Chemists are trying to replicate the odors of stale smoke and rotting garbage in a quest to make America a better-smelling place, the Wall Street Journal reports. A specialist squad working for the International Flavors and Fragrances company captures common bad household smells, brings them back to the lab, and tries to recreate them in order to concoct better deodorizers.
Working with the stench of smoke, garbage, sweat, and mildew is a malodorous job—as well as a tough one. Most bad smells have a biological source, meaning no two are exactly the same. Smell-neutralizing products based on the team's top-secret work may hit the market soon—although experts say that getting rid of the source of the stench is still the surest way to stop bad smells.