - Kools smell even worse than the Marlboros.

When he’s smoking his rolled cigarettes, he smells a bit for about 10 minutes after smoking, but then it’s pretty much gone.

I didn’t realize how much I must have smelled like smoke when I was a smoker until after I quit. The telling thing for me was a move from AZ to GA - I’d quit before moving to AZ, but hadn’t had some of my winter things cleaned. I ran across them while packing and 3 years post-quit, I could still smell the smoke on them.

I rarely noticed smoke smell on others, and never on myself, when I was a smoker. Now it’s almost impossible for me to miss.

My sister smokes outside or in the garage and smokes less than half a pack a day. When she smokes in the garage, she puts a shower cap over her hair. She brushes her teeth after every cigarette and sometimes does a cologne spritz. She is the cleanest person I know, yet smoke just clings to her. When I smoked, I was told by several people they couldn’t smell smoke on me, yet I smoked inside and in my car. Maybe they were being polite. I chalked it up to body chemistry.

The old-fashioned English upper crust would wear “smoking caps” and long “smoking jackets” covering their hair and clothes to keep some of the reek from clinging to them.

Smokers tend to be desensitized to the smell. When I smoked, I shared an apartment with another smoker, and I couldn’t smell it despite us smoking indoors. My girlfriend at the time said our place stank. A few years later, I found my favorite leather jacket from that time and it reeked. I tried having it cleaned, but the smell lingered. I finally got rid of it.

I didn’t smoke in the car so that never smelled.

What I’ve noticed is the smoke clings to my hands more than anything else. After every cigarette (unless it’s evening and I’m home alone and don’t care anymore), I wash my hands. This takes care of 80% of the reek, IMO. I’ve had many people express surprise that I’m a smoker because they can’t smell it on me. My dental hygenist asked me if I’d quit at my last appointment. Nope, just washed my hands, Febrezed my clothes, and don’t smoke in confined spaces.

I do think some fabrics hold the stink in better than others and I realize I probably don’t eliminate 100% of the stench. As long as I don’t see that “Dear Jesus, you reek” expression of disgust on my co-workers’ faces, I’m fine.

Recently, I adopted a new old couch from some neighbors who smoke in their house. I cannot get the stench out, and even as a smoker, that couch smells disgusting to me. I spray it down with vinegar every few days and it’s getting better, but I still walk in to the room and smell the couch. The dog wouldn’t even jump up on it until I’d make pretty significant effort toward desmokifying the damn thing. It took me about two weeks to make it tolerable enough for her. Every time I sit down on it, I say out loud to the dog, “And this is why I never, ever smoke inside. Ever.”

Not only can’t they smell the reek, but their sense of smell is so bad that when they put on aftershave, perfume, etc, they always over-apply.

Before I smoked, I thought a whiff of a burning cigarette had an attractive scent. Mind you, I mean just a whiff of a freshly lit smoke, not a smelly smoker’s house odor. Once I started smoking, I found the smell of cigarettes changed. They weren’t pleasant to whiff anymore. They weren’t stinky, but they didn’t smell like they used to whether they were mine or others’. I also couldn’t smell the stink of other smokers or of the areas they frequented.

I quit smoking- the whiff of a cigarette now reeks. So do those who smoke them, and their surroundings if they smoke in them. Funny how I couldn’t smell the reek when I was smoking, but it seems to be a common story.

Ohhh! Now I understand the term, “smoking jacket” better !