Good Time Robert Pattinson

Still from Good Time, a movie in which Robert Pattinson was definitely stinky. Courtesy of A24.

What does a celebri­ty smell like?

It’s the question that comes up most often after any interaction with a famous person. But sometimes, perhaps we’re better off not knowing…

Often, in the after­math of a celebri­ty-fan encounter, one of the first ques­tions that comes up in con­ver­sa­tion is What did he smell like?” Take, for exam­ple, this Red­dit thread ask­ing Peo­ple who have met Post Mal­one, what did he smell like?” Answers vary from the jok­ing (“Post Cologne”) to the thought­ful­ly earnest (“enve­lope glue”). Body odor is the one detail that can be com­mu­ni­cat­ed only in per­son. Scent is impor­tant: the glob­al fra­grance indus­try is cur­rent­ly val­ued at over $38 bil­lion and imag­in­ing what beau­ty prod­ucts these news­mak­ers use, and in what order, is a nation­al pas­time. So it’s espe­cial­ly fas­ci­nat­ing when we col­lec­tive­ly dis­cov­er that Jon­ah Hill smells like a hot dog or Matthew McConaugh­ey hasn’t worn deodor­ant for 20 years.

The lat­ter is true, at least. While film­ing the 2008 deep-sea mas­ter­work Fool’s Gold, McConaughey’s co-star Kate Hud­son brought him a salt rock, which is some nat­ur­al deodor­ant, and says, Would you please put this on?’ […] I just nev­er wore it. No cologne, no deodor­ant.” Instead, McConaugh­ey insists on noth­ing. He wants to smell like a man. Can’t we all just let him smell like a man?! My favourite McConaugh­ey scent sto­ry is one about his insuf­fer­able 2014 Lin­coln com­mer­cials. A source told The Improp­er that dur­ing pro­duc­tion he smelled like he hadn’t show­ered in weeks. Imag­ine rid­ing shot­gun in that car. After­ward, the cars went back to the deal­er,” the out­let wrote. It’s unknown whether they were detailed to get rid of the stink.”

I don’t real­ly see the point in wash­ing your hair” – Robert Pat­tin­son, 2009

What is most pecu­liar about these sit­u­a­tions, which have been casu­al­ly doc­u­ment­ed since the advent of celebri­ty jour­nal­ism, is how the offend­ers jus­ti­fy their bad odor. The women in my life, includ­ing my moth­er, have all said, Hey, your nat­ur­al smell smells, one, like a man, and, two, smells like you,’” McConaugh­ey once told Con­tact Music. I don’t real­ly see the point in wash­ing your hair,” just-woke-from-a-nap lookin’ Twi­light actor Robert Pat­tin­son echoed to Extra, when asked if it was true that he didn’t wash his hair for six weeks. It’s like, I don’t clean my apart­ment cause I don’t care. I have my apart­ment for sleep­ing in and I have my hair for just, you know, hang­ing out on my head. I don’t care if it’s clean or not.” In New! mag­a­zine, Pat­tin­son added that occa­sion­al­ly his B.O. gets to the point where even I can’t stand the air around me. I don’t know, my per­son­al hygiene – it’s so disgusting.”

Is he… brag­ging? Hard to tell. For years – more than five, less than 10 by most accounts – Pat­tin­son was stinky. He didn’t wash his hair. His skin­care rou­tine was as fic­tion­al as the spark­ly vam­pire char­ac­ter that made him famous. Crew mem­bers on set of the film report­ed­ly com­plained about his putrid fetor. A GQ arti­cle once described his cloth­ing as hav­ing a smell like he has recent­ly pur­chased them off the back of some­one less for­tu­nate than he.”

His clean­li­ness, or lack there­of, became a meme on Tum­blr. A screen­shot of that head­line tout­ing his dis­cov­ery of mois­tur­iz­ing and rou­tine clean­li­ness was placed next to an old­er MTV News head­line that read Robert Pat­tin­son admits to lazy hygiene habits.” The post’s cap­tion under­neath sim­ply read 20092014,” imply­ing the life and death of his bad bathing habits. It was a dra­mat­ic hygiene about-face for the actor.

I start­ed mois­tur­is­ing – it’s a pro­found change in my life,” one Dai­ly Mail head­line shout­ed in 2014. The arti­cle final­ly addressed THOSE per­son­al hygiene rumours” swirling mer­ci­less­ly around R Patz, indi­cat­ing he had some­what reformed.

Oth­er men who have been said to exude fumes are Entourages Adri­an Gre­nier, John­ny Depp (he was urged by Angeli­na Jolie to swish with Lis­ter­ine before their kiss­ing scene in The Tourist), and Bradley Coop­er, who, as of at least 2012, doesn’t use deodor­ant real­ly any­more.” Whether or not their skanky body vapors weigh heavy on fans’ minds – or nos­trils – is moot. I don’t give a shit thats hot. Lol” some­one who goes by Allie com­ment­ed below a YouTube video titled Robert Pat­tin­son Is A Dirty Boy.”

I sup­pose the real irony here is that Pat­tin­son was once the poster boy for Dior Par­fum, John­ny Depp the face of Dior Eau de Sauvage, and Matthew McConaugh­ey a cap­i­tal­ist vehi­cle for Dolce & Gabbana’s fra­grance The One. It is pos­si­ble to assume they were gift­ed free bot­tles of these fra­grances that like­ly sit on a shelf, still sealed in their respec­tive box­es, as each dude stews in his own eau de filth. I’m not sure what exact­ly this is meant to tell us, the pro­le­tari­at, about these celebri­ties. One thing it doesn’t tell us: what they smell like. Until we meet, I guess we’ll nev­er know… But maybe we’re bet­ter off not knowing.

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