Fragrance News This Week in Fragrance: Petrichor, Peanut Butter and Phone Smells

This Week in Fragrance: Petrichor, Peanut Butter and Phone Smells

05/04/16 13:53:34 (10 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Fragrantica member Playtime shared this interesting article in our Fragrance News Thread, and as it is raining outside as I write this, what better way to start!? Howard Poynton of TheConversation.com addresses the origin of the word Petrichor:

Australia’s CSIRO has come up with some pretty amazing inventions over the past 86 years of research, from polymer banknotes to insect repellent and the world-changing Wi-Fi. But we can also lay claim to something a little more esoteric – we actually invented a whole new word. And no, we’re not talking about one of these new-fangled internet words like “YOLO”, “selfie” or “totes”. The word is “petrichor”, and it’s used to describe the distinct scent of rain in the air. Or, to be more precise, it’s the name of an oil that’s released from the earth into the air before rain begins to fall.

The article is a fascinating look into the naming of the aroma of rain and the people behind the process.

CSIRO scientists Isabel (Joy) Bear and Richard Thomas

Nicola Twilley at NewYorker.com introduces the Cyrano attachment for cell phones and recounts recent attempts to text scent:

Two years ago, at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York, I witnessed David Edwards receive what he claimed was the world’s first transatlantic scent message—a soupçon of champagne and passion-fruit macarons, dispatched from Paris by the perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. Edwards is a biomedical engineer by training and a serial inventor by trade; among his creations are Le Whif, a delivery system for inhalable chocolate, and WikiPearl, a form of edible packaging for frozen yogurt and other foods. Laudamiel’s message was the first public demonstration of Edwards’s latest venture, Vapor Communications, and its first prototype, the oPhone. A large, brick-shaped device mounted with two smell-delivery tubes made of white plastic, the oPhone was intentionally designed to recall a flower planter, in order to help users feel comfortable leaning in for a sniff. From a built-in palette of thirty-two scent cartridges, it played back oNotes—photographs tagged with up to four smell words, from “buttery” to “fishy” to “yeasty brioche.”

I know it would be pretty difficult to pull off, but imagine the amazing wonder of being able to smell a fragrance from your phone...without ever having to travel to a Paris or Tokyo boutique. Although, would that accessibility lessen the experience in any way? You can read more about Edwards and the Cyrano at FastcoDesign.com.

Lindi Smith at WideOpenCountry.com investigates the aroma of old books:

We all know that smell — the heavenly smell of books, especially the old ones. Well, science has finally explained why old books smell so incredibly amazing. Cambridge chemistry teacher, Andy Brunning of Compound Interest, has figured out the reason why and so graciously shared it with the world. There has been more research done on the scent of old books than new ones because it is a way to check the condition of an old book. What the science boils down to is the breakdown of the chemical compounds of the paper. According to Compound Interest, old paper contains larger amounts of the chemicals cellulose and lignin, both of which contribute heavily to that unique old book smell.

Now that the science behind the aroma has been identified, can we expect "old book accord" to show up more and more as fragrance notes in future perfume projects?

The folks over at Sun-Gazing.com report on new research with peanut butter (!!) that suggests smell can be an early indicator of Alzheimers:

As the website “MNT” has reported, one of the first manifestations of cognitive decline, is a deficiency in sense of smell. Being able to detect smells has a direct link to the first cranial nerve; impairment in this area begins the downward functioning of cognition. This fact led a group of researchers at the University of Florida Health, led by Jennifer Stamps, to test the acuity of patients’ sense of smell as a potential avenue for early diagnosis of cognitive impairment.

Now, for those of us who have experienced a decline in our abilities to perceive aromas, let's not jump to any conclusions; Alzheimers.net points out "that impaired sense of smell [may be] associated with numerous cognitive impairments," not just Alzheimers. If you can no longer smell your peanut butter, best to make an appointment to see your physician.

Jereal Cawis at TechTimes.com explores how the scent of rosemary may aid memory:

The mood assessment results also showed significant evidence of rosemary increasing the alertness of the participants, while the lavender scent made them more calm and contented if compared to those who entered the room without any diffused aromatic essential oils. "These findings support previous research indicating that the aroma of rosemary essential oil can enhance cognitive functioning in healthy adults. This is the first time that similar effects have been demonstrated in the healthy over [65]," said Bussey.

Wow, so who's going to immediately open a new tab and order a bottle of rosemary essential oil?

Have interesting fragrance news for us to share?
Leave a comment in the new Fragrance News thread HERE.

 

 

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Managing Editor & Columnist

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as PlayboyMen’s JournalMen’s Health and the New York Times. Marlen also works as a graduate professor, thesis advisor and faculty supervisor for MA programs in TESOL, Education, Writing and Literature. Learn more about Marlen by visiting  www.MarlenHarrison.com.

 

 



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matty64
matty64

I prefer the smell of a new book!

Jun
27
2016
Purplegem
Purplegem

I actually dont like the smell of old books -smells a bit musty -but I know people who do, one of whom will open them and take a sniff and go 'ahh' (a man, if it makes any difference). Don't get me wrong, I love books in general.
I remember when I first joined fragrantica and was trying to become familiar with the notes listed in perfumes (I still am learning more about a few of them and how some smell when used together),and I remember thinking how some of them sounded a bit weird. 'Cashmere wood' for instance. Many were unexpected in perfumes. So, who knows, we may get something akin to 'books' or 'old book smell' in the future in the notes but perhaps it would be named in better words for a nostalgic cosy smell or something.

Jun
27
2016
interdite
interdite

Another book sniffer right here. I love the scent of old books but I also love the smell of old book shops, with their moldy carpets and moldy, damp corners. I also love rosemary eo and I use it almost everyday, mostly in shampoo. I love to use rosemary in cooking as well. It's one of my ultimate favorite herbs.

May
10
2016
perfumecritic
perfumecritic

Yay! I'm glad you guys are enjoying reading this regular feature as much as I'm enjoying researching and writing it!

May
10
2016
rickyrebarco
rickyrebarco

Adore the old book smell! One of my all time best scent moments was standing in the library of Trinity College Dublin and breathing in the amazing scent of old books, leather bindings, old wood bookcases and floors. Divine!!

I may have to start bringing sprigs of rosemary to work with me. Love that smell, also!

May
10
2016
Jernê Knowles
Jernê Knowles

How good it is to go beyond the colloquialism information and discover new discoveries through articles as well-designed and interesting! Congratulations to the Executive-Editor, I feel gratified by the proposed dialogue, very good all here.

May
09
2016
Perfumeaddict777
Perfumeaddict777

I didn't realize so many people love the smell of old books. Whenever my 9 year old reads or looks at books he smells the pages. He loves the smell of new and old, my 13 year old as well, and of course me! I would love to smell old books all day long! Interesting article.

May
05
2016
Ouch!
Ouch!

Petrichor is my favourite smell that exists in the universe.
Just mind blowing and makes me stop in my tracks and teleport!

May
05
2016
Fragaria
Fragaria

I wish to smell like old books....shhhh...don't tell anyone in the real world. :-)

May
05
2016
relle
relle

Really cool, thought provoking info!

May
04
2016

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