"'There are recognizable patterns of each person’s body odor that remain steady….Therefore, every person has his/hers own odor and this would allow his/her identification within a group of people at an accurate rate higher than 85%. This result leads the way to improve personal identification that is less aggressive than other biometric techniques being used today.' The system could eventually be installed in airport to 'sniff' passenger as they pass through."
Today's Odor: Hot mothballs in a manure fire. Gentle kisses of body odor stained carpet.
— Gowanus Canal (@Gowanus_Daily) November 20, 2012
"It is the nasal equivalent of white noise, researchers report today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Just as white noise is a mixture of many different sound frequencies and white light is a mixture of many different wavelengths, olfactory white is a mixture of many different smelly compounds." —Hoping that the Gowanus Canal's "Today's Odor" is the newly discovered "olfactory white" soon.
So what are THE SMELLS? Take it away, Science! Working with a standard set of data, Andrew Dravniek's 1985 Atlas of Odor Character Profiles, the researchers applied a mathematical method to simplify the olfactory information into coherent categories, similar to the way compressing a digital audio or image file reduces the file's size without, ideally, compromising its usefulness. The team identified 10 basic odor qualities: fragrant, woody/resinous, fruity (non-citrus), chemical, minty/peppermint, sweet, popcorn, lemon and two kinds of sickening odors: pungent and decayed.
On a mild April night some years ago, I walked past a college dorm in New Haven and smelled something I couldn’t place. It reminded me vaguely of swimming pools. Was it chlorine? I sniffed again, more deeply than before. Suddenly I knew exactly what it was and hurried away, internally berating an unseen teenage boy. A few evenings later, in the same spot, I smelled it again. Filled with a sense of moral outrage I looked around, I looked up, and identified the culprit: A tree.
More precisely, a Callery Pear, or Pyrus calleryana, a deciduous tree that’s common throughout North America. It blossoms in early spring and produces [...]