16 Stories

One Whiff of Blood Molecule Separates Hunters, Hunted

Scent of E2D triggers widely different reactions in animals, including humans

(Newser) - Scientists have zeroed in on a molecule in blood whose very scent triggers alarm in humans but also beckons predators. In fact, one whiff of the E2D molecule causes animals of all kinds to act in "diametrically opposite" ways, suggesting that it's been around for eons and responses... More »

Roses May Soon Smell Much Sweeter

Gene could be reactivated to give scentless roses a sweet smell

(Newser) - Breeding over hundreds of generations has helped roses look better and live longer, but at the expense of their sweet-smelling scent, reports the AP . After all, those buying bouquets don't really care about a flower's ability to attract pollinators. A new study in the journal Science , however, may... More »

How Raindrops Get Their Smell

MIT researchers reveal the mechanism that releases the earthy smell of fresh rain

(Newser) - If you think rain has a distinct scent, you're not imagining it. Petrichor, that earthy smell that accompanies light showers, could be the result of raindrops releasing aerosols, which are tiny amounts of liquid suspended in gas, reports MIT News . "Rain happens every day—it’s raining now,... More »

Now You Can Smell Famous Death Scenes

Museum puts you in a morgue-like box to explore storytelling through scent

(Newser) - If you've ever wondered what it was like at the scene of someone's death, scientists in the Netherlands are taking you one morbid step closer. They've created a new and unusual museum exhibit that pipes the sounds and smells of four famous death scenes into boxes, like... More »

Why Your House Doesn't Smell —to You

Your brain can effectively 'turn off' the scent

(Newser) - Ever noticed how your friends' homes have a distinct scent—but yours doesn't? Or wondered why the smell of your perfume doesn't get to you after a while? It's essentially because your brain has noticed these scents, registered them as unproblematic, and decided to ignore them, an... More »

Now Possible: Email You Can Smell

First fragrant message 'scent' across the Atlantic

(Newser) - For the first time, a smell has been sent across the Atlantic. Scientists on Tuesday emailed a fragrant photo from Paris to the the Museum of Natural History in New York. The email featured an image of food (specifically, passion fruit macaroons, notes Yahoo! ) and champagne tagged with the... More »

NY Art Museum to Open Exhibit of ... Smells

Chandler Burr explains the world of 'olfactory art'

(Newser) - You won't be able to go and see the special exhibit the New York Museum of Art and Design is opening on November 13—but you will be able to go and smell it. The show, The Art of Scent: 1889-2012 is a first-of-its-kind exhibition of what Chandler Burr... More »

Calvin Klein's 'Obsession' Entrances Big Cats

Men's scent becomes secret weapon for zookeepers

(Newser) - Obsession for Men, Calvin Klein's musky scent for guys, may or may not work to lure the ladies, but it's a huge hit with tigers, leopards, and jaguars of both sexes. It's become the secret weapon of zoologists trying to entice big cats to linger, the Wall Street Journal reports.... More »

Lawsuits Raise Stink Over Police Dogs' 'Scent Evidence'

(Newser) - Recent lawsuits are bringing the reliability of police dogs’ noses into question, USA Today reports. Since 2004, three men have been released after wrongful convictions based partially on scent evidence, and two current federal suits target a well-known Texas deputy who works with his dogs across the nation. “It’... More »

Opera Sounds Good, But How Does It Smell?

New work opening at Guggenheim blasts 23 scents at audience

(Newser) - A new opera premiering at the Guggenheim Museum in New York later this month will be a feast for the ears, the eyes—and the nose. Green Aria, a 30-minute "scent opera" years in the making, pairs music with 23 distinct odors blasted at the audience via individual... More »

NY Maple Aroma Mystery Solved

NJ fragrance factory source of mysterious smell

(Newser) - The maple syrup-like smell that pervaded Manhattan at certain times in recent years, puzzling residents and government officials, came from a New Jersey factory, the New York Post reports. After a lengthy investigation, city officials today revealed that the aroma originated at the Frutarom fragrance factory, which produces ester, a... More »

Companies Spice Up the Smell Of Clean

Moroccan bazaar scent says you tidied up ... even if you barely did

(Newser) - Makers of household products are constantly working to redefine the smell of clean, the Wall Street Journal reports, even as Americans are spending 40% less time actually tidying up than they did 40 years ago. One of the newest is Procter & Gamble’s Moroccan Bazaar, a ginger-edged scent for... More »

Advertisers Go for the Nose

It's not just perfume in magazines anymore

(Newser) - If you think scented advertising begins and ends with old-school scratch-and-sniff ads, brace yourself, and your nose, for a coming assault. It's sort of a double-whammy in the advertising world, Salon reports: Marketers are learning more every day about how smells hold sway over our emotions, and chemists can synthesize... More »

Designer Perfume Profits Give Off Whiff of Decay

Expensive luxury fragrances wooing less and less consumers

(Newser) - Perfume makers keep flooding the market with designer brands, but consumers appear to have had their fill. Global revenue from high-end perfumes—those $100 and up—increased only 3% to $18 billion in 2006 and is expected to slow even more this year, reports the Wall Street Journal. That's while... More »

Stench is in Nose of Beholder

Body odor perceived differently based on genetics, study shows

(Newser) - Good news for men with a nasty smell wafting under their arms: Scientists can prove why it's not so bad to everyone. A report published in Nature says that male sweat can invoke scents from urine to vanilla, thanks to tiny differences in a single receptor gene. How it reacts... More »

Are We Finally Ready for 'Smellovision'?

One Boston artist smells a comeback for funky technology

(Newser) - An olfactory entrepreneur is trying to revive "Smellovision"—the Edsel-era technology that pipes appropriate scents to movie audiences. Megan Dickerson has been showing "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" in an open-air theater outside the Boston Children's Museum, complete with the odors of blueberries and banana taffy.... More »

16 Stories