It Stinks
December 21, 2010 3:17 AM   Subscribe


'We have a few clues as to what space smells like. First of all, there were interviews with astronauts that we were given, when they had been outside and then returned to the space station and were de-suiting and taking off their helmets, they all reported quite particular odours.

It wasn't me. It was space.
posted by three blind mice at 3:26 AM on December 21, 2010

Teen Spirit.
posted by chavenet at 3:41 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

A smell of petroleum prevails throughout.
posted by Decani at 3:49 AM on December 21, 2010

Saxon Leech Book of Bald

Mods! Can I change my username? Please? For Christmas?
posted by the noob at 4:05 AM on December 21, 2010

Previously, for another space smell.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:44 AM on December 21, 2010

This thread stinks!*

*not really
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:05 AM on December 21, 2010

I'm sure the Middle Ages also smelled like smoke, from all the fires that were used for cooking, and horse manure.
posted by aetg at 6:47 AM on December 21, 2010

Preserving or simulating Xmas tree smell.

Pine oil is an essential oil obtained by the steam distillation of needles, twigs and cones from a variety of species of pine, particularly Pinus sylvestris.

Unh-uh, no eyeing the neighbors' trees now.
posted by Twang at 6:48 AM on December 21, 2010

We live in an old neighbourhood near the tourist district of our tourist town, so there are always horse-drawn carriage tours coming through. There's a particular spot where horses like to take a piss, and it stinks from May to October every year, and the actual street where the horse carriages hang out is worse. In fact, our entire neighbourhood just stinks during the summer.

I can only imagine what cities smelled like before the automobile.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:31 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Smell of victory in the morning. Toot!
posted by stormpooper at 8:47 AM on December 21, 2010

Outer space smells like fried steak, hot metal and welding a motorbike, scientists said today.

Yet another reason space is goddamn AWESOME.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:55 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I can only imagine what cities smelled like before the automobile.

You can find clues to this in the Imperial Spanish habit of getitng little open vials of sweet perfume around dress or as earrings. They served the dual purpose of masking smells around you and causing the ever-present flies to drown themselves in the vials.
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 AM on December 21, 2010

Re: Smell Graffiti

Graffitists in San Francisco in the 90's, particularly those who specialized in defacing MUNI buses and trains, gained notoriety for using special (and secret) formulations of paints and inks that smelled like candy to mask the distinctive odor of the solvents commonly used in permanent markers and paint pens.
posted by clorox at 2:35 PM on December 21, 2010

"summer recedes from the smell of dead green light"
posted by clavdivs at 3:44 PM on December 21, 2010

I thought the link about "pharaohs" would actually refer to the smell of royal mummies, which I have heard is actually very spicy and almost pleasant. The embalmers used resin, cassia, cinnamon, honey, cedar oil, and other such emoluments. I like to think it would be a wild Christmas-like scent, like a pomander in a musty, abandoned cabin in the piny woods. (I have never examined an Egyptian mummy outside of glass, although I have had the chance to touch a naturally preserved mummy, and the prevailing smell was the mold and desiccation of the whole catacomb. I had no desire to investigate further.)

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab once recreated myrrhine, the famous perfume of the hetaira courtesans of ancient Greece, as "Athens." I got some of their blend, and it was like being punched in the face by honey and patchouli.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:41 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Needs more napalm in the morning.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:29 PM on December 21, 2010

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