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smells

Should there be any concern about working in an environment with continuous exposure to “new tire smell?”

22 Feb 2018

The short answer is that if you note a scent, some of the chemicals responsible for the aroma are finding their way into your body. Whether or not these are harmful depends on which specific...

Can baking soda really absorb odors in the fridge?

30 Oct 2017

Smells of course are caused by volatile compounds which stimulate receptors in our nose. There is a large variety of such compounds with a great diversity of molecular structures. But many of the...

Aromatherapy: Fragrant Medicine or Stinky Pseudoscience?

28 Sep 2017

You may believe that essential oils possess curative powers. Many websites praise the numerous healing properties of these concentrated smelly compounds, from the immune-boosting potential of...

Aromatherapy

31 May 2017

The term “aromatherapy” was first coined in 1937 by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a French chemist, whose badly burned arm was supposedly miraculously cured by the use of lavender oil. Jean Valnet...

Why Do Old Books Smell So Good?

13 May 2017

E-readers might be convenient, but they’ll never have that comforting old book smell. It turns out that the smell of old books is due to the organic materials in books (like cellulose from wood...

Bourgeonal Odour

10 May 2017

Bourgeonal is an aromatic aldehyde used in perfumery with a fragrance resembling that of the Lily of the Valley.  What’s so special about this fragrance? It is secreted by the ovum within the...

S-methylthioacrylate, S-methyl-3-(methylthio)thiopropionate and Asparagus?

20 Mar 2017

Asparagus is a wonderful vegetable. Both in taste and in its chemistry. One aspect of its chemistry has been apparent for a long time. A French book on food published in 1702 noted that asparagus...

What Is Activated Carbon?

20 Mar 2017

Many people are plagued by the problem of fragrant feet. But there are shoe inserts that claim to solve the problem. They make use of a remarkable material called activated carbon. “Activated” in...

The Story of Perfume

20 Mar 2017

“Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that the winds were love-sick with them,” Shakespeare wrote. Cleopatra is said to have greeted Marc Antony on a boat with perfumed sails after the assassination...

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