Quotes will be added to this page as I discover them–
‘You wouldn’t be so brave if you’d ever smelled the Bog of Eternal Stench.’
Hoggle, in Labyrinth (1986)
“The sexual parts are not only vivid examples of the body’s dominion; they are also apertures whose damp emissions and ammoniac smells testify to the mysterious putrefaction of the body.”
Roger Scruton (1944 – ), British philosopher, author. Sexual Desire (1986).
“Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape.”
Charlton Heston, in Planet of the Apes (1968)
“The chemistry of dissatisfaction is as the chemistry of some marvelously potent tar. In it are the building stones of explosives, stimulants, poisons, opiates, perfumes and stenches.”
Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American Writer
“I’ve decided something: Commercial things really do stink. As soon as it becomes commercial for a mass market it really stinks.”
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) American Artist
“Lord, you have cursed Cain and Cain’s children: thy will be done. You have allowed men’s hearts to be corrupted, that their intentions be rotten, that their actions putrefy and stink: thy will be done.”
Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980), French writer, playwright, philosopher. The Devil and the Good Lord (1951)
“NOISE, n. A stench in the ear. Undomesticated music. The chief product and authenticating sign of civilization.”
- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) US journalist, author. The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)
“Man is a museum of diseases, a home of impurities; he comes today and is gone tomorrow; he begins as dirt and departs as stench.”
- Mark Twain (1835-1910) US novelist, journalist, river pilot
“With the collapse of vaudeville new talent has no place to stink.”
- George Burns (1896 – 1996) US comedian, actor
“Your piece stinks. We fed it to the turtle.”
- David Holahan, U.S. Freelance Writer. “Dining on Cardboard Au Gratin: A Free-lancer’s Lament” Christian Science Monitor, February 13, 1985
In Köhln, a town of monks and bones,
And pavements fang’d with murderous stones
And rags, and hags, and hideous wenches;
I counted two and seventy stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks!
Ye Nymphs that reign o’er sewers and sinks,
The river Rhine, it is well known,
Doth wash your city of Cologne;
But tell me, Nymphs, what power divine
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), “Cologne”
“I don’t understand anything about the ballet; all I know is that during the intervals the ballerinas stink like horses.”
- Anton Chekhov (1860 – 1904)
“Herein is not only a great vanity, but a great contempt of God’s good gifts, that the sweetness of man’s breath, being a good gift of God, should be wilfully corrupted by this stinking smoke.”
- King James I, A Counterblast to Tobacco
“Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water.”
- “The Women’s Petition Against Coffee,” 1674
“Things smell different to a midget in an elevator.”
“Sir, my stools are GIGANTIC. And they have no more odor than a hot biscuit.”
- Anthony Hopkins as Dr. John Harvey Kellog, in The Road to Wellville
“All things being equal, fat people use more soap.”
You stink like my Mama under your bra
and I vomit into your hand like a jackpot
its cold hard quarters.
- Anne Sexton (1928–1974), U.S. poet. “Buying the Whore.” (As an interesting aside, the Peter Gabriel song, “Mercy Street,” is about Anne Sexton).
“Where there is a stink of shit there is a smell of being.”
- Antonin Artaud (1896–1948), “The Pursuit of Fecality”
“If you cut a thing up, of course it will smell. Hence, nothing raises such an infernal stink at last, as human psychology.”
- D.H. Lawrence (1885–1930), British author.
“A man has his distinctive personal scent which his wife, his children and his dog can recognize. A crowd has a generalized stink.”
-W.H. Auden (1907–1973), Anglo-American poet. “The Poet and the City,” pt. 2
“The military mind is indeed a menace. Old-fashioned futurity that sees only men fighting and dying in smoke and fire; hears nothing more civilized than a cannonade; scents nothing but the stink of battle-wounds and blood.”
- Sean O’Casey (1884–1964), Irish dramatist. “And Evening Star,” vol. 46, Sunset and Evening Star (1954).
“I would rather have a young fellow too much than too little dressed: the excess on that side will wear off, with a little age and reflection; but if he is negligent at twenty, he will be a sloven at forty, and stink at fifty years old.”
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773), British statesman
The stench; the urine, cabbage, and dead beans,
Dead porridges of assorted dusty grains,
The old smoke, heavy diapers, and, they’re told,
Something called chitterlings.
- Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000), U.S. poet. “The Lovers of the Poor”
“The stench of death massaged my skin; it took years to wash away.”
- James Wilde, “On reporting the Vietnam War,” Time, April 15, 1985
“If we have largely forgotten the physical discomforts of the itching, oppressive garments of the past … then we have mercifully forgotten, too, the smells of the past, the domestic odours—ill-washed flesh; infrequently changed underwear; chamber-pots; slop-pails; inadequately plumbed privies; rotting food; unattended teeth; and the streets are no fresher than indoors, the omnipresent acridity of horse piss and dung, drains, the sudden stench of old death from butchers’ shops, the amniotic horror of the fishmonger.”
- Angela Carter (1940–1992), British novelist.
I saw on the slant hill a putrid lamb,
Propped with daisies.
- Richard Eberhart (1904-2005), American poet. “For a Lamb”
Avoid the reeking herd,
Shun the polluted flock,
Live like that stoic bird,
The eagle of the rock.
- Elinor Wylie (1885–1928), U.S. poet. “The Eagle and the Mole”