The Famous Durian Smell

The durian fruit’s astonishing smell has been described in hundreds of ways – none of them pleasant. Rotten onions, roadkill, dirty feet, vomit, sewage – people associate the unique smell to previous olfactory experiences. Love it or hate it, durian fruit is surprisingly pungent. Animals, particularly¬†orangutans, are lured by the smell of durian fruit¬†from over half a mile away. The smell of durian fruit is distinctive, lingering, and persistent; the odor penetrates into fabric and remains on your hands after eating. Many hotels, subways, and public spaces in Southeast Asia advertise a no-durian-fruit policy with signs of the spiky fruit crossed out in red.