The smelly world of Pokemon and the Fragrant Four…

As if you weren’t already aware, Pokemon is a series of roleplaying games that is now on its Ninth generation with Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet – every generation adding new creatures to catch and battle with.

The Ninth generation has introduced yet another smelly Pokemon, called Oinkologne (yes, this is real) – and the male and female apparently smell different. With this pleasant smelling pig inserted into my brain, I immediately decided there needed to be a Basenotes Fragrant Four.

Fragrance has been a long standing element of the Pokemon games. Each Pokemon has a description in the Pokedex, with a little factoid that is supposed to be interesting, but often ends up being absolutely terrifying (Phantump’s entry reads “These Pokémon are stumps possessed by the spirits of children who died in the forest. Their cries sound like eerie screams.”) Also, in order to breed certain baby Pokemon, you must equip specific incenses to a matching Pokemon – including rose incense, pure incense, odd incense and of course, rock incense.

The Sixth generation was set in the Kalos region – clearly based on France – with most of the towns named after perfumery concepts or ingredients. Starting from Vaniville Town (vanille/vanilla), you head off to Aquacorde Town (aqua-accord). Santalune City (santal), Camphrier Town (camphor), Cyllage City (sillage), Ambrette Town, Coumarine City, Laverre City (lavender), Geosenge Town (ginseng), Snowbelle City (another name for styrax), Anistar City (star anise), Kiloude City (oud – it’s a little reach, but in the Japanese version it’s named for Kinan-ko / Kinan City – another word for agarwood), as well as Couriway Town (caraway). The champion of the region – the very last person you fight before becoming the champion yourself – is Diantha (from dianthus/carnation). There’s even a Parfum Palace. Perhaps a little heavy handed, but nonetheless, joyful for a perfume loving Pokemon fan.

So, let’s meet the Basenotes Fragrant Four – our elite trainers specialising in scented Pokemon of all forms.

A perfumer by day and skilled trainer by night, Nez is the leader of the Fragrant Four. Nez’s team is formed of Pokemon with magnificent noses.

Swinub: If it smells something enticing, it dashes headlong off to find the source of the aroma.

Phanphy: It is far stronger than it appears. If a Phanpy is swinging its trunk around and your arm gets hit by it, your arm bone will shatter.

Slurpuff: (pictured) Its sense of smell is 100 million times better than a human’s, so even the faintest scent tells it about everything in the area. It’s like it can see with its nose!

Nosepass: Its magnetic nose always faces north and draws iron objects to its body to protect itself better.

Copperajah: Its massive nose can utterly demolish large structures with a single smashing blow.

Previously a florist before rising to the heights of the Fragrant Four, Fleur’s team is composed of grass pokemon, related to plants and flowers.

Roserade (pictured): After captivating opponents with its sweet scent, it lashes them with its thorny whips.

Lilligant: The fragrance of the garland on its head has a relaxing effect, but taking care of it is very difficult.

Venusaur: After a rainy day, the flower on its back smells stronger. The scent attracts other Pokémon.

Meganium: The aroma that rises from its petals contains a substance that calms aggressive feelings.

Appletun: Eating a sweet apple caused its evolution. A nectarous scent wafts from its body, luring in the bug Pokémon it preys on.

A teenager that refuses to wash, but a talented trainer nonetheless, Mal’s team is made of entirely unpleasant smelling pokemon.

Gulpin: There is nothing its stomach can’t digest. While it is digesting, vile, overpowering gases are expelled.

Muk: The stench it gives off will make your nose scrunch up. Still, there are Muk fans who think that’s a good thing.

Garbodor: (Pictured) It clenches opponents with its left arm and finishes them off with foul-smelling poison gas belched from its mouth.

Skuntank: In its belly, it reserves stinky fluid that it shoots from its tail during battle. As this Pokémon’s diet varies, so does the stench of its fluid.

Gloom: Its pistils exude an incredibly foul odor. The horrid stench can cause fainting at a distance of 1.25 miles.

Kaori is a fragrance obsessed woman and deadly trainer with an affinity for fairy types who produce delicate scents.

Comfey: It attaches flowers to its highly nutritious vine. This revitalizes the flowers, and they give off an aromatic scent.
FUN FACT: the French name for this pokemon is Guérilande which is shockingly similar to Guerlinade.

Spritzee: (Pictured) In the past, rather than using perfume, royal ladies carried a Spritzee that would waft a fragrance they liked.

Aromatisse: It devises various scents, pleasant and unpleasant, and emits scents that its enemies dislike in order to gain an edge in battle.

Oinkologne (F): This is a meticulous Pokémon that likes to keep things tidy. It shrouds itself in a floral aroma that soothes the Pokémon around it.

Oinkologne (M): It entrances female Pokémon with the sweet, alluring scent that wafts from all over its body.

Now you’ve met the Fragrant Four, which smelly Pokemon would you have on your team?

Pokemon Trainer Images: Kay

About the Author

  • Nick Gilbert

    Nick has been working in the world of fragrance for over 15 years. He is co-founder of Olfiction, a creative scent agency offering fragrance development, training, copy and content production. He is frequently quoted in the press and has provided perfumery training globally, from London to Seoul.

Loading new replies...

I guess I am too old to understand the Pokemon phenomenon. Need to ask my grandchildren to shed more light on this.

Reply 1 Like

I guess I am too old to understand the Pokemon phenomenon. Need to ask my grandchildren to shed more light on this.

If it helps, I've no idea either ;)

Reply 2 Likes

I have no clue either but it sound really interesting, with the classic pokemon trainer added with perfume smelling talents. I guess it is a new take on story

Reply Like

Sadly I'm totally ignorant of all things Pokemon, other than knowing it's a game. But the characters sound fun. I'd go with Kaori, if only because of the two Oinkologne.

Reply 1 Like

Haha awesome! I grew up with Pokemon and actually started playing the online TCG recently, I got my partner's kids into it as well (the youngest is the main one that remains into the cards). Super cool stuff, I had a TON of cards back in the day, and played the RPG games on GameBoy. I think 'we' have one of the games on Switch so far. Nice to see two different interests/hobbies collide.

Reply 1 Like

I guess I'm just too old and set in my ways to understand any of this.

Reply Like

Cute! I had to deal with the early generations of Pokémon in my kid-raising days. Their fake zoology is kinda fun, and just a reinvention of superhero universes, TV heroes, mythical creatures and legends, and the like. Kudos for these awesome trainers! 💚 And very neat that the official folks raided perfume universe for part of their world. (I will make sure that everybody in Perfume City hears about it! ;) )

Reply Like