Monday, February 27, 2012

Monkey Monday: Odorous Pets

Last Friday I've learned that pets' "body odour" can vary tremendously. I found it so shocking that I just had to share it here. When a friend stopped by the studio with her two tiny and well-behaved chiwawas. They were the exact same size, one male and one female, and probably were enjoying the same diet of raw dog food. But they did not smell like what I always thought of as "dog smell". One smelled intensely of fish - not like it was eating fish, but almost like it WAS a fish. I was so shocked by this discovery that I just had to wait till Monday to bring it up for our silly Monkey Monday post and see what it will bring up here. The other dog did not smell fishy at all, but still was not what I thought of as a dog smell either.

I often get emails from customers telling me that their favourite smell is their cat's paws. Not being a cat woman myself, perhaps I just don't "get" it - and that's why I think it will be interesting to open a discussion here and hear from you:

1) What your pet smells like (if you have any)?

2) Do you find certain animal smells more pleasant than others?

3) Did you ever notice a difference between two animals of the same species - as if they have body odour just like we do?

Leave a comment and enter to win a miniature of Cassis by Aftelier.

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At February 28, 2012 7:50 AM, Blogger N.K said...

My 95lb German Shepherd smells like well...his organic oats shampoo & Lavender. I add a few drops of a body oil while shampooing him. One big, fluffy furrball of sweet, herby green Lavender.

At February 28, 2012 7:58 AM, Blogger Dionne said...

Count me in as another person who doesn't sniff the paws of her critters. My dog just smells doggy, but my two cats have very different smells, so I agree with your premise. And I love the way horses smell.

At February 28, 2012 8:24 AM, Blogger tuberoseabsolute said...

Puppies smell different than adult dogs, and I think it's an almost universally pleasant smell, just as with a human baby, it brings out the maternal instinct. I think a very strong odor in a pet is likely due to diet or illness, just as with people. I do think pets have their own unique smell, just as each person does.

At February 28, 2012 8:59 AM, Anonymous Fiona said...

I find all my family's animals smell different - I've also always thought you can make a good guess at the age of a cat by smelling it.
If the chihuahua smells strongly of fish, my first thought would be that she needs to see the vet, I'm afraid.

Cats' paws do usually smell nice, in my experience - rather like babies.

At February 28, 2012 9:04 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I don't have a pet but I love how the doves smell like. It's such an interesting smell. In the same time I like cats smell and oficially hate the dogs. That characteristic doggy smell is just...bleah !

At February 28, 2012 9:33 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

N.K -
Your dog is spoiled! Herbaceous shampoo - jeez, he weighs about as much as my dad's ginormous greyhound!!!

Dionne -
I LOVE horse smells!!! I'm more into pets that eat grass rather than predators... Goats, horses, hamsters and bunnies are more likely to be my pets than predators such as cats and dogs.

tuberoseabsolute -
Puppies do smell good! I'm not sure how universal the fondness of it is... People seem divided into many strange preference as far as pets (and their scents!).
Great screen name, btw :-)

Fiona -
I hope you are wrong about the fish smell. He seemed perfectly happy and healthy.... His female companion smelled rather flower though!

Diana -
How did you ever get close enough to a dove to smell it?!
Do tell :-)

At February 28, 2012 10:18 AM, Blogger solace said...

i LOVE the smell of my manx car, matilda! i wish i could somehow bottle whatever it is she's using on her fur-- sleek and shiney!

i suppose that it's all olfactory-emotional bonding... but it's bliss!

i think every creature has a species-specific scent (it smells like a skunk. it smells like wet dog.) but certainly we unconsciously associate scent with those creatures with which we are bonded.

Matilda does not smell like Mazel, another cat in our home... yet they also smell more similar to each other than our dog.

it would be interesting to compare fondness for animals scent to actual musk accord. perhaps there is a correlation between say... fondness for ambrette and horses?

(and don't feel bad N.K. - i used to buy Clove shampoo from a certain well known company for my german shepherd too. *laugh* well... she deserved it.)

thank you for fun blog & draw! <3

At February 28, 2012 3:59 PM, Anonymous jen said...

I worked at animal hospitals for years and dogs can certainly smell different! My nose wasn't too "awake" at the time, but I noticed *some* differences.

There was one woman who bred bulldogs (that she looked like, by the way!). Her dogs REEKED. I absolutely hated when they came in. Any pups bred from her dogs also had that stink. Same thing with one particular German Shepherd a breeder used. I actually had one of his puppies for awhile. The stench of the dog wasn't why I had to give him back, but it didn't help convince me to keep him.

I think it has to do with oils in the coat. Blech.

Personally, I have never sniffed my cats' feet. They walk in poo and pee and litter -- I just... Um, no.

At February 28, 2012 6:26 PM, Anonymous Amy H. said...

I've had 4 cats, 2 girls, 2 boys, all spayed/neutered. They've all smelled different. I cannot remember how my first cat smelled (and alas, we can't bottle that), all I remember is that I loved smelling her. Cat number 2, boy, smelled muskier than the others. Cats 3 and 4 we haven't known for as long, and I haven't really bonded with their scents yet. And their paws -- I love smelling their paws, regardless of where they've been. They usually smell like where they've been -- grass or dirt for our indoor/outdoor kitty, and like wheat litter the indoor kitties.

I still think it has mostly to do with the food they eat and how their bodies metabolize it. Whatever our inherent body odors are I think is largely based upon that. Beyond that, I'm not sure I have quite the nose to detect the differences among our animal friends.

Fascinating question!

At February 28, 2012 7:09 PM, Blogger nekosan said...

1) My cats just smell like, well, cats. My oldest cat has renal failure, and he does have a bit of an hospital smell (ammonia?). Mostly I don't notice unless they've just been washing themselves, have eaten something smelly, or been wandering around outside. (I used to love the lavendar-and-rosemary smell that my cat got from wandering through those plants.)

2) Clean cats smell best. =) The stray unnetered male cats exuded a very potent odor; if he spent 15 minutes inside, you could still smell it hours later. That's luckily gone all away since we adopted and neutered him, but his urine is still the most potent of all the cats.

3) Mostly I've just noticed differences in odor if they've eaten something smelly, been wandering around outside, or if they're ill.

At February 29, 2012 8:35 PM, Anonymous Lindsay said...

My family had two cats growing up, and they definitely had different smells. But I have a theory about this....

One of the cats loved 'people food'. Like, she would bother us incessantly at dinner time, no matter what we were eating, and mewl sadly at her cat bowl. Most conspicuously, however, she LOVED POPCORN. Yes, popcorn. Whenever we made popcorn for movie nights, the cat went NUTS - meowing, head-butting, everything. She would try to jump into the bin if we let her. I wish I could say that she smelled like popcorn (wouldn't that be great?) but she definitely smelled less- catty - then our cat-food-eating cat did.

At March 02, 2012 9:22 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

I'm thrilled - yet not surprised - at how many pet-loving there are among perfumistas :-)
Thank you so much for sharing all the lovely stories. The luck winner is Dionne!
Please email me with your snailmail addy so I can send your prize - a mini of Cassis parfum by Aftelier.

At March 03, 2012 10:40 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I live in Romania and every morning I go out on my balcony they sit there and make noise :)) And sometimes I can catch them and play a little. I fondle and kiss them on their head them before I let them fly away.


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