A Scented Instrument? Nothing new…!

1922-june-science-and-invention-sm

The “smell organ” as illustrated by Frank R. Paul in the June 1922 issue of Science and Invention

This week I ran into something really, really, really cool. Have you ever thought of an instrument that can play…scents?? I swear when I read this is I was totally shocked! Although there’s no evidence this was ever actually constructed, the idea is Continue reading

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What Scent Reminds You of Autumn?

The results are in from our last poll! For those of you that didn’t get a chance to take our poll, the question was, “What scent reminds you of autumn?” The scent with the most votes was wet leaves, with 54% of the votes. I will also have to agree that the smell of wet leaves reminds me that fall has officially started and that winter is just around the corner. I can remember all the times I had to get up early and make the two mile trek to school, every time I took my first step out the door; I could smell the crisp scent of wet leaves in the air. The smell of wet leaves is quite a pleasant smell.

Currently there Continue reading

How do we Know that Scents are Safe? Part 2

Whether the flavors or fragrances are constructed of natural or synthetic ingredients we have established that both can contribute to the list of safe ingredients and to the list of un-safe ingredients.  The origin of the ingredient is a moot point – it is the structure of the ingredient that determines its toxicity / safety profile.  [To be clear, the source can be a differentiating factor IF there are multiple ingredients associated with one source or the other including but not limited to structural isomers of the principal ingredient(s). For instance nature frequently creates l (or d) isomers while synthetic versions are usually racemic mixtures (containing both isomers in equal quantities).]
In the group of ingredients that are routinely used by many to construct fragrances and sometimes flavors there are items for which their safe use has been observed for decades and even longer and yet there are still detractors who claim that Continue reading

How do we Know that Scents are Safe? Part 1

The creation of fragrances that are used in so many products, from fine fragrances to hair care products to scented candles to cleaning products – literally thousands and thousands of products – requires many hundreds and even thousands of different fragrance ingredients.  It isn’t enough to think that creating a scent that smells like oranges or grapefruit or any other recognizable, descriptive scent that we know very well will be safe simply because it smells like things that we KNOW in our life experiences to be safe.  Is it safe if it is all-natural?  As it turns out, it may not be even then.  So how do we handle this potential problem?
We start by grounding ourselves with facts.  First, the most potent toxins known to man are all-natural.  One example: aflatoxin.  Second, regardless of the source (natural OR not) if a single chemical structure is derived from natural sources and it is purified OR if it is made synthetically and it is purified (purified is KEY for both) then the toxicity profile will be the same for each.  Third, an ingredient as described above will usually have an effect on tissue when it is applied at a Continue reading

How would you perfume these photos?

Le Louvre, London National Gallery, Uffizi, SFMOMA, NY Guggenheim… Many times I’ve stopped in front of great pieces of art and started wondering what the painter was thinking about while painting it (in a positive sense….most of the times!), in which environment he/she painted it, what kind of feelings he/she was trying to convey with it.. and so which kind of scents he/she wanted us to think about.
Has it ever happen to you? So today’s post Continue reading