Space Smells, or The Complex Aromatic Profile of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko


The Complex Aromatic Profile of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

The recreation of « real-world » scents now includes a new outer-space olfactory form smelt by the Philae lander off the rocks of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Its aromatic profile is less than shy...

« Writing on the European Space Agency's blog late in 2014, when a new batch of chemicals were detected on the comet, Kathrin Altwegg of the University of Bern said that most people should probably be grateful that they could not smell it. "The perfume of 67P/C-G is quite strong, with the odour of rotten eggs, horse stable (ammonia), and the pungent, suffocating odour of formaldehyde," she wrote.

"This is mixed with the faint, bitter, almond-like aroma of hydrogen cyanide. Add a whiff of alcohol (methanol) to this mixture, paired with the vinegar-like aroma of sulphur dioxide and a hint of the sweet aromatic scent of carbon disulphide, and you arrive at the 'perfume' of our comet." »

The fragrance was reproduced by the Aroma Company in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, to be sniffed off postcards at the Royal Society's summer exhibition on Pall Mall in July 2016.

Via The Times: Eau de comet . . . perfect when you need some space

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