Smelling Oils

We like to cook at the Sneer Compound, and if our friends are cooking something, we like to try it too! I, especially, am easily influenced by the internet and want to try things that my friends are trying. It’s fun! I want everything to be a big adorable group activity, even cooking from afar.

But one day, the smell of olive oil is mentioned. It’s mentioned as too strong for someone. The discussion continues, bubbles over. People take sides. Olive oil doesn’t smell like anything. Olive oil has a very strong smell. Olive oil is pungent, but not in a bad way. Olive oil is stinky. Olive oil smells like olive oil.

The Bad Decision

So, I grabbed all of our cooking oils in Sneer HQ, to smell. We have eleven cooking oils, but six were infused, which felt like cheating for this particular experiment about fragrance.

“Is this enough,” I foolishly thought but also said to some fellow Sneerists. “What if I also tasted them?”

“Taste them,” came the possibly joking reply. “Take a swig of that canola.”

And so, dear readers, I did proceed to smell and taste every (non-infused) cooking oil we have. Just oil.

The Process

In a messy, half renovated kitchen, I gathered the oils on the counter, for an unexpert photo. You can see some signs of renovation behind the bottles, as we’ve emptied all our cabinets, and STUFF is everywhere.

Five cooking oils of varying sizes are lined up on a counter. In order they are Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Bertolli Extra Light Taste Olive Oil, Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Roland Cold-Pressed Virgin Pumpkin Seed Oil, and a gigantic bottle of Kroger Pure Canola Oil.

And so starts the terrible journey in which I ate some oils and reported back to the internet. Don’t try this at home, probably (and definitely not on an empty stomach). Am I good at describing things? Absolutely not. Do I know a lot of food descriptor words? Haha no. I already know, as I open the first bottle, that this will not be helpful information.

Canola Oil

I tried canola first, figuring it would be the barest of both smells and tastes. If I went the opposite way, canola wouldn’t even register after some robust olive oil, I decided. It is a store-brand (Kroger) bottle of a whole lot of “pure” canola oil. We bought this to use for frying things, like delicious fried green tomatoes, but as you can see it is not something we often use.

Smell: Canola: Incredibly faint smell but it’s there. Oily. Oily smell. Nothing else.

Taste: Tastes like nothing, with an additional aftertaste of a different kind of nothing.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

Okay first, the pumpkin seed oil can calls it very fragrant. This felt like a spoiler, but I realized it could just be marketing. This can of oil is by Roland, and is Virgin, Cold-Pressed Pumpkin Seed Oil, from France. It was purchased out of curiosity along with some other slightly less common oils, not pictured.

Smell: Not very fragrant, the canister lied. It does have some fragrance though, and smells of more than only oil, a bit like roasted seeds.

Taste: Very lightly like roasted pumpkin seeds with an aftertaste of Just Oil.

Notes: After my initial report, we used this oil on some grilled vegetables for a very delicious dinner. Highly recommend.

The Olive Oils

At this point, both my phone and I were very oily. Nearly covered in oil. This is also where I started to receive warnings from everyone, flying in the face of the earlier encouragement to taste the oils.

Dollissa drawn very erratically and shakily, looking very tired and frazzled.

Hahah don’t get sick from oil overload

Melissa dont take too much oil inside of your body youll get sick and not want to do your volunteering tomorrow!!!!

I just assumed she had a spittoon

I drank some water to get the persistent pumpkin oil taste out of my mouth, took a quick break, and got back to my foolish, pointless endeavor.

Extra Light

The first of the olive oils that I tried was Bertolli Extra Light Taste Olive Oil. It is around for frying and baking, if we ever do. I am no longer enthusiastic about this experiment.

Smell: Very barely of… olive oil.

Taste: Nothingy, like the canola. A nothing coating of the tongue.


This Pompeiian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil, First Cold-Pressed has a lot in its description. It is used for most of my cooking and I routinely toss some in a pan to get started. It’s a familiar smell, but I smelled it anyway, for you.

Smell: A LOT like uhh I mean… olive oil. It smells like olive oil. Strongly. With a big whiff, it tickles the nose.

Taste: Great, tasty taste. There is no extra, different aftertaste. It tastes a bit smokey, olive-y.

Hojiblanca EVOO

I am excited to be on the last oil. I don’t know why I even did any of this. I have received more warnings.

I bought this oil at the one and only (okay fine there are two) Jungle Jim’s International Market, after tasting it in the store within JJim’s. I tried a few oils that day, but this one was spicy, fresh, and so flavorful. I bought it, along with some canisters to put my infused oils in for better storage and pouring. I meant it for dipping or marinades, but it turns out I never even opened it, until now.

Smell: Light fragrance, citrusy and a little smokey.

Taste: Hojiblanca evoo: Tastes like I want to describe it like a wine, if I didn’t hate wine. Light, almost citrusy, and with kick.

Notes: This was the last oil to taste. I then ate a bunch of toasted bread (regular ol’ sliced sandwich wheat bread) dipped in this oil with cracked pepper.

Additional Reports

We had a one guest, xylo, file a report of her own:

Sesame oil tastes like sesame, I can report. And smells like sesame.

I still have all these infused oils to report on, including two I made myself with fresh basils and with garlic and thyme. Will I have it in me? Will I go overboard on this thing I shouldn’t do already, and grant the last request I received?

I have a followup request for the oil experiment. Please heat each one in a pan like you were going to sauté in it and then do a smell report. A taste report of hot oil is probably not necessary.

I sure hope not.

Sneer Back

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.