By Gabby Hernandez

DUMPSTER BEHIND THE JRC—After the snow melted completely on the cusp of spring, Grinnell College hosted Junior Visit Day. It was the first event of the sort since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has a new component to the campus tour section of the event: the Grinnsmell Tour. There are many scents a Grinnellian can easily recognize, and the Grinnsmell Tour was created with the purpose of bringing a handful of those smells to the attention of prospective students. 

The tour begins in front of the Joseph Rosefiels Coroner (JRC) where prospective students are immediately given KN95 face masks. These masks have been pre-worn for nine days by tour guides so that prospective students may experience that unique mask musk that results from only being administered ten masks upon arrival. 

After receiving their masks, the prospies are led into the Dining Hall. Immediately upon passing over the threshold, the heavy scent of Iowa ham balls hits their nostrils and their appetite vanishes. This is a strategic stop on the tour, since the college will then not need to provide food for the prospies.

Tour guides then take the juniors to the back of the JRC for the next stop on the tour: the D-Hall Stink. This scent is well known by all Grinnellians who walk along that sidewalk of death. Nothing more needs to be explained there. 

The tour then continues further north to the Bear Recreational Corner where the prospies stand outside of a Physical Education class. When the class ends, all of the students are told to walk past the tour participants so that they may receive the purest scent of sweat and armpit available. 

After this, the prospective students are led down the north campus loggia where they make a quick stop at a puddle of vomit that has been cooking for approximately twelve hours. It is Thursday, after all.

The tour then enters the Noyce Scenic Center, which includes two stops. The tour guides first lead their subjects to a chemistry lab, where they heavily waft friendly scents like butyric acid, chloroform, and other results of chemistry experiments. They pass students in P-Chem office hours, where the smell of stress is overwhelming. The second stop in Noyce is any restroom from 1:00pm to 3:00pm, when the Iowa ham balls are finally able to make it through the digestive tract of the average Grinnellian. 

After exiting Noyce, the prospective students are led to Loose Hall, one of the larger dorms on campus. There they can experience the comforting scent of a freshly vacuumed hallway, vinegar(?), and that indescribable laundry room stench that seeps into your clothes if you fail to put them in the dryer quickly enough. The tour then heads to any dorm south of Loose Hall, where any floor will always smell strongly enough of weed to mask any other smell that dares try to be present there. “Why does it smell like skunks?” asks Wanda Bund, prospie. 

From South Campus, the prospective students are then led to any flowery area between Noyce and the Burning Library where they can enjoy the pleasant scent of an Iowa spring. They will enjoy this scent until a strong breeze pushes the potent scent of cow manure and fertilizer up and through their scent receptacles. 

To avoid an excessive amount of time outside, the tour continues inside of the Burling Library where tour participants are free to roam and smell as many old books as they wish. Should one of them decide to ask a student for a sip out of their water bottle, they may be met with a scent as easily identifiable as the D-Hall Stink: Hawkeye. 

The tour ends there. The college plans to turn many of these scents into Scratch ‘n Sniff postcards to mail to admitted students in order to increase recruitment.