Woman Can't Quite Place Smell She's Picking Up From Yoga Mat



A woman using the fitness center at Chicago's West Anderson Hotel can't seem to identify the smell coming from her yoga mat, Dumb Runner has learned.

"I thought it smelled a little bit off when I grabbed it," said Margot Tenenbaum, 36, an advertising executive and hotel guest. "But when I got closer I really got a good whiff."


"The thing is," she said, "I can't quite nail down what, exactly, it smells like."

The mat belongs to the hotel and was chosen randomly from a pile in the fitness center, Tenenbaum said, noting that she normally travels with her own mat but left it home this time.

Beef, or maybe pork.
— Margot Tenenbaum

"I start doing my routine," she said, "and I'm thinking meat. It smells like meat. Beef, or maybe pork."

"Gradually, though, as the mat has a chance to breathe I begin to pick up other notes, and I struggle to identify them," she said. "Molasses? Yeast? Singed hair? A hint of Axe Body Spray?" 

She leaned in closer for another snort.


Tenenbaum admitted she may never find precisely the right words to describe the rich olfactory tapestry found in that yoga mat, an amalgam of the odors of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of previous users.

"I'll think it over while I take a shower," she said. "A long, long shower."