Noe Valley Voice April 1998

City Outlaws Certain Smells

By Smelly Winters

Reacting to a storm of complaints from residents, the Board of Supervisors has okayed a moratorium on certain odors on 24th Street, effective April 1.

In addition to soap, gas, and soy sauce, the city has banned the smell of money, onions, rats, chocolate chip bagels, and feet. Sweat, nail polish remover, and postage stamp glue were originally on the list, but were dropped pending an increase in use.

"I'm so glad Clorox was left out," said a relieved Hannuka Lewinsky, who recently opened the Bleach Boys Cleaners in the megamall next to Bell Market. "And sweat too."

Short Snorts, the aromatherapy shop on Castro, was also exempt, since its herbal products have religious meaning. "Our clients would really suffer if they couldn't sniff this stuff," said hemp care provider Dennis Peron.

But pedestrians and diners in Noe Valley, who've come to count on the aroma of barbecue sauce, were incensed about the ban. "I'm incensed!" said incense carrier Sid Hartha.

To ensure compliance with the law, the SFPD is now testing its new Smell-Check device in Downtown Noe Valley.

"If I smell a rat," said Officer Lois Brillo, "I give them a warning and tell them where they can get some toilet water."