City Desk

The Smelly Side of Smoke-Free Bars

According to a study conducted by "world-renowned scent scientist Alan Hirsch, M.D.," founder of Chicago's Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, banning cigarettes from bars has resulted in people smelling things other than cigarettes in bars. The study, which investigated the odors inside one smoke-free Chicago bar, was sponsored by the folks over at AXE deodorant body spray. According to AXE:

Through a series of scientific tests at a popular Chicago bar, Dr. Hirsch discovered that while the odor of cigarette smoke is gone, equally offensive aromas that were previously hidden have surfaced—and bar patrons were a major cause of the stink, with sweat appearing as one of the top odor contributors to the “bar funk.” While these tests were conducted in only one bar, the results could shed light on why other smoke-free establishments are also experiencing “bar funk.”

The study concluded that "sweat/body odor" was the fourth odor contribution to the scientific state of "bar funk" at that one bar, after "must/earth/mold," "urine-like," and "sour/acid vinegar." Hmm. Did they test for the odor contribution of AXE deodorant body spray?

Photo by SuperFantastic

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  • Matt

    My friends and I would try to nail down exactly what the funk was when the smoking ban went into effect. Unclean pet store? Public restroom? Grandma's basement?

    It doesn't matter which bar it is, they all smell like that now.

  • Outdoor Cafes Rule

    There was a time when bars didn't stink?

  • theholidaygirl

    No mention of farting? I swear, I spent the whole month after the ban first went into affect with my shirt over my nose at the Black Cat. Bar funk I can deal with. Even a mild urine odor. But dudes dropping bomb after bomb? No way.
    To think, back in the day, people were farting up a storm under the cover of cigarette smoke smell and we were all just wandering around in it.