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About (Late) Last Night: Taylor Swift smells like 'expensive wood' on Letterman

October 27, 2010 |  6:41 am

"Please don't take this the wrong way," David Letterman told Taylor Swift Tuesday night on the "Late Show." Considering whom he was talking to -- not just a 20-year-old woman, but America's latest, most unassailable sweetheart -- Letterman was skating on thin ice. Thankfully, the potentially offending remark erred on the right side of ridiculous and resulted only in Swift's signature "So shocked!" face and big laughs. "You smell like expensive wood," he told her.

"That is the most unique compliment I've ever gotten," Swift said after collecting herself. It's sure to be a week of many compliments for the singer, whose spirited third album, "Speak Now," was released Monday. On with Letterman, she looked luminous in a yellow dress and red lipstick. Apparently, she smelled of forest.

Letterman's remarks about her wood scent segued perfectly into a nugget about Swift's not-so-distant childhood. "You grew up on a Christmas tree farm, is that right?" he asked. Swift spoke of wintry Pennsylvania and the person it might have made her.

"You end up being the person that rolls their eyes at Christmas," she explained. "Or you can be like really obnoxious, Christmas sweater, gingerbread cookie girl. Raise your hand if you're her." Swift raised her right hand. Letterman applauded, as if to say, this girl right here, she is a performer. Her charm levels never dip -- they just climb steadily.

But the host went back to her smell. "This is going to sound awful," he warned again, "but it's almost like a Christmas tree lot."

"I smell like a tree, is what you're saying," Swift said. "There's something going on here and I'm right about it, right?" Letterman insisted. Swift, who had been sitting with her hands clasped tightly around her knee, stuttered, nodded and then consented to a fist-bump with the rambling host. Whatever you say, old man. She smiled and kept shining.

-- Joe Coscarelli