Deconstructing stink


Found this WSJ article via Newser.  Evidently a team at International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. is working on recreating the stench of garbage, cigarette butts and sweat so as to better understand and ultimately mask them.


3 Responses to “Deconstructing stink”

  1. dumpstertaoist Says:

    Heh, OK, clearly gotta throw my 2 cents in on this one. I feel qualified to do so based on my dumpster diving hobby, lol.

    The chemical manufacturing companies that make odor-masking products are taking it up another level here.

    I honestly think that our aversion to many “bad smells” is a combination of learned behavior and the result of marketing efforts by such companies since the 1950’s.

    Only in America do we run from smells so much. Most of the world just deals with them. Possibly because they just don’t bother them, or don’t even really stink to them.

    Some things stink like Hell, and produce an instant reaction in me. One of these things I rotten chicken, which I unfortunately have come across from time to time in my urban mining.

    But the general smell of garbage doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I kind of like it sometimes.

    At what point do reject the idea that we should be so isolated from experiencing the world as it really is? The real world smells a lot, often “bad”. Often it’s a sign you need to take the trash our or you haven’t cleaned something well. Nature gave us the ability to smell for our ow good, and we keep trying to cheat it….

  2. everydaytrash Says:

    Funny, I was just talking to an epidemiologist friend who thinks we’re afraid of being dirty and that by showering too much we aren’t building up enough immunity to germs and disease. A small layer of dirt, she says, keeps the doctor away. And she never gets sick.

  3. dumpstertaoist Says:

    Sounds pretty plausible yeah. I think immune systems can be weakened from lack of exposure, although what the heck do I really know bout that. Makes sense though. I’m rarely sick myself, though I do love long showers and lots of em. Maybe I should cut back to be green, imagine that…..

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