The Singer-Songwriter Who Loves the Smells of Chicken Fingers and Matcha

Those are my happy places, the ocean and forest. But I worked on it for months with the guys from Snif because I actually wanted people to smell good in the end. I’m so happy with it because now people think I smell good. Don’t regret life, just live it. Certain incenses and sages that I like, people are like, “Don’t use that around me.” Also chicken fingers because I hang out with a lot of vegans. I’ll be like, “Oh, what’s this smell? Or cheap vodka when it smells like hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol and you just wanna throw up. I bought the most expensive colognes, and no one’s ever told me I smell good. I’m drinking it right now, it’s so tasty. I feel like I’m in a womb. Why did I purchase something that makes me smell even worse? It’s very delicious and has these spices on it. I love drinking my tea and smelling the orchids. The last thing I smell before I go to bed: I’m obsessed with baths, and I just got a lot of new Epsom salts and oils that I love to submerge in. I used to eat only chicken fingers and French fries; now I’m dabbling in tofu and whatnot. It sounds kind of like the “Stop and smell the roses” cliché thing, but if you’re in the moment, you realize the universe has created so many smells for us — that’s why we have noses. In “Scent Memories,” the Cut asks people about the scents they associate with different times in their lives. I’ve been so many places in the world, and there’s nothing like it. That’s the grossest smell, but I remember my mom was always like, “You smell … bad,” and it was this conclusive thing in my life. So I’ve been learning how to cook, too, and it’s been awesome. That feeling of waking up, feeling alive, feeling good, and smelling her — it’s the best combo. I remember one time, I was in Paris and asked my now-girlfriend, “What’s your favorite flower?” And she said she loved white flowers, so I was like, I need to find all the white flowers. You know, the kind where the trash guy comes and you’re embarrassed for him to pick it up so you keep hiding it? I have to take a bath every night or my nights don’t go well. You can take all these different ingredients and mix them into one. You don’t even know what it is. Now I know how my mom felt, because I’m like, Yo, this dog is cute as hell, but also, man …

My ideal vacation smells like: Ocean breeze, salt water, palm trees, coconuts, and beachy things like that but also the smell of big pine trees and redwoods, the smell of rain falling, and smelling the dew the next morning. Happiness smells like: Waking up in the morning next to my girlfriend. I thought specific restaurants all had their own in-house, special-brand things. But it’s body odor, I guess … right? And Why do I not come here every day of my life? I always ask myself, How is this eight hours from L.A.? We took a trip up to the redwoods in Mendocino County, right outside of Big Sur, and we were just submerged in nature. I’m gonna smell like a garbage can. The artist’s limited-edition spritz exudes positive vibes with the help of lemongrass, lavender, basil, black currant, jasmine, and neroli. It’s very spiritual and brings you this peace and this calmness. Heartbreak or loss smells like: Sulfur. Sometimes they get diarrhea and the bad farts, and you can’t do anything about it because it’s like your child and you’re like, Well, I guess this is preparing me for when I have my own kid and my kid smells like shit and I’ll just have to embrace it all. I’m gonna smell awful. Or were the creators like, “Fuck you! I smell like: Snif, by Harry Hudson, which is me. Because you don’t want that guy to smell it? We have some in the kitchen right now. I found out they sell the same matcha at Ralphs and Publix and places like that, and I was like, Whoa. Next up is folk-rock singer-songwriter and cancer survivor Harry Hudson. That’s how I smell when I’m heartbroken. It’s full circle: I smelled like shit starting out in life, and now I smell good. You have to get really close to orchids to smell them, and I love how the scent just kind of lingers on my nose. It’ll start your day great, however you want to start it. Brings me back to those times. I love chicken from Nando’s, specifically. The Cut recently caught up with Hudson to talk nighttime baths, hand-sanitizer scents, and the best thing to mix into your morning matcha. I was putting together an album package and was going to send a scent to friends and make it a small thing, not a huge deal. Or a bad shampoo or a bad body product, one you bought thinking it might smell good and then you put it on and you’re like, Oh my God, that doesn’t work with my skin. A scent or smell I love that others usually don’t: Gasoline is kind of nice. I’m a flower guy; I’m obsessed with them. I love the smell of roses and lavender and all that. Regret smells like: A rotten, moldy cheese that you left in the fridge too long. So after brushing your teeth, you get this mint and then I’ll do something like eucalyptus-lemon for the bath, which is fire. We used to tandem-bike to a tea spot every morning to get it, but I learned how to make it at home and eventually to make it even better. The worst smell is: A really shitty hand sanitizer. There’s a lot now, and 85, 90 percent smell like shit. It’s where I find my peace and where I write my music. It’s not a specific scent, but I’m pretty awful at identifying scents; my brain doesn’t really work like that. I never knew certain scents blend better with your skin and you have to find the right one. I know a lot of people do scents now, and I never thought I’d be one of them. Like, you can get your own truffle oil? You put it on your hands and you’re like, What the fuck? People at the coffee shop were like, “What’s that scent?” And I’m like, “It’s me!” And they’re like, “I know …” And I’m like, “No, no, I created it!” It’s not too strong. It’s a game changer, you have to try it. I just want to give hope to all those kids out there because it may take years and years, but if you’re patient and you start enjoying being ever present and finding different scents, you can put them together and you can make your own scent. And then you’re just stuck with it. And layers of B.O., because I’m not gonna shower for months if I’m heartbroken or experiencing a sense of loss. It’s a consistent scent that has just been there now, and it’s just the best. I found orchids, and for some reason, I love the smell of them. It’s just like creating food. Also, I fed my dog some new food that he didn’t react well to, so he was just farting all last night, and I swear to you, it’s the most vile smell. So being present can smell like smelling the grass or smelling a leaf or smelling people, back when we could do that. In the lead-up to the release of his sophomore album, Hey, I’m Here for You, Hudson created his own uplifting scent with the fragrance brand Snif, a purveyor of genderless scents that you can try before you buy. By Erica Smith

Harry Hudson. Success smells like: Being happy, loving life, and being ever present. Is this even doing anything? I never knew you could just buy the ingredients they use at restaurants at normal markets. Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images, Snif

Scientific studies confirm that, of all the senses, smell offers the best recall. And make your own truffle fries? That’s kinda regretful. In my head, I smelled good, but no, as a kid, I probably smelled like shit. My first scent memory is: I think my own shit, from when I was a kid. Love smells like: Orchids. I’m changing up my vibe. I’ve never been told that in my life! I smell like I’m ready to run a marathon and relax at the same time. Being submerged in a hot tub gives me the clearest thoughts in my head. That worst rotten-egg smell. But if you wanna get deep with it, regrets are pretty dope if you think about it; it’s just a way of life and a lesson to be learned. It’s this unique flower I feel no one really talks about. It’s cinnamon!” And someone will be like, “No … it’s lemon.” But that smell, I know it smells amazing, and I know it can’t be replicated, which is even more amazing. It just smells light, positive, and happy. We make it every morning, and it’s like this dessert tea almost. During testing, everybody around me — my mom, strangers, my friends, even my great-aunt who is 99 years old — was like “Oh, this actually smells good?” And I was like, What the fuck? Friendship smells like: Marijuana, chicken fingers, and French fries. My home smells like: Love, happiness, and matcha with honey and cinnamon. I don’t even know what they are, but they just smell like I’m about to have mad jokes with my friends and it’s about to be a great day. We’re gonna make this shit to put on your hands and make you smell like shit!” I don’t get it. A Scent by Harry Hudson





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *