I Love The Smell of Chemicals In the Morning.

Last week we went to Ikea to pick up a dresser for the baby. We ended up getting a bunch of stuff we’ve needed for years. Right after checkout, my job was to pull the car into the loading area so that Tobyjoe could try and maneuver 800 dollars worth of stuff into our fairly compact, hand-me-down Toyota. The loading area, as well as the rest of the Ikea parking lot, had a fresh coat of tar all over it. And it was hot out. I’m not sure what came over me, whether it’s the hormones or I’m trying to kill myself and the baby, but at that moment the smell of tar became the single most amazing smell on planet Earth. I inhaled deeply and begged it to come home with me. When Tobyjoe arrived with our cart, I told him I couldn’t get enough of the chemical goodness. And he looked at me as if I had eaten too many Ikea cinnamon buns.

“You obviously never worked in construction. The smell makes me sick. Plus, it reminds me of not so great times.”

“I want to eat it. The smell. All of it. I’d wear it as perfume right now.”

I figured the whole Ikea tar craving phenomenon had been an isolated incident. But later that day we hit a hardware store on Bedford and another chemical smell that I couldn’t place wafted into my nostrils. I was smitten all over again.

“Take your time, Toby. I want to get more of this smell.”

“You’re weird.” He reminded me. “Really weird.”

Month 9: Chemical cravings. I can’t get enough of the man made aromas, which are clearly bad for a person, particularly a pregnant person. If what they say is true – that a pregnant woman should listen to her cravings, that it’s the body’s way of letting her know what it’s missing – well, then mine clearly has issues. And the cravings are all over the place. My mother’s new car smells glorious. I could sit in there for hours inhaling the toxic fumes. But cleaning related items – bleach, Comet, 409 – disgust me. The neighbor’s back deck painting project? Perfectly awesome. Burning rubber? Gross. Tar? The best smell ever. Gasoline? Well, I always liked the smell of gasoline. Motor oil, however, smells awful.

Currently, most of the streets in Williamsburg and Greenpoint are being repaved. (Sweet coincidence.) And sometimes, not all the time but sometimes, I get a whiff and I begin to salivate.

The smell of 40,000 fireworks will probably have me speaking in tongues.

Edited to add: Apparently, I might have a condition called Pica. Hmmmmm


  1. Well, I can’t guarantee that we’ll grill up some nice tar paper wrapped petrol for you, but we do still want to have you guys over for dinner. It has been a crazy week, but we are getting over these colds and would love to hang out again. If you like fresh lemonade or ginger ale, Dietsch has a couple of recipes he’s anxious to play with. :)


  2. I was wondering what your doctor told you about smell cravings? My doctor looked at me like I was a total tool and knew nothing about them. I had my baby 3 1/2 weeks ago and I STILL am craving car exhaust, nail polish, and I sniff a vicks inhaler constantly to avoid the things that make my mouth water. I dont want to eat the stuff, just smell it allllll day long. I cant find anything online about it, and Im trying! I feel like my body is trying to tell me it needs something but I dont know what. I thought I could find out online but Ive only seen 3 items on it, your blog being one. If you have info or know some links or anything, I would be SO grateful. I am so curious. Also, I was wondering if you happened to crave sweets much more than normal either while prego or postpartum. I actually lost weight with my little lady, at the most gaining 5 lbs at the end, yet I still am craving reeses pieces and bananna cream pie blizzards when I usually never eat so much sweet stuff. Thanks for sharing, I think it is brave when women are honest about pregnancy!


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