Nine smells which make us think of the Netherlands

For a country recognised as the flower exporting capital of the world, the Netherlands doesn’t smell like roses.  Or should that be tulips?  Either way, neither Dutch rose nor tulip has a much of a perfume.

There are, however, some distinctive olfactory experiences which are very much Dutch.

Fried Fish
Always present at outdoor markets and on Dutch beaches during the summer months.  The smell of kibbeling and other fried seafood from the fish vans permeates the air and teases the seagulls.

Follow a group of young tourists down the street in Amsterdam and the smell of marijuana instantly hits you.  On a bad day there is so much dope in the air that you won’t remember whether you walked or flew to Dam Square.

No smoking weed here

No smoking weed here

Pig farms
The stomach turning stink emanating from the hundreds of pig farms is the only obvious drawback to cycling the beautiful countryside in Noord Brabant

Think appeltaart, appelflap, speculaas, peppernoten – that smell of Christmas lasts the entire year.

Can you get more Dutch?

Can you get more Dutch?

While most Dutch cheeses hardly smell compare to some to their more pungent French relatives, there is a distinctive smell to your neighbourhood cheese outlet.

Cheap aftershave
Ah, teenage boys with heavy hands and a Kruidvat budget.

Exhaust Fumes
This smell is most noticeable as brommers whizz by you on the bike paths or rev up at traffic lights – if they stop for them at all that is.

Stale cigarettes
Take a blind person into a traditional brown cafe and they will identify where they are by the carpets on the tables and the heavy smell of old cigarettes in the air. What smoking in bars ban?

Smoking is banned in most Dutch bars

Smoking is banned in most Dutch bars… really, it is

The aftermath of New Year
That heavy smell of millions of euros-worth of fireworks hangs like a fog over the entire country in the early hours of January 1.

We are sure there are loads more…. please feel free to contribute your own examples



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