Does your Apple Retail Store smell like body odor?

“The other day a friend of mine mentioned that our local Santa Monica Apple Store smells bad. Like body odor,” Rocco Pendola writes for TheStreet. “Particularly in the morning at the entrance.”

“A simple Web search reveals that this problem is not exclusive to Apple Santa Monica. At least not historically. Most reports of a stench permeating Apple retail are from the pre-2013 period,” Pendola writes. “In fact, my unscientific, Google-fueled sample revealed that a majority date back to the 2008 to 2012 timeframe.”

“You would think if the presence of what even Santa Monica Apple Store employees I spoke with define as B.O. has been a recurring problem elsewhere, management in charge of retail operations would have taken steps to safeguard future stores, particularly the brand’s most important ones,” Pendola writes. “But, of course, after Ron Johnson left for J. C. Penney nobody, other than the underperforming John Browett (who lasted six months), was officially in charge of Apple retail for an entire year. Maybe job one for Angela Ahrendts is to address this known issue.”

Pendola writes, “I call it a ‘known issue’ because I spoke to two Apple Store Santa Monica employees this week who confirmed, without hesitation, that the store, at times, does indeed stink.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Browettized.

We know California has a never-ending water supply issue, but, sheesh, bathe people! At least use some deodorant/Antiperspirant (the real stuff, not that “organic, all-natural” crap that doesn’t work, either). And, no dropping by for a spare Lightning cable on your way home from the gym, either!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JES42” for the heads up.]


  1. I had an employee once about whom several other employees complained regarding body odor. The employee in question was a vegan, and the other employees attributed this employee’s odor to his eating habits. I don’t know if it was a factor or not, all I can tell you is that I was not in a comfortable position at all as the employer. As far as I know, they don’t make stinkometers, or any other measuring device that can be used to prove that the problem is in fact real, and not a manifestation of some inter-relational problem between employees.

    1. Knowing a number of vegans, I seriously doubt what this person ate had anything to do with their body stink. Using non-functional deodorant is far more likely. (We carnivores are far more likely to be malodorous than vegans, sad to say).

      And, as ever, there is the possibility of simply not bathing, known as the French Syndrome. 😉

  2. The Santa Monica store is located on a pedestrian mall that has more than its share of homeless population. The smell of urine is not unique to the Apple Store…I’m sure more than a few stores on 3rd Street have to contend with urine odors from the homeless who don’t have access to public bathrooms at night.

    When I lived in New York, many of the subway stations had the same aroma wafting through most mornings, and for exactly the same reasons. And don’t even get me started on the alleys in Chicago, especially those behind pubs and bars.

      1. After coming out of the New York City subways even Apple retail stores smell much sweeter. Practically everything stinks in Manhattan so there isn’t much difference wherever you go. It’s a multi-cultural city where immigrants think they’re living under the same poverty-filled conditions they came from and don’t bother to bathe or use deodorants. Anyway, I hear some cultures don’t believe in bathing because it weakens the immune system or something.

        As far as the Apple stores go, I’d say the whole Apple franchise is beginning to rot internally. It would be so easy for Apple to install air purifiers at each and every store. Even in my house I have some battery-powered Glade automatic dispensers that puff out air freshener every so often. There is no reason for Apple stores to have a bad scent no matter what of the amount of traffic. Setting up a decent HVAC system shouldn’t be that much of a difficulty for a company of Apple’s wealth.

        Whoever is now in charge of Apple’s retail outlets should look into this problem and come up with a solution as soon as possible. Too many people are finding fault in whatever Apple does. Apple’s reputation is being completely ruined at every turn thanks to wet noodle CEO Tim Cook.

    1. Exactly what I was going to say. Every morning, every sheltered doorway in downtown Portland smells like urine, which as it ages begins to smell like BO. I know this because I had to be on the job at 6 am, and in order to pay only $10 a day for parking (instead of $18) I parked about 6 blocks away from work and walked.

  3. This is not urine, and it’s not homeless. It’s in the store, and it’s there at opening. If you are the first person in the store in the morning, you smell it. And while it’s stronger near the front of the store, you can smell it throughout. I mention it to the employees every time I walk into the store and they are all aware of it. The old Apple store, which was two blocks up and had MORE homeless people nearby due to the proximity of the McDonald’s Dollar Menu, never smelled this way.

    After they have the front doors propped open all day, it gets better, but it’s still there. It’s something in the store, and it’s not the homeless.

        1. iBook G3 for sure, I have my cousin’s old one with dead hard drive in storage… Meant to disassemble the iBook to get the drive out and maybe replace it but the BO smell is so overwhelmingly obnoxious I can’t work on it inside the house at all and will have to wait til spring.

          My 2006 MacBook is also a little stinky with the same odour after turning it on after weeks asleep or shut down. Not as bad but still…

          1. are we the only one’s who recognize this as the problem?? I don’t think it’s the stores. I think it’s certain products. In the metal or plastic combined with the heat.

      1. I was going to posit that it’s probably the glue they use in the furniture or something. There was some kind of rubberized plastic that used to be used for wiring insulation that as it aged under certain conditions began to smell like vomit. Never will forget my experience with that.

  4. Long long ago apple store had aromatizers. I know I worked at R016. They stopped using it for some reason. Newer stores didn’t have them. When we’d come back after a break it would smell a little like a barn :-/ Lots of people not a lot of hygiene.

  5. I worke with someone in the NY Soho store that reeked of garlic. It was so bad I had to keep moving away. and when I would move away- he would move forward .Couldn’t wait to escape

  6. Next stop for Rocco Pendola: penning his next piece in human excrement. Do you think young Rocco sat at his typewriter as a child fantasizing about the day he’d get to write about smells in the entrances of technology retailers?

    Expect the upstairs neighbor to continue hearing Rocco get drunk and break things on a nightly basis or to hear a single gunshot in the middle of some night soon.

    And then smelling something like BO in a week or 2.

  7. There is an infamous type of plastic that, when aged, will give off the stench of an old geezer’s butt stink. It is a pliable/bendable plastic I have found is commonly used for box fan grills. The stink his horrible. Overnight, the plastic would just sit in stagnant air. The venting stench would therefore build up in one place until someone opens the doors in the morning.

    Either than or that store is being haunted by a particularly smelly geek ghost. I’ve known of people who, for gawd knows what reason, can’t sense their own stink and don’t commonly bathe. In previous centuries we might have suspected they came from France. Urban rumor has it that such people continue to stink after their demise. It’s time to call Ghost Hunters.

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