Combat Zone

Tacoma aroma: Eau-de T-Loc in stores

It’s everyone’s favorite scent, and soon it’s going to be available in a department store near you! I’m talking, of course, about the sweet, chemical breeze that warms lungs all around the Greater Tacoma area: the Tacoma Aroma. Students and T-Locs alike agree that there is nothing quite like stepping outside on a cool, misty autumn morning and taking a deep breath of sulfur and ammonium zirconium plutonium paper pulp. That’s why former paper-millers-turned-entrepreneurs, Chuck Gastro and Ralph Hurley have teamed up to capture the beauty of this scent in a perfume for both men and women.
“It’s just been a part of our lives,” Hurley said. “Some say it smells like a fish died in a port-a-potty. Hell, I’ve heard people say it smells like pure, unadulterated fear. But to me ‘n’ Chuck, it smells like home.”
Gastro compares the scent of the perfume to, “one of those smells similar to a really nasty fart. You recognize that it smells awful, but at the same time you can’t help but appreciate the degree of awfulness.”
News of Gastro and Hurley’s “Tacoma Aroma: Eau de T-Loc” has spread to other Northwest cities like Boise and Portland, whose city officials have taken it upon themselves to come up with their own “city scent.”
Portland mayor Sam Adams has suggested a “taint-sweat and dreadlocks kind of smell,” and Boise mayor David Bieter is opting for “Slurry pits, potatoes and chewing tobacco.”
T-Locs know, though, that their smell reigns supreme. It has become as much a part of Washington’s state history as Kurt Cobain’s shotgun and the University of Puget Sound’s football team.
Tacoma’s own mayor, Marilyn Strickland, fully endorses the product and has even agreed to give out samples of the perfume at voting booths in November.
“I actually stop by the paper mills every now and again to just breath in the chemicals and the aroma,” Strickland said regarding her endorsement. “There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of fulfilling one’s right to vote, and immediately coming out of the booth smelling like a champion. I love that shit.”
Tacoma is already riddled with charm, from the Glass Museum that totally looks like a bong, to the giant boob with a nipple tassel that is the Tacoma Dome, and the aroma is the unique feature that has people from all over foaming at the mouth with anticipation for Gastro and Hurley’s new perfume, set to hit the market around the December holidays … Or maybe that’s just the smell.

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