Pungent New Fragrance Takes Taiwan By Storm
Posted on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 12:09 am.
Taiwan is known for its strange trends like cartoon backpacks [
link], cat cafes [ link], and crazy music videos [ link][ link]. But as TaiwaneseAmerican.org’s Taiwan correspondent Andrea Chu has reported to us, Stinky Tofu perfume? We’re not sure about this one, Taiwan. Though most of these fads don’t really affect others, this olfactory trend is causing quite a controversy. Like the food itself, people are loving it or hating it.
Taiwanese knock-off fragrance maker “Jaime” released its His & Her “TofuTofu” 《豆腐豆腐》line last month as a gag gift for ex-lovers on “ White Day.” To their surprise, within two weeks, all stores that agreed to carry it were sold out. Brand owner Chou Shu Hao (周書豪) was clearly in shock, saying that “We thought only heartbroken youths would buy it for their exes. Little did we know, some college students started buying it for themselves!” 1
Wang Jie-Bo (王杰柏), a junior at National Chengchi University (NCCU), considers it a good way to sort through potential lovers. “I grew up loving to eat stinky tofu – whenever I smell it I think of my home in Tainan. I also feel like I have better chemistry with girls who like to eat stinky tofu too!”
2 However, Liang Cheng-Lin (梁丞林), a senior at National Taiwan University (NTU) feels differently. “It’s kind of a disturbance. I don’t want to be smelling stinky tofu while I’m sitting in class!” 3
The prevalence of the scent has caused some disturbances with public transportation, as many are uncomfortable with the pungent aroma of the mixed-popularity Taiwanese food. Li Ying-Lien (李英蓮), the spokesperson for the
Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) expressed concern of the perfume’s effect on the perceived cleanliness of the Taipei Metro (MRT). “We are currently investigating the perfume situation before we make any policy changes. Rest assured, the TRTC will continue to provide clean and safe transportation for all of its passengers.” 4
Will this trend continue on? Or will it be quashed, by the public or the government?
3 “我其實不太喜歡臭豆腐 – 我上課的時候不想聞到臭豆腐的味道！”
For more information on the topic or any translation corrections, please contact the author at
Stinky Tofu – By Charlene C