Director Robert Rodriguez is making a big deal out of the fact that his movie “Spy Kids 4” with Jessica Alba, is featuring what he calls Aromascope. Each moviegoer is handed a card with a numbered set of smells. At certain points in the plot they’re instructed to scratch and sniff an appropriate odor. Kids will probably be charmed by this attraction. What Rodriguez keeps forgetting to mention is the fact that John Waters pioneered this technique in 1981 in ”Polyester,” which featured scratch n’ sniff Odorama. Polyester starred Divine and Tab Hunter – all this on a $300,000 budget! Those old Odorama cards have become highly collectible, by the way. Let’s give credit where credit is due! (FYI- back in the 70’s, Divine was between movies and applied for a job as cashier in our clothing shop on Sunset Strip. We were afraid he’d scare away the customers and turned him down. In retrospect, we should have given him a chance.)


  1. I can’t imagine anything more disgusting, but I’m sure it will appeal to younger kids, like my 13 year old, who just howl at fart noises and jokes. Anything to detract from the “stinker” this movie will likely be.

    And Janet, shame on you for not hiring a down on his/her luck transvestite.

  2. Jessica Alba stinks……nothing more to say.

  3. I bet your clientele would have been charmed by the over-the-top Divine (Harris Glenn Milstead).

    Personally, I always enjoyed the fun gimmicks that movies or theatres use to include with a movie at the cinema. Odorama cards? I find them funny as fourth grader would. lol I remember seeing a movie about killer spiders and the threatre would hand out plastic spiders with your ticket. I remember getting glow-n-the-dark stuff when I saw science fiction movies. Cool stuff for a kids.

  4. I am a practising, couch, odoramist.
    I cultivate this.

  5. Polyester was actually a very funny movie! I remember I was working for a film trade paper at the time, so got to meet Tab Hunter at the American Film Market, where he was promoting this movie.
    Because this was a John Waters film, everyone was expecting disgusting smells from the beginning — but as I recall, there was only one, and it was toward the end of the film. Great fun!

  6. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no?

    Patrick: LOL 🙂

    Walt: I await the debut of your blog—what an entertaining writer you are!

    Denise: Tell me about it. This movie has KIDS’ MAGNET written all over it.

    And, Janet—always appreciate a good Devine story. He was quite a character, from a city—Baltimore—that boasts quite a few of them.

    My favorite Devine factoid: His bras were filled with (lots of) LENTILS. 🙂

  7. @Patrick, odoramist???? LOL!!!


    @Mona, You are so kind & thoughtful to say such things. You made my whole week. 🙂

  8. Walt, I meant every word. Your recent reminiscences of your mom made me smile—AND brought tears to my eyes. Looking forward to more! 🙂

  9. This takes me back. I still have a couple of those odorama cards lying around somewhere.

  10. Patrick: my yorkie Etta is a practising couch odoramist too, she just doesn’t KNOW it, and will turn around and look back confused and then get up and leave. She also starts quarrels with passing pit bulls (luckily on the other side of the wrought iron security fence).

    Love John Waters and his too-thin pencil mustache. He’s a riot in interviews. Love him! And he is brilliant at finding the oddball that needs to be in a John Waters film, isn’t he?

  11. Robert Rodriguez has been very open about lifting the concept from John Waters, Janet. He mentioned it in his recent interview with Vulture, and elsewhere.

  12. both jessica & john are the true rats of the american society!!

  13. Some where in a box I have an odorama card from when I went to Polyester!

  14. What was your shop Janet?

    Love John Waters and Divine. Polyester wasn’t my favorite movie though.

  15. I though the movie was stupid and dumb and I saw it for free and it really sucked and the story line was boring and I Though what a waste of time and it was nice sleeping throw the movie and that is what I Did and the best part is when it was over and I Was well rested and please don’t make another!

  16. I bought my son that dvd (polyester) for a x-mas present a few years ago, and let’s just say, he cannot even watch the film anymore without getting sick.

    I, on the other hand, never smelt the scratcher, so I still LOVE watching the flick!

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