Pepé Le Pew

Living a stone’s throw from the Laura Moore Cunningham arboretum, we enjoy frequent off-lead romps with Willa. On a recent occasion, we saw our big girl—from a distance—preparing to stop, drop, and roll—not because her britches were on fire, but because she was getting ready for a liberal application of eau de skunk from the famous fragrance design house, Mother Nature:

  • Base notes: putrid, sulfur
  • Middle notes: lingering, burning rubber
  • Top notes: bitter, rotten eggs

We bolted and reached her in the nick of time, preventing what would have been an extremely smelly event. As it turns out, skunk urine is an eco-friendly deer repellent that keeps them from munching on the trees in the arboretum.


I use a “repellent” too. A long time ago I discovered that positivity repels negativity. No need to roll in it, a little goes a long way. Positivity is a warm and delightful scent from the famous fragrance design house, Conscious Choice:

  • Base notes: happiness, encouragement, joy
  • Middle notes: gratitude, serenity, interest, hope
  • Top notes: inspiration, awe, loving kindness

What’s your favorite scent?


64 thoughts on “Pepé Le Pew

  1. So funny, Laurie. I’m glad your dog did not apply the “perfume.” I thought at first there was an actual skunk, and you might also be sprayed. Many years ago, we must have had skunks living nearby, and one summer evening when we had the windows open, the whole house suddenly was enveloped in the scent of skunk. There was nothing we could do, except wait for it to disappear.

    As for scents that I love–coffee!
    But really so many–basil, the smell of rain, lilacs, bread baking. . .

  2. Thanks Laurie, I can really identify with this having had a pet skunk on my childhood farm in Africa. It was rescued. Not a nice smell indeed!

    Favourite scent would be freshly ground coffee too. Log fires as well. Like your ‘repellant’ 😉

  3. Great post Laurie 😃 You remind me that I haven’t have a good bottle of wine for a while. Thanks for the inspiration! xo
    There are so many smells that I love. I think I’m basically a smelly person.

  4. A fresh box of Crayola crayons takes me back to childhood where there are more scents I love: Mother’s Evening in Paris perfume, hot cocoa before school on cold mornings . . .

    I wonder whether skunk urine is bottled. My daughter lives on the edge of conservation land, and deer munch on her geraniums and shrubs in the back yard. She’d love a surefire repellent.

    We are all benefiting from your “alliances” with nature. Thank you, Laurie.

    • Marian — Oh my gosh, just reading the words, “a fresh box of Crayola crayons,” triggered a smile on my face. I haven’t thought about that smell in years. Later this afternoon when I run out to do errands, I think I’ll purchase a box (and a coloring book, too), just so I can enjoy that scent again. Thank you for reminding me of how wonderful it is! 🙂

  5. Nice analogy there. I do get fed up with negative people who only see the world as something that is trying to get them, not only that, but they try to get everyone down with them. I do my best to distance myself from that kind of attitide too and try to make the most of what life has given me. With me, a little goes a long way… 😁

  6. Very creative story which (as usual for your posts) doesn’t fail to delight! I particularly like your 3 tiers of scent notes. Thank you.
    I do use ode de positivity. I also find two other scents work well as counter points when I feel the scent of negativity rising up: 1) ode de “creativity” splashed on via any creative activity (cooking, writing, drawing) serves as a distraction to negative thoughts/mood and brings a sense/scent of satisfaction; 2) ode de “movement” applied via walking, or body centering practices like Wendy Palmer’s Aikido type movements. And also some other pure scents are great change of reference techniques … almond oil scent, cherry scent, vanilla scent to start.

  7. My sense of smell is not very sensitive, which is sometimes a good thing. My favorite scents? Bread baking, newly mown grass, rain in the summer, cinnamon. . . .

  8. You’re creativity and imagination never ceases to delight me! You are beyond clever! As for scents, nature provides the ones I hold closest to my heart, too many to name! Beyond that, coffee first thing in the morning and home backed pastries remind me of love.

    • Dorothy — I’m glad this pot brought a smile to your face. Like you, the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning never fails to bring a smile to my face. And gosh, if there were home baked pastries to go with it, I’d be over the moon! 🙂

  9. Years ago a friend of mine had to clean her dog from skunk smell. Many tomato juice baths later and still a faint whiff remained.

    My favourite fragrances are many: coffee brewing, apples cooking, roses, carnations, tea tree oil, lavender, cinnamon, rosemary. My train of thoughts seems to be food and gardening. Can’t wait for spring.

    • Sharon — Reading the word “carnations” brought that wonderful scent immediately to mind. I love that fragrance, too. It’s been too long since I’ve smelled it. I’ll have to remedy that! 🙂

  10. Thank you for the fun and interesting post, Laurie.
    Hmm, my favourite scents
    Old Spice because it reminds me of my dad.
    Chocolate chip cookies baking because they remind me of my mom.
    A freshly cut lawn, spring rain, evergreens… and the list goes on.

  11. Thank you for the fun and interesting post, Laurie.
    Hmm, my favourite scents
    Old Spice because it reminds me of my dad.
    Chocolate chip cookies baking because they remind me of my mom.
    A freshly cut lawn, spring rain, evergreens, a new book… and the list goes on.

  12. To read this post and then the comments from others is to bask in Eau de Cologne. I love all the smells mentioned above. Let me think of a new one. The smell of a book. Both new books and old books. The best smell of all — your book. 🙂

    • Shirley — Your comment brought a great big smile to my face, thank you. I, too, love the smell of books. I’ve oft been tempted to see if I could somehow remain undiscovered in the library when it gets closed for the evening. That would be heavenly to me (not the associated jail time)…

  13. What a delightful post. I can tell you that Skunk is not one of my favorite aromas. When we lived in Vermont we had a skunk family living under our front porch.

    My favorite aromas in all the world are bread baking in the oven, garlic and onions being sautéed in a pan, the smell of a good beef or lamb stew, and basil essential oil. Most good scents are good and make me very hungry. I’m off to the kitchen!

  14. You are so right. I discovered the positivity idea a few years ago when an acquaintance called to complain (again) about how someone was ruining her life. In previous conversations with her on the topic, I had sympathized or been neutral. In that conversation, I said, “You know. I think you need to turn your face in a new direction and look for something positive in the future.” I never heard from her again.

    I discovered that she wasn’t hungry for positive new directions. She wanted someone to feed her negativity and her victim status. It was astonishing. Since then I’ve used it many times and I’m always amazed at how quickly people turn away and seek other sources for negative feedback. And since then the people who do spend time with me, miraculously, are happy, positive people.

  15. positively delightful write up today… and a great scent Working through another terrific book today – feeling very lucky My 2 mile walk, sprinkling but before downpour….love the smells outside even in the rain Car exhaust and toxic dryer sheets, not so much 🙂

  16. Laurie, I have an old story for you, you may have heard it before but it sheds light on how one thing could have separate meanings for different people. The young nephew had come to visit his uncle on the farm for a few days. Nephew was from the City and he was somewhat green to Country Life. After a fine breakfast the young man followed the older one to the barn to watch him go about his daily chores. After feeding the stock, Uncle grabs a pitchfork and starts throwing something onto a pile outside the barn door while pigs and hogs sunned themselves in the mud. “Oh, Mercy!” gasped the City boy, what on Earth is that smell!?” “Why, it’s fertilizer.” says the older man. “It smells just like &%!# !” exclaimed the younger. Uncle scratches his head under his hat and replies. “Hmph! Smells just like money to me.” Allowing once again that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I like the smell of cornbread baking in the oven, the garden early in the morning, and honeysuckle in the evening. They smell like happiness to me.

  17. I love many scents , rain after a hot day …which is a rarity in West Wales . Seaweed , bacon sizzling in the open air .
    We used to live in Kiderminster and their main crop was sugar beet . The locals loved the aroma of it especially winter time it reminded them of their childhood .

    • Cherry — I miss the smell of seaweed! I’m going to get a hefty dose of it this May when I visit Greece and the surrounding islands. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled a sugar beet crop. I’ll have to see if I can remedy that! 🙂

  18. Hard to think of my favourite scent. Like most things, it very much depends on context.

    I love the smell of old style roses.
    I love the smell of a smoky wood fire – it just seems to do something deeply reassuring to my neural net.

    The smell of the ocean after a storm is amazing.

    The smell of a beech forest in the rain.

    The smell of freshly sawn lumber.

    So many smells with so many contexts.

    And the smell of wet dogs, or dogs trying to disguise their scents in the smelliest things they can find, are not amongst my favourites.
    Have given Huia many a shower with shampoo (which she hates) after her finding something horrific (often dead seals, or old dead fishguts, or something equally horrific). The smellier it is the more she likes it.

    • Ted — You’ve got a heavenly list here. Some of the items I can relate to experientially; others I look forward to hopefully experiencing in my lifetime. Wet dog? I’ve got that one down pat! 🙂

  19. Beautifully written Laurie! I think I shall just spray a little of your “positivity” and walk through the luscious frangrance so that it lingers around me as I set to painting edges in order to get work ready for my next solo show in February. Yes, this will be perfect 🙂

  20. I use a “repellent” of sorts as well, mainly at work and with my children. It’s the “don’t bring me a problem unless you have at least one suggestion for a solution” spray. It’s amazing how my children and young employees have learned to think things through before presenting a “potential” problem! It’s a positive way to help others empower themselves 🙂 Great post!

  21. LOL love it, I thought at first pepe got your dog!!! My sister lives in the Olympics up north and has deer everywhere, she sprays “Cougar Piss” on all her favorites….some of the deer just eat through it, the others are some what offended and think twice..and the flies, well they love it… dog thought she did it just for her to rub on…love your post…kat

  22. M own favorite scent is one that fosters good will, positive reinforcement and and able assistance. No room in my neck of the woods for negative energy which I have recently declared war on!!! Ha, love this post Laurie!

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