A Creosote Bush outside the house in Tucson
According to Wikipedia --
Wood creosote is a colorless to yellowish greasy liquid with a smoky odor and burned taste. Other than looks and taste, the chemical makeup is totally different than coal tar creosote. It is made of guaiacol, creosol, o-cresol, and 4-ethylguaiacol, plant phenolics, rather than petrochemicals. Wood creosote has been used as a disinfectant, a laxative, and a cough treatment, but these have mostly been replaced by newer medicines.
And also from Wikipedia:
Another form of creosote is coal tar creosote. Coal tar creosote is the most widely used wood preservative in the world. It is a thick, oily liquid typically amber to black in colour. The American Wood Preservers' Association states that creosote "shall be a distillate derived entirely from tars produced from the carbonization of bituminous coal." Coal tar used for certain applications may be a mixture of coal tar distillate and coal tar The prevailing use of creosote to preserve wooden utilities/telephone poles, railroad cross ties, switch ties and bridge timbers from decay. Coal tar products are also used in medicines to treat diseases such as psoriasis, and as animal and bird repellents, insecticides, animal dips, and fungicides. Some over the counter anti-dandruff shampoos contain coal tar solutions. Due to its carcinogenic character, the European Union has regulated the quality of creosote for the EU market and requires that the sale of creosote be limited to professional users
...End of Wiki entry
As I said -- I, too, harbor memories of the odor of creosote (which until recently I mistakenly ascribed to being the smell of kerosene) emanating up from the ties beneath the the rails of the old Monon Railroad which played a formative role in the mush-brained mentality of my early juvenile years. The time when I decided to run away from home and live a life of my own...
But that, of course, is another story.
And I don't feel like writing today.
. . .