Scenting Star Wars – What Would Chewbacca Smell Like?

We can watch films in IMAX 3D, but smell-o-vision has never been perfected and let’s face it, current attempts to improve it just make it into a torture device – something that Kylo Ren might enjoy using in his special chamber. Maybe one day we’ll go to see a Star Wars film and have the option of tapping into the extra dimension of smell. In the meantime, I got together with a fellow nose nerd Nick Gilbert to imagine what some of the characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens would smell like. This was, of course, exactly what the world needed. You can thank us later. We also interpreted our highly scientific observations to fragrances you can actually buy and wear (because you probably don’t want to smell like engine lubricant or matted fur).

And what better way to illustrate this mashup than the mashup art of Brian Kesinger (used here with permission; check out his Etsy store and Instagram for more).

Brian Kesinger PoePoe Dameron

Portrayed in the film by Oscar Isaac

Pia: There’s got to be a bit of a sweaty note because, come on, being in an X-Wing cockpit for hours, squeezed into those uniforms… I imagine a kind of plastic-y smell, too – though maybe their dashboards are a little bit more sophisticated. He is also a bit of a hero type and has definite sex appeal.

Nick: I see Poe as smelling of a bizarre mixture of ‘handsome-man-smell’ and the grease and metal of an X-Wing hangar. And a bit of sweat.

Perfume from a galaxy not so far away
Rien Rien by Etat Libre d’Orange, an intensely sexual pleather or…
Synthetic Series Garage by Comme des Garçons – smell of the hangar where he spends time fixing his X-Wing before flying off and being heroic and gorgeous.

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Kesinger Rey and BB8BB-8

Pia: This droid rolls on screen during a very distressing battle scene with smoke and singed bodies and chaos, so I think at first BB-8 will be covered in the smell of battle; fire, laser guns and death. The turning point of meeting with Rey also means leaving behind those horrors and BB-8 would smell metallic but quite playful.

Nick: BB-8 is THE cutest, sassiest droid, ever. Sorry Artoo but this little spherical feat of genius gives me all my life. But he’s still a droid. So he must smell of metal. And he’s very fluid.

Perfume from a galaxy not so far away
Mercury Nu BeNu_Be Mercury. A fluid, metallic scent that rolls all over the place.

Rey

Portrayed in the film by Daisy Ridley

Pia: Salty, sweaty skin and sand – nothing floral at all about this self-reliant, determined heroine. She doesn’t need rescuing and she’s not a stereotypical Disney princess. I love everything about Rey and the scene where she completely kicks arse while Finn looks on is just perfect.

Nick: Rey is second best thing about the Episode VII (after BB-8, obviously) – and as we first meet her on Jakku, wrapped in some very dry looking rags, the expanse of desert air takes me in a very specific direction of amber, spice, and woods.

Perfume from a galaxy not so far away

MarocainL’Air du Desert Marocain. Hot air, hot sand, dry and austere, with an incomparable strength.

Finn

Brian Kesinger FinnPortrayed in the film by John Boyega

Pia: At first, Finn would definitely smell of blood and fear but we’re all rooting for him to switch sides and get away from the First Order as fast as he can. Even though he can’t shake that instinct to run away when things aren’t going well, he turns out to be a bit of a hero in the making. He’s not macho but he’s sexy and has character. He just needs something to fight for and for people to believe in him.

Nick: A sensitive warrior, Finn isn’t afraid to show his feelings and looks Really Quite Good holding a blue lightsabre.

Perfume from a galaxy not so far away

LeMaleLe Male because it’s sensitive, has character and comes in a blue bottle like the lightsabre we now associate with Finn.

Kylo Ren

Brian Kesinger Kylo RenPortrayed in the film by Adam Driver

Pia: An emo teenager with terrible power over others; what could go wrong? Kylo loves to feel strong but at the same time of course feels deeply insecure. I got it into my head that Kylo would smell of Aventus because of the sorts of comments that fragrance seems to generate.

Nick: A young man desperate for approval, with an explosive temper and an urge for power? He would absolutely smell like a banker. Aventus x1000 times. And, also, he’d smell of a very nice shampoo because how the hell does he not have helmet hair?

Perfume from a galaxy not so far away

AventusAventus by Creed. If Kylo were on the fragrance forums, he’d be paying very close attention to all those ‘panty dropper’ threads with the bros looking for the most POWERFUL scent. He’d be keen to have something that is thought to be the best scent in the world because it gets so many compliments.

 

Luke Skywalker

Portrayed in the film by Mark Hamill

Pia: The Luke we meet in this film is a recluse on an island; he’s marked by tragedy and loss, and not the same Luke we knew. Yet there was always a mix of innocence and something a little bit darker lurking underneath about Luke. The island itself leaves a scent impression, too; the smell of the sea, ambergris… the vegetation…his sweaty robes…

Nick: Don’t forget the robot hand.

Perfume from a galaxy not so far away
JangalaJangala by Parfumerie Generale. Lush vegetation and aquatic; suggestive of a metallic edge or Amazingreen by Comme des Garçons: gunpowder-vegetation.

Princess Leia

Brian Kesinger Han and LeiaPortrayed in the film by Carrie Fisher

Pia: From a princess to a general, Leia is not a helpless wallflower, waiting to be plucked and never was. On the other hand, she has always been beautiful and feminine in her own way. Leia doesn’t follow, Leia leads.

Nick: Regal and authoritative, Leia’s leadership style seems to have grown more understated over the years.

 

Perfume from a galaxy not so far away
JourJour d’Hermes. A stunning abstract floral, feminine, luminous and mysterious.

Han Solo

Portrayed in the film by Harrison Ford

Pia: The cool action hero, a little cynical and battle-worn by the time we meet him in this film (but, then, having fathered Kylo Ren, who can blame him?) – Han Solo is the original space cowboy. I don’t think he would smell of anything overly ornamental or fussy.

Nick: Han spends all of his time with a wookie, so not only would he smell like a classic silver fox, but I think he’d be very conscious of smelling animalic and would be hyper-clean at the same time.

Perfume from a galaxy not so far away
Eau sauvageHan would smell of Eau Sauvage. A deceptively simple sexy silver fox scent with a hint of wookie.

C-3PO

Portrayed in the film by Anthony Daniels

Pia: Ambrettolide has exactly the sort of wet pennies-warm keys metallic aspect that I imagine would emanate from C-3PO’s shiny noggin, but it’s also a little bit fruity. My impression of C-3PO has been influenced by how the protocol droids are portrayed in the computer game Star Wars, The Old Republic, so a hint of cleaning product and starch lingers there, too…

Nick: C-3PO wouldn’t be just clean and shiny. He’s got a hint of the fabulous about him.

Perfume from a galaxy not so far away

888Comme des Garçons 8 88 – the scent of shiny gold, absolutely, but at the same time somewhat serious and rigid.

R2 D2

Portrayed in the film by Kenny Baker

Pia: Poor R2 D2, dusty and inactive, something still whirring in there, deep down, but a far cry from the lively droid we know and love. Of course he does get to wake up in the end, and I imagine that smell from warming electrical wiring and dust burning off might have a bit of a waxy, snuffed-out candle note. So I can’t stop thinking about Comme Des Garçons 2 Man (and the name of it might have something to do with this, too).

Nick: Hahaha! That’s perfect.

Perfume from a galaxy not so far away

Man2Comme Des Garçons 2 Man.

Chewbacca

Brian Kesinger ChewbaccaPortrayed in the film by Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo

Pia: I think Chewie would smell mostly of costus; that hairy, goaty, dirty hairbrush note – and also of hyraceum absolute, bit of civet and a hint of isobutyl quinoline (the leather note of his outfit).

Nick: Oh absolutely, Chewie is all matted fur and leather. He might rip your arms off.

 

 

Perfume from a galaxy not so far away

ComplexChewbacca smells like Complex by Boadicea the Victorious. An imposing leather and fur perfume, not for the faint of heart.

Bonus

There’s a brilliant Undercover Boss x The Force Awakens mashup you YouTube and just in case you’ve been living under a rock, check out Emo Kylo Ren and Very Lonely Luke on Twitter.

Over to you – did we get this right? Let us know in the comments what you think these characters (and the ones we haven’t mentioned) should smell of?

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3 thoughts on “Scenting Star Wars – What Would Chewbacca Smell Like?

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