The basic building blocks of the smell spectrum - 'the elemental odours' as they are called - have been known for over one hundred and fifty years. There are seventeen in total, ranging from Flowers to Poo, all arranged in order of their 'Pong Ratio'. This system was devised in 1838 by Wilbur Chuff: a Belgian chemist working in France, over a Chinese laundry, next to a Turkish bath. Chuff had observed that by combining two separate odours, he could create a third smell. Thus, by mixing Egg with Bacon, he could create Breakfast. From these experiments, he posited that all the smells in the world were made up of a small number of basic smell elements, the character of each being determined by its Pong Ratio.
Friday, February 29, 2008
The Smellable Spectrum
Like the visible spectrum, only smellier: