There really is no smell quite like it.
Perhaps sweaty socks left in the middle of the room by a herd of teenage boys comes close (too close actually,) but nothing really matches the aromatic quality of rotting meat.
Right now everyone who has ever smelled the pungent, overpowering and absolutely disgusting smell is wrinkling their nose in memory.
If your nasal region has never been assaulted by the stench, consider yourself lucky.
All rotting materials smell less than ideal, but meat has a quality that has to be smelled to be truly appreciated.
After returning from a weekend out of town a few years ago, we were clobbered by that smell the second we walked into the basement and we could not figure out why.
My first thought was a mouse, or, based on the magnitude of the stench, a giraffe had died in the basement and its rotting corpse was stinking up my home.
The Missus, who has a bionic nose and can smell a fly fart in a windstorm, was quickly on the trail of the offending odour.
She tracked it down to the mini-freezer we had in the basement. The same thought reached us both at the same time: the freezer was broken and all the goodies in there had been reduced to a rotting pile of ick.
Cautiously lifting the freezer lid, we saw everything was still frozen solid. But the smell was definitely coming from that area, so we continued our search.
In the narrow space between freezer and the wall was a piece of once-frozen chicken that had somehow fallen into the tiny abyss before we left for a three-day road trip.
That meant the former fowl was fermenting in my basement for several days before it was discovered.
We wrapped the offending (and offensive) chicken breast into several bags and threw it in the garbage before giving the are a serious cleaning.
I then proceeded to spray the room with half a can of that bathroom deodorizer stuff.
So then the room smelled like a summer meadow and rotting chicken. That fresh-smell-in-a-can just added a sickly sweet essence to the room.
I am convinced that despite names like 'summer meadow,' 'spring rain' and 'red rose,' those deodorizers all smell exactly the same. They just have different names so people think they are getting a different smell.
I bought this one fresh-air spray for my car that was called 'wild flower bouquet.'
Yeah right. It was more like 'toxic aroma' or 'industrial stench.'
It was the worst smelling air freshener I have ever encountered. It was hideous.
The first time I used it, I wished the original stink was back to overpower the smell of the air freshener.
I almost grabbed a pair of my son's sweat socks (with barbecue tongs of course) to improve the air quality in my little car.
In the end, I just drove around with the windows open and my head sticking out for the next day or two.
Thankfully I was able to do this, because it would have been hard to drive with a gasmask on.
Airing out the car was a lot faster and easier than airing out the basement. With the car you crank down the windows, drive at about 150 kilometres an hour and eventually the wind replaces the bad air with the good.
The basement in the townhouse did not have any windows, so I put a fan at the top of the stairs and forced the fresh air into the lower level of my home.
Eventually the basement was cleared and my humble home returned to its normal, pleasant-smelling abode, even with an abundance of teen age sweat socks threatening to be unleashed.