Pears are in the genus Pyrus. The pears we eat come from trees in this genus, but most of the pear trees planted along streets and in gardens are just decorative. The fruit they make is very small and probably not very tasty.
Stinkier than a ginkgo? I'm not sure which tree's scent is more repulsive. The pear has deceiving looks. These globular panicles of white flowers draw you towards the trees, promising beauty and lightness... and then the stench hits you.
I like the contrast of the immature purple anthers against the white petals.