Get us in your inbox

callery pear tree
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Matt Green

Does it, like, totally smell like semen outside or is that just me?

Written by
Jillian Anthony

Ah springtime, a season of rebirth and rejuvenation, when we open our windows wide, walk down the tree-lined streets and... wait, you guys, why does literally the entire city smell like semen right now?

Lately if you've found yourself wondering why all of New York smells like your windowless bedroom after a particularly seedy one night stand, you're not wrong. The stinky culprit is a beautiful and seemingly benign tree called the Callery Pear that seems to grow just about goddamn everywhere, and has gorgeous white petals that give off a particular eau de cum. If you haven't previously noticed this heady fragrance, you certainly will now (sorry).

I first read about this phenomenon at The Awl a couple of years ago, where I learned that a 2006 New York Parks Department tree census found there were 63,000 of these bad boys stinking up our joint—the third-most common tree in the city. Thousands of these trees are lost due to age and storm damage every year while only 20 to 30 are planted, so this aromatic phenomenon is likely on its way out. Enjoy it while you can?

The question for you is, is this scent worse or better than the burning garbage smell to follow come the blazing heat of July and August? Food for thought. 

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news