East Millinocket — A former mill worker busted a myth comparing the smell of paper mills with the smell of money.
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“They’re completely different smells,” Eric Golieb said. “For years we always said ‘smells like money to me,’ but I don’t know what we were even thinking.”
Golieb once worked at the Great Northern Paper mill, the recently shuttered mill and employer of over 200 workers.
United States currency is made of cotton and linen, giving it a subtle, almost sweet smell unlike anything resembling the pungent, piercing odor of a fully operational paper mill.
For years, when someone from out of town would comment on the unique aroma, residents would fire back that it “smelled like money,” something Golieb now admits was simply not true.
“I remember the smell of the mill. It was not a good smell,” he said.
Unfortunately, memories of the smell of the paper mill are fading fast in this town. In many cases, such colloquialisms turn into agreed-upon facts with the passage of time.
Golieb doesn’t think such an occurrence will happen to the people of East Millinocket.
“People won’t link the smell of paper mills to the smell of money for much longer,” he told us.
“Everyone’s forgetting what it smelled like, and it’s not easy to get your hands on money if you feel like having a sniff.”
“To be honest, money would smell pretty great right about now.”
On Maine’s coast, lobstermen report rotten bait still smells like money, however.